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Choosing Not to Breastfeed

Not every woman is comfortable breast feeding, some have trouble doing it and others do not want to for their own reasons. Any woman who admits that she does not want to breastfeed is going to feel pressured by her friends, family, and even doctors for it. Unfortunately, this is another aspect of pregnancy that everyone wants to share their opinion about. If you are on the fence about breastfeeding, doing your research before the baby is born is much better than trying to figure it out in the hospital afterward. After having the baby, you are going to be exhausted, and everyone around you will be giving you their opinions, but not all of these opinions are based on facts. This is an important decision to make, so making it in advance is a good idea.

Find Your Reason

Every woman has a reason for why she does not want to breastfeed, and that reason is completely valid, no matter what it is. However, it is still a good idea to figure out exactly why you do not want to breastfeed, because there is a chance it is based on some of the misconceptions of breastfeeding.

For example, some women may not want to because they are afraid of what breastfeeding will do to their breasts, unaware that it is really pregnancy itself that impacts their breasts, not breastfeeding. You might be squeamish about it, or you do not want to have to breastfeed in public. You might be worried about your medications making their way into your breastmilk and hurting the baby.

Whatever your reason, it will be easier for you to stay firm in it if you know exactly why you have made that choice.

Talk to Someone Neutral

Everyone is going to be giving you their opinions on the subject, and you are going to hear a lot of disdainful comments from other women about it. They may suggest you will badly want to after you have the baby or that you should try it at least once or you will regret it later. When you are in the hospital after having the baby, the nurses may try to push you to breastfeed the baby. This can make you feel ashamed about your choice not to breastfeed, and you may end up feeling pressured to do it.

Find a neutral party you can talk to about your choice not to breastfeed. Someone who can help you sort your thoughts and feelings out and separate them from the opinions being thrown at you by outside forces.

You Are Not Alone

Know that you are not alone in this. According to the CDC, about 80 percent of women attempt to breastfeed at least once, but less than 50 percent of women exclusively breastfeed through the first three months, and the number of women who exclusively breastfeed drops to 25 percent through the first six months. Choosing not to breastfeed for whatever reason does not make you a bad mother.

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