Time for a Health Check
Certain illnesses, diseases and disorders can be transmitted from mother to child by way of her breast milk. If you are a mother suffering from AIDS, HIV, an active TB infection or other illnesses, then you can easily discuss with your doctor and decide which option will be the safest for your baby.
While it can be frustrating to be unable to breastfeed your child, it’s always better to play things safe instead of being sorry. There are also times when the mother’s health can’t take the nutritional or caloric demands, which might be too severe for the mother.
Drugs & Alcohol
While every mother-to-be knows that drug and alcohol abuse is dangerous to their unborn babies, these mind-altering substances can also transfer from mother to child via breast milk. If you struggle with recreational or serious drug abuse, alcoholism or required prescription pain pills or other medicines, your breast milk could be contaminated, and your baby would be better served with formula. While this should be a rather common sense suggestion, you might also want to consider other legal substances that you take in that could also be unwittingly shared with your newborn baby, like cigarettes.
Survey each medication you take, whether prescription or over the counter, to see if the medications or their carriers can be transmitted dangerously through your breast milk. Many of these medications, including antidepressants or antipsychotics, are too critical for the mother’s health to be discontinued for the breastfeeding period.
If you have had any surgery or augmentation of the breasts, you may have a difficult, if not impossible time when it comes to breastfeeding and milk production. Those who have had piercings or other form of breast-related body modification can also face breastfeeding challenges.
If you are concerned that you might be one of the mothers affected by one of these instances, make it a point to discuss your fears and concerns with your doctor for greater insights, tips and other advice that will make your decision easier to make.
In closing, there can be a great deal of pressure to breastfeed when you’re a new mother, but not all pressure is positive pressure. Only you and your doctor know which decision is the right decision, and only the two of you are in an earnest position to make that decision. While you can educate and explain your situation to your family and friends, don’t apologize for doing the right thing.