“Breastfeeding is brutal. It is chronic physical torture! I thought it was supposed to be this beautiful bonding ceremony, where I would feel like I was sitting on a lily pad in a meadow and bunnies would gather at my feet... No! It’s not like that at all! Breastfeeding is this savage ritual that just reminds you that your body is a cafeteria now! It don’t belong to you no more!”
Hilarity aside, there are truth bombs laced in between the crude jokes of her punch lines. And when it comes to her jokes on breastfeeding, we have to agree that it took us by surprise too. Far too often we are given honey-tinted scenarios depicting warm bonding between mother and baby during quiet breastfeeding moments. Don’t get us wrong, these tenderhearted moments happen, but there’s a lot that we didn’t expect to happen as well when it comes to breastfeeding—and we’re not alone.
If you’re about to start breastfeeding or you’re in the middle of breastfeeding, here are some breastfeeding statistics you should know about.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claimed that in 2015, of the 4 million babies born in the United States, 83.2 percent of these babies started out breastfeeding, however, many stop breastfeeding earlier than recommended. At six months, however, this number drops to 57.6 percent and even lower to 35.9 percent when babies are 12 months. This high initial percentage shows that many mothers are interested in or want to breastfeed their children, but depending on various circumstances, they stop.
Reasons Why Mothers May Stop Breastfeeding Early
Obviously, this list doesn’t pertain to every mother out there and each situation is different. But according to the CDC, 60 percent of mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than they intended to because of reasons such as:
So, What Can Be Done?
As a mom, you want what’s best for your child always. But sometimes, there are other things that can stand in the way or intimidate us from doing what we want to do. So, if close to 84 percent of women start out breastfeeding but stop because of some of the reasons listed above, what can we do about it? Educate ourselves in an effort to reach our breastfeeding goals.
How To Reach Your Breastfeeding Goals
If you’re having lactation issues…
1. Prepare Ahead of Time:
Expecting in a few months (or a few days)? Get informed about breastfeeding and all it entails before the baby comes. While you’ll probably learn the most on the spot, there isn’t any harm in knowing what to expect physically and techniques to make breastfeeding easy in the beginning. Need some breastfeeding book recommendations?
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, and Teresa Pitman
- Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher, Kathleen Kendall-tackett
2. Find Lactation Boosting Supplements:
Lactation supplements can be found in many forms (teas, pills, powders…etc.). One of the easiest ways to boost your lactation powers is by finding a supplement that provides postpartum nutrition as well as a lactation boosting formula. Majka’s Nourishing Lactation Protein Powder does just that. Already have a protein powder you like? Try out Majka’s Lactation Booster powder that can be effortlessly added into a shake, baked into lactation cookies, or sprinkled on a salad for an extra kick in the lactation department.
3. Speak with a Lactation Consultant:
If you find yourself having problems with latching, lactation, or other issues involving breastfeeding, it may be helpful to find a lactation consultant you can speak with. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if they have a network of lactation consultants or find a lactation group near you with the La Leche League International.
If you’re going back to work…
1. Know Your Laws:
The Affordable Care Act law passed in 2010 stated that workplaces must have a private place for women to pump and require a break to do so. If your place of work does not, here is everything you need to know about the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law.
2. Know What To Expect:
Going back to work can stir up a flurry of emotions, both good and bad. You may feel independent and powerful, yet extremely guilty at the same time. Having realistic expectations of how it will feel to go back to work and balance mom and career life will set you up on a solid foundation for success. You may find Work. Pump. Repeat.: The New Mom's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work by Jessica Shortall helpful in your transition.
If you’re needing emotional support…
1. Find Your Tribe:
You are not alone. This phrase is said so often the meaning seems to get lost, so we’ll say it again: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. So many mothers feel lost, defeated, or uneducated when it comes to breastfeeding, especially in the beginning. Do not face it alone! Find a support system (whether it is your family, friends, or a mom group in your area or online) and talk with people. Ask them for advice, tell them what you’re feeling, ask “is this normal?” or anything else you can think of. Who knows what could happen with the right support? When moms support moms, more women may choose to breastfeed for longer with the right support group!
If breastfeeding is something you want to do, we encourage you to keep at it! Breastfeeding is not easy and it takes a while for you and your baby to master. Equip yourself with the knowledge, nutrition, and emotional support you need to get through it. At the same time, if you decide breastfeeding is not for you, there is nothing wrong with that either! Keeping your baby’s belly full (whether through breast milk or formula) is the goal and you know what’s best for you and your family. As for us? We’re here to support you in any way we can. For more educational information, visit our blog to read up on motherhood tips, breastfeeding advice, and nutritional recipes.
“CDC Releases 2018 Breastfeeding Report Card.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 20 August 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0820-breastfeeding-report-card.html.
“Breastfeeding Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1 August 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/facts.html.
“Workplace Support in Federal Law.” United States Breastfeeding Committee. http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/workplace-law.
Looking for more information on breastfeeding? Here are more blog posts to help you feel as prepared as possible as a new mom!
- Breastfeeding Guide for New Moms
- Breastfeeding for Vegan Moms
- Breastfeeding vs. Formula
- How Can Stress Impact Breastfeeding?
- 7 Breastfeeding Myths You Shouldn't Believe
Be sure to follow us @lovemajka for more conversations and tips about motherhood! Share your stories with us down in the comments below! #lovemajka #fuelingmotherhood