Breastfeeding in Special Cases

February 2, 2020
There are many false myths and beliefs regarding the issue of breastfeeding or formula feeding. In certain special cases, it's necessary to have adequate information about what's best.

Breastfeeding in special cases is a common cause for consultation. This is because mothers are afraid or surrounded by false beliefs that often negatively influence them. In this sense, it’s important to understand that it’s always best to breastfeed a newborn, as it stimulates contact between mother and child, provides security, and naturally provides babies the defenses they need.

Despite their love and desire to feed their children, mothers stop doing so sometimes due to misinformation. Fear or stress that certain circumstances cause can make a mother hesitant. Below, we analyze those situations.

Breastfeeding in special cases: Caesarean section, multiple births, and premature births

There are many beliefs regarding these examples. Also, the concerns that arise can influence a new mother. Expectant mothers should try to stay calm and understand that breastfeeding is the best option.

A baby born by Caesarean section

It’s essential for a newborn to be in contact with their mother in the shortest possible time. The faster they start suctioning, the easier it will be for the milk to start to drop.

The mother should be aware of the importance of not feeling frustrated after the first failed attempts. This is because the newborn needs time to learn. Also, the mother may still be stressed and in pain due to the surgery. Despite all this, she should gradually try.

A mother checking on her sleeping baby.

Multiple births

The arrival of several children at once may seem like a real complication for inexperienced mothers. However, the body has already prepared for this condition and produces enough milk for all of them. Therefore, you shouldn’t fear that you won’t have enough milk to feed all your children.

Some mothers prefer to breastfeed one at a time, leaving some time between each. This way, they enjoy the minutes of intense connection with each of them separately. Others dare to feed both babies at the same time so they’ll be able to rest for longer.

Premature babies

Breastfeeding is very important in special cases such as premature babies. Being with their mom and ingesting maternal milk is one of the main defense mechanisms at their disposal. Breastfeeding avoids many infections and abnormalities.

In all these cases, extracting milk with a breast pump is helpful. When the baby doesn’t have the strength to suckle, the milk is provided through a tube or bottle.

Breastfeeding in special cases: breast surgeries

For aesthetic or medical issues, many women have undergone different breast surgeries. In most cases, breastfeeding the baby doesn’t pose any problem. Nevertheless, it’s always important that, before undergoing surgery, you consult your doctor on the future consequences, since there are various techniques and some are less invasive than others.

Whether the woman is getting breast implants, a breast reduction, or an intervention due to another medical condition, the technique is the most important thing. Breastfeeding is possible if the areola and milk ducts weren’t affected.

Breastfeeding in special cases: diseases

A diabetic mother can still breastfeed her child. She only has to make sure to follow certain medical recommendations. Usually, if the woman is insulin-dependent, she should lower her dose.

This is because merely producing milk lowers blood sugar levels. Moreover, it’s a preventive method for the development of diseases in newborns.

A mother with her newborn.

If the mother has thyroid alterations, it’s important for her to get a checkup. Also, there’s no risk for the baby to get milk from their mother. Without treatment, she may produce less milk.

A mother with asthma can also breastfeed. Nevertheless, she should always be controlled by medical professionals.

When to avoid breastfeeding in special cases

Only in very few circumstances is it necessary to resort to artificial feeding to protect the child’s health. These are some of them:

  • Firstly, women who were exposed to radiation therapy and anticancer drugs.
  • Secondly, mothers who are addicted to drugs such as cocaine or heroin, among others.
  • Thirdly, mothers infected with HIV.
  • Finally, babies who were diagnosed with galactosemia.

Breastfeeding, even in special cases, is usually the best choice for everyone. This is because it’s a healthy and natural benefit that all mothers and babies should experience.