It is well known that breast milk is the best food source for a newborn baby.  Breastfeeding does not require extra cost to provide a baby food, it helps a baby’s immune system, can help prevent obesity and can contribute to the bonding of a mother and baby. With all of these benefits, why would a woman choose not to breast feed her baby?

However, it’s estimated that 1-5% of women who give birth are medically unable to breast feed. There are also instances when a new mother can’t nurse exclusively due to a low supply of breast milk.  Here are some other common reasons why a woman might be unable to breastfeed:

Breast Surgery
If you’ve had breast reduction surgery, you may likely have a low supply of breast milk and won’t be able to nurse exclusively.  This is due to breast tissue having been removed.  That tissue contains milk glands and ducts. Even in cases of breast augmentation, there’s a slight chance that a woman will have a low supply of breast milk.

Serious Illness
When a woman has a serious illness such as sever anemia or heart disease, breastfeeding might not be the best idea for the health of the baby or of the mother.  A woman should also not nurse if she has a serious infection, such as untreated, active tuberculosis or HIV.

Ongoing Medical Treatment
If a woman is receiving radiation treatment in any form or is taking medications that will pass into the breast milk, like antithyroid medication, chemotherapeutic agents, and some mood-altering drugs, it is best not to breast feed your baby.

If you are an expectant mother who will not be breast feeding their baby, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial at Jean Brown Research. Please visit our website for more information about Infant Formula Studies or contact us at 801-261-2000.

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