When you should not breastfeed!

Breast milk is the best baby food that God has created for your precious little one. It is an indisputable fact that breastfeeding can nurture your baby 100 times better than any formula drink.

But in some cases women are advised against breastfeeding their little ones. Women who are infected with HIV virus or active tuberculosis should not breastfeed, as they might infect their baby with their disease through the breast milk.

Women who are chronic drug and chemical abusers, who cannot control their habit should not breastfeed their baby at any cost. Breatfeeding babies after loading your body with drugs such as heroin or cocaine can cause irreparable damage to your little one. Side effects such as vomiting, sleeplessness, irritability and tremors would appear in babies that are breastfed by drug abusing mothers. To top it all, you will be turning your baby into another addict as yourself.

Mothers who are diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing Chemotherapy treatment should not breastfeed their babies. Mothers who are under medications for any disease or condition should seek their doctor’s counsel before trying to breastfeed their babies. In some cases, if the medication is for a short period, then you can try to stop the breastfeeding during the course of medication and try resuming it later.

Women who have breast surgery might find it difficult to breastfeed the baby and if they are still determined to do it would be best to check out with your doctor whether it would be safe.

In some rare cases, some babies are born allergic to breast milk. This condition is called Galactosemia, where the baby cannot tolerate or digest the breast milk because their bodies cannot break down the sugar galactose. Sadly these babies often have liver problems, malnutrition or mental retardation. This is also an inherited condition so if someone in your close family has it then there is a chance that your baby might have inherited this defective gene. In US, all babies are routinely screened for this condition and if your family has a history, then it is important to inform your doctor even while you are pregnant. If the baby is diagnosed with Galactosemia, you will have to feed the baby a special diet, which does not contain lactose and galactose.

Habits such as smoking or drinking are not good especially if you are breastfeeding. Though some doctors do not frown upon an occasional drink but it is generally advisable not to indulge in such activities for the sake of the baby. If you have had a drink or two then, try not to breastfeed your baby for at least 2 to 3 hours. If you have a smoking habit, try to quit it as soon as possible.

Breastfeeding is not advisable if you are one of the cases as listed above. And if you are not, there is no reason for you stop breastfeeding just because your breasts are engorged or because your nipples are sore.

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