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"Some women can't breastfeed"

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Question: Were you physically capable of successful breastfeeding?


Yes, for as long as I wanted

Yes, but my supply dried up when I went back to work

No, I was unable to successfully breastfeed, but I tried (or knew I wouldn't be able to due to some medical issue)

I never tried and/or had no interest in trying


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 1162

View Results

I always hear this on cafemom breastfeeding posts (like the food stamps one today). I understand some women have medical issues, but seriously, how many women aren't capable of breastfeeding?

I'm not judging/debating anyones decision to not breastfeed. I'm just wondering how much truth their is to this claim. From what I've read, it is uncommon for women to be unable to breastfeed and some issues can be resolved or worked around with a feeding system.

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Replies (51-60):
by Anonymous 11 on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:14 AM
1 mom liked this
This poll won't be the truth. Most say they didn't produce enough or dried up. That happens because there are issues with breastfeeding that doesn't get corrected. Breastfeeding is supply and demand. If the baby has a poor latch supply will not be where it needs to be. The latch could be corrected and the whole issue would be fixed. The problem is that many give up to early. Medically only 1% of woman cannot physically breastfeed because of issues with their breasts.
by Ruby Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:15 AM
5 moms liked this
I think another problem is doctors who don't know what the hell they are talking about, and give misinformation. I have seen so many people claim they "couldn't" for reasons that were easily fixed. I feel like if more people had a good support system, and good information, we would see more success.

Quoting Peera:

While I know that there are women who legetimately CAN'T, I do have a strong belief that lots of women go into it thinking it's going to be easier than it is, and then when things just aren't going smoothly as they feel like they should, give up, and then claim they "couldn't." I couldn't believe how bad the learning curve was, and almost gave up a few times myself, but I just kept pushing through and made it the whole first year, till my son weaned himself. 

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by Anonymous 3 on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:15 AM
My son fed contantly also! I didn't mind though. I also cried with the first bottle of formula. It broke my heart. I don't know what caused the problem. I just know I didn't produce the fatty hindmilk. I didn't have any health issues that I know of.

I used to fill bottle after bottle between. Feedings because I really did produce a lot. It never changed consistancy. It was all foremilk. My poor baby was just a tiny little peanut because he couldn't possibly eat enough to gain weight.

Quoting amandae21:

Did you ever find out what happened, or suspect what caused it?

My 2nd child was 6lbs. I breastfed for about 8 weeks. She was so small. She was eating constantly (like every hour, sometimes more frequently). I remember crying the first time I had to give her formula... then feeling so defeated when I had to just give up altogether. I started taking thyroid medicine shortly after she was born because my thyroid fuction reverted back to abnormal (was normal while pregnant). I don't know if it was the condition or the medicine, but it put an end to my nursing.

I was able to successfully breastfeed my first and third with no issues.

Quoting Anonymous:

I was unable to successfully breastfeed. I was devastated. I loved doing it and felt so defeated when I had to stop. My problem was the fat content in my milk. I worked with WIC, lactation consultants, and my doctor. I tried so hard, but I can't make my boobs do something they don't want to. At 2 months old my son, who was born a little over 7 lbs, was in preemie clothes. He had just gotten up to his birthweight after I started to supplement with formula. Once I switched completely to formula, he thrived for the first time ever! Since that point he made it to, and stayed at, the 50th percentile at every check-up.

I love my baby boy and wanted to give him the best, for him that meant drinking formula. I produced large quantities also, it was just all the watery foremilk.

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:16 AM
1 mom liked this
I think the actual percentage of women who physically can't breastfeed is less than 3%.

Ignorance, in my opinion, is the biggest factor in the, "I couldn't breastfeed," statement.

If someone chooses not to breastfeed, that's totally fine. Most CAN, though.
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by Anonymous 7 on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:17 AM
Why? What kind of weird diet is that?

