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Why would you not breastfeed?

If a mother is perfectly able to breastfeed and doesn't work, why wouldn't she do it? I just don't understand why someone wouldn't do what's best for their child?

My sister doesn't work and had no physical or emotional problems preventing her from breastfeeding. She didn't even make it 6 weeks. She told me she didn't want to be tied down to her baby and she wanted to go out and drink when she wanted to and start smoking again. Well, if you can't sacrifice at least 3 months to a year for your child, then why have one? Motherhood is about sacrifice, it's no longer about YOU, don't be selfish!

So instead of doing what was best for her baby, she chose to go on WIC to get formula. And all the while knowing I lost my full term baby 2 weeks before hers was born and how precious and fragile a baby's life is. I just don't get it!


Asked by all4mymarine at 5:21 PM on Dec. 2, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 3 (20 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (92)
  • I don't know why everyone gets so touchy about this subject. We should be able to discuss this like the mature adults we are.

    Part of the problem with Breastfeeding in the United States is that is still not completely accepted. New mothers do NOT get the support and encouragement they need. Too many doctors themselves aren't educated on the subject and don't offer proper education, support or even correct medication and information for nursing mothers with a health condition.

    American society has come to the point where the majority of the population views breasts as a sexual item rather than for the use they were in intended for. Many men are not supportive of their wives desire to breastfeed or become jealous because they have lost their plaything.

    People in public places stop and stare, complain to management or tell women they should "do that in the bathroom".

    Answer by DawnA72 at 7:18 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Virtually all mothers can breastfeed. It's probably 98% (The World Health Organization).

    Working mothers can breastfeed. If a mother smokes it's better for her to breastfeed. You can have a drink or two with no problems. If you want more on occasion you can express milk and save it up.

    Starving women in Africa breastfeed and their babies can thrive. Women living in wars and natural disasters breastfeed. Somehow American women think they can't breastfeed and not many women can. The World Health Organization recommends all babies be breastfed 2 years. We don't even keep statistics on kids that old breastfeeding it's so uncommon.

    Answer by Gailll at 5:27 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • I agree with you 1000%..... but this post will only cause a lot of drama. People don't like it when you point when they made an important choice based on their selfishness instead of their own child.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:39 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Doing what's best for the baby seems to get lost in the BF vs, non-BF arguement. Isn't feeding your baby the best rather than letting them starve? At least someone who is using formula is feeding their baby. should I come to your home (in general) and tell you how to raise your child? I think you would be upset about that.
    If a woman wants to make the choice to formula feed, that is her choice not anyone else's.

    BTW, I BF my DD.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 5:41 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Lack of knowledge and a basic understanding of infant nutrition is the number 1 reason why most of the women who don’t breastfeed, or tried but didn’t continue - don't breastfeed. -- This is for most filed under "didn't latch properly, didn't make enough milk etc) - some truly believe that, but again - that is because they are not properly informed about breastfeeding, and some are just lying to make it seem like they tried harder than they actually did.

    After that - the next up are mothers who knew the benefits but couldn't be bothered, didn't want to be tied down, or whose family encouraged them to formula feed.

    And after that is the small percentage of people who openly admit that they proudly chose to formula feed - because breastfeeding grosses them out, or they think it's what only starving moms in Africa do, and they completely deny that there is ANY difference between breast milk and formula - (cont)

    Answer by ladysavage at 5:42 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • (Cont) - And after that - finally, are they people who GENUINELY could not breastfeed - this is less than 2% of the worlds population of women - yet, almost 2/3 of the women here on Cafemom believe they belong to THIS group. Because, well - they can’t do the math.

    I have NOTHING against formula feeding mothers, they are no less of mothers because of it.
    What I do mind, though, are the ones who spread misinformation around as to why they are not breastfeeding.

    Answer by ladysavage at 5:42 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • OP--you're not considering those mothers who had premies or sick newborns who were in ICU for the forst couple of months of life, so breastfeeding was not an option. Considering you lost your child, you really don't know what it's like to breastfeed, correct? I think you're being a little judgmental.

    For the record, I DID breastfeed both of my boys as I was able to express and then my breastmilk was able to be fed to them via their feeding tubes. But, since they didn't actually latch on, I guess what I did, didn't count, right?! Whatever.

    For what it's worth, neither my husband or I were breastfed--MOST women--SAHM or otherwise 40+ years ago DID NOT breastfeed. And guess what? NEITHER of us had ear infections, digestive problems, or any childhood illnesses like chicken pox! My husband and I both have Master's Degrees (and dh earned a perfect SAT score!) I guess formula back then was better than it is today!


    Answer by Anonymous at 5:45 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • clappingStanding ovation for ladysavage!!


    Answer by Anonymous at 5:46 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • you're not considering those mothers who had premies or sick newborns who were in ICU for the forst couple of months of life, so breastfeeding was not an option

    My neice was in the NICU for the two months of her life. My sister managed to sucessfully breastfeed her baby. She didn't wean until past 2 yrs old. It is possible. Tough, but possible.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:48 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Theres no excuse for a mother to not pump for her preemie! Preemies need breast milk more than any other baby!

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:53 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

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