Breastfeeding is very favorable to babies and moms. Many experts prescribe that a mother should breastfeed her baby, and it should be for at least 6 months. However, some moms cannot breastfeed their babies for various reasons.

Why Some Mothers Cannot Breastfeed?

There are explanations for why some mothers are not able to breastfeed.

1. Low milk supply

Sometimes, mothers cannot breastfeed milk to babies as their production is low. The cause of a low milk supply can be due to hormonal disorders, diabetes, alcohol or smoking, and other factors. Even if you have a low milk supply, you can still feed the baby, as breast milk is highly nutritious. If it is not a possibility, you can shift to substitutes.

2. Medications

Sometimes, mothers are prescribed certain medications that are not suited to breastfeeding, and those medications can affect the health of the baby. Mothers taking such medications are advised not to feed their milk.

Some risky medications include chemotherapy drugs, specific sedatives, radioactive iodine, and seizure medicines. Discussing any medications that can affect breastfeeding for the child is beneficial. Opinions from experts are essential.

3. Infections

Some diseases pose a threat of transmission to the baby via breastfeeding. A commonly known virus is HIV which results in AIDS. Even in today’s advancing world, scientists have not been able to find a cure for AIDS. The mother that has AIDS is told not to breastfeed their child.

Similarly, Active Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection, and it is transmitted through respiratory droplets. If a mother coughs or sneezes around the child, Active Tuberculosis can pass on to the child. It is advised to maintain distance if a mother has such a disease. Breastfeeding is discouraged as it requires close contact between the mother and baby.

4. Drug Usage

Many mothers continue substance use when lactating, which can result in the toxic substances transferring into the baby via breast milk. If your baby feeds on breastmilk containing such harmful substances, it can show signs of poor growth, neurological destruction, and death.

Nowadays, you can receive help to control or withdraw from substance abuse. Mothers can visit awareness campaigns, take therapy sessions, and meet others who can preferably guide them better.

5. Breast Surgery

It is possible that any breast surgery can result in a reduction of breast milk, and this can be due to lesser breast tissue availability responsible for milk ducts. Some breast surgeries cause total loss of breast tissue, resulting in no breast milk secretion at all.

It is necessary to take assistance from a lactation professional if you have been through breast surgery. Be safe before feeding your baby.

Why Some Babies Cannot Take Breastmilk

There are circumstances where a baby has some conditions for which breastfeeding is not a good option.

Medical Conditions

Classic Galactosemia is a condition where a body cannot reduce galactose into simpler forms. A mother’s breast milk has galactose. If your baby has Classic Galactosemia, it cannot take breastmilk and must be fed with special formula milk. Babies with milk protein allergies can drink HiPP hypoallergenic formula.

Babies with Maple Syrup Urine Disease cannot break down leucine, valine, and isoleucine amino acids. Such amino acid accumulation results in drowsiness, vomiting, seizures, and even death.

It is Okay Not to Breastfeed

It is okay not to Breastfeed your child for certain reasons. There are alternate approaches to breastfeeding that mothers can use.

Alternate Approaches

Conditions mentioned above result in moms not breastfeeding their children. It is entirely okay when there are valid reasons not to breastfeed as there are many alternatives for breast milk.

Beyond that, goat’s milk is the next best breast milk choice. Goat’s milk lacks folic acid and vitamin B12, and you can add these by giving other supplements to the baby. Moreover, coconut milk in recipes is a fine choice as it contains lauric acid that strengthens the immune system. It is crucial that you research the best option for your child. Don’t give the baby any standard formula milk without asking your doctor first.


Understandably, you might feel angry or sad if you cannot breastfeed your child for any reason. It is important to remember, however, that this is fairly common, and there are plenty of good alternatives out there. In any such case, it is advised to consult a doctor and decide what is best for your health and the baby’s wellbeing.