Quoting Jessica_Esqueda:

Quoting Anonymous:

Bahaha. I could NEVER be a vegan. God bless those who can, but I love me some steak and milk! Lol

Quoting Jessica_Esqueda:

Quoting Anonymous:

My daughter had colic so I ended up giving up on bfing. Her pedi kept thinking that it was something I was eating causing her discomfort. It's a good thing though because she turned out to be intolerant to milk, soy, and most meat products until she was 2 and she is allergic to peaches and citrus fruits. In order to keep bfing her I would have had to eat nothing but veggies, and that's unhealthy

Psh, that's not unhealthy! That's being vegan ;) 
But yes... dealing with food allergies while breastfeeding is HARD!!! I've been nursing my son for almost 19 months now, and he has NINE food allergies :(  

Good God, me too!! Lol!! I have to limit my meat intake, especially beef (boo). It looks like this: 








Red dye



All goat products



tree nuts

like 25 fruits and vegetables



by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:18 AM

Bump to read replies later. I'm pregnant with my first, and plan on breast feeding. My mom & older sister claimed they weren't able to bf. Not sure how much truth there is to that....

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:18 AM
2 moms liked this

Preemies aside, it really frustrates me when moms come on here and say "I tried everything, I was devastated! It just didn't work. I did the lac consultants, then this, then that."

We had issues, saw one lac consultant, fixed the issues. Unless you have a medical condition, boobs produce milk. SO don't give me that "I didn't produce any" crap. Also, if you're feeding your baby formula to "supplement", DO NOT do this! Bottles are seriously the devil when it comes to breastfeeding. The more baby takes a bottle, the less she will want your boob. The less she nurses from YOUR BOOB, the less milk you produce. Now...with that being said, many of you will now come on here and say "What about the pump?" Sorry, but it's not even half as effective at making boobs produce milk as the baby's mouth.

If you have to go back to work, it's a tough thing because eventually the boobs will dry up whether you're pumping or not because the pump simply isn't the same as the baby's sucking action. While this saddens me, the truth of the matter is if you breastfeed at home and pump at work you can normally get several months out of your breastfeeding experience only. So I don't blame the working moms who tried.

Regarding preemies, I have one. She is now seven months old. She was in NICU for almost two weeks and I had to BEG to get them to allow me to breastfeed her. We've been through hell and back and she still was able to do it, as was I. BUT..there are some preemies who just can't. I respect that. It's heartbreaking.

What really bothers me is the moms who don't have preemies, who don't work or work at home, etc., who are healthy with no meds they were/are on or med conditions to prevent breastfeeding. The ones who claim they did everything possible but the truth of the matter is that they just obviously don't understand that it's hard work. So they give up.'s tough. It's not like formula, which keeps them full for 3-4 hours and then they even begin to sleep through the night. I've fed four babies with breastmilk. They eat every two hours, day and night....for up to a year (in my case).

Yeah, it's hard. Yeah, sometimes we got thrush and had to threat it. Yes, I've had surgeries, medications, a preemie with NICU experience. You name it, we did it. And no one failed. 

by Silver Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:19 AM
Hey, exclusively pumping is hard work! And you still gave your first the best milk

Quoting MOMMY2ACR:

For my oldest I only pumped. I was like a dang dairy cow and had lots of milk saved up. With dd2 I'm doing fine at exclusively breastfeeding. She's only a week and a half old, but so far so good lol. It's actually a lot easier than I thought. It makes me regret not doing it with my first.
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by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:19 AM
I was doing great with it until I.started BC pills. I.was advised my supply might decrease a bit but my OB wasn't concerned, I had plenty. I noticed it.decreasing, stopped the pills, took fenugreek, drank a gallon of water a day, ate oatmeal, everything. I pumped all the time. It just continued to.dry up. So, at 3 months I would pump for 45 mins on each.side and barely.get an ounce. So I threw in the towel. And cried. But, my ds is strong and healthy and smart. So, I don't worry about it.
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by Ruby Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:19 AM
Back in the day, there were wet nurses, or goat's milk, or the baby simply starved. It may be rare, but some women simply CANNOT breastfeed.

Quoting divinedimension:

I dunno OP. I did it four times. FOUR times. What happened back in the day when women's supply ran out (before formula was in the picture)? There was no OPTION of not breastfeeding. You did it and you made it work. That is what happened in our family. We dealt with thrush a zillion times, mastitis, low supply, bad latches. You name it, we've survived it. 

I think if a woman had no other choice, she'd feed her baby the way nature intended to. It's just easy to give up quickly if you have bottles to run to.

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