Insignificant Truth About Women Who Can't Breastfeed

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Insignificant Truth About Women Who Can't Breastfeed
6
Fri, 09-07-2012 - 11:37pm

Insignificant Truth About Women Who Can't Breastfeed

12% of women are diagnosed with breast cancer.

9% of children have asthma.

About 5% of 40-year-old men have erection problems.

Between 2% and 5% of expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes.

0.1% of the world’s population has Down Syndrome.

Somewhere between 1.1% and 4.2% of females suffer from bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.

About 1.5% of people though out the world have autism.

About 0.1% of Australia’s population has HIV.

1% to 2% of deaths throughout the world each year are by suicide.

0.3% of babies are born with hearing loss.

In 2009 around 0.09% of the US population were hospitalized with the H1N1 (swine) flu.

0.030% of babies die of SIDS.

0.005% of women in the UK die from cervical cancer.

Please don’t tell me that the often quoted 5% of women who physically can’t breastfeed is an ‘insignificant’ number.

It is more ‘significant’ then HIV, H1N1, Autism, SIDS, cervical cancer, suicide and Down Syndrome put together if you really want to look at it that way.

People don’t say ‘most babies live, so let’s not discourage people by taking about SIDS.’

People don’t say ‘only around 5% of mothers develop gestational diabetes, it’s such a small number so don’t worry about it’ or that they just didn’t try hard enough to overcome it.

For the mother who wants to breastfeed but can’t it is usually, at the time, the most significant hardship she feels she is facing. It may not be the most significant hardship faced in the world, but in her world it is.

So next time you want to throw around ‘insignificant’ numbers maybe think about how ‘insignificant’ you are making that mother feel.

Source: http://www.bottlebabies.org/category/blog/

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
pterodactyl wrote:

So, I'm not clear - is 5% the number of women who physically cannot breastfeed, or is it the number who think they cannot due to poor information?  

 The number who think they are in the group who physically can't breastfeed is much higher than 5%. Even with the % quoted, I have heard varying percentages quoted at times, such as 2 or 3 %, or this 5%. I am not clear on whether it means they do not produce a drop of milk at all, or whether that includes some who cannot exclusively BF due to low supply. I did think it was the latter. It is based on data from countries where breastfeeding rates are very high, and they look at numbers who are exclusively BF for a period of time after the baby is born. Of course, for some women who cannot supply all breastmilk, some may well think it is easier to switch rather than to combo feed.

In either case, I have never heard anybody use the term "insignificant" before, only that the number of those who cannot is much smaller than the number of thsoe who don't.  

I think what does happen is that some who don't, or whose problems were caused by following some of the wrong information that is around, it is easy enough to simply state that they could not, rather than that they did not BF.

Teresa

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

<<So, I'm not clear - is 5% the number of women who physically cannot breastfeed, or is it the number who think they cannot due to poor information? >>

I have heard that the percentage of moms could not BF at all due to physical or medical issues stands somewhere between 2-5%. I not sure if some people include in the 5% figure those who can produce some milk just not 100% of the babies needs.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2003

So, I'm not clear - is 5% the number of women who physically cannot breastfeed, or is it the number who think they cannot due to poor information?  

 

In either case, I have never heard anybody use the term "insignificant" before, only that the number of those who cannot is much smaller than the number of thsoe who don't.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

I also get a similar impression.

So often, the statement is brought out that a particular mother 'could not breastfeed' or cite a lack of sufficient milk supply. In my own real life experience, I have seen a number of people make these sort of claims, and yet having seen how they approached breastfeeding, I am aware that many of these mothers probably could have BF if they had actually followed the correct advice in order to do so. By following practices that sabotage breastfeeding, the milk supply does drop. By refusing to take advice to build a good supply, then it all becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

The percentage of women who claim they could not BF would be much higher than those who truly physically can't. It is artificially raised by the many who could have, if they knew what to do, and/opr were able to get the right information/support and follow it.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
I agree that if it's true that whatever the percentage the mom who truly cannot BF at all that it's significant for them. But I think the point some lactivists try to make about the percentage of moms who inherently cannot BF is not that the number is insignificant but that it's not a majority or even a large minority as many critics of BF advocacy seem to imply. If say 5% of moms inherently can't BF then that means that 95% can at least partially BF. If say 5% can only partially BF due to inherent low milk supply, that still means 90% can BF, absent other non-medical/biological obstacles. Too many critics seem to think that a majority of women or close too it inherently can't BF when no evidence exists to support that. In most cases, i think it's avoidable "booby traps" that lead to women to not being able to BF such as lack of preparation, bad advice or lack of support from doctors and nurses, and bad BF hospital practices. So while I can understand that the way some lactivists may discuss the percentage who can't BF may come across as dismissive of the feelings of those who truly can't BF, we also must realize that the other side sometimes gets the percentage of those who can't BF wrong to sending the message to many women that BF'ing there is a good chance you won't succeed at BF'ing no matter what you do.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

Is the small percent (whether someone quotes 5%, 3% or whatever) those who can't exclusively BF? I always thought it was that, and some of these mothers could give some breastmilk and combo feed, and that if done carefully, this supply can be maintained. That it would be an even smaller % who cannot BF at all? Is this correct? (Assuming that the woman is doing everything correctly and her supply has not dwindled because of things like feeds spaced to widely or shot timed feedings or offering a bottle instead of some of the feedings etc.)

I would have to agree with the idea that for a woman who truly wanted to BF, and ends up being unable to, it would be devastating. I would have been devastated. However it happened. Whether I was physically incapable or whether I got to that point because the advice I followed was wrong. I would imagine that women who are following misinformation do not realise at the time that this is the case.

Teresa