Teen mothers can also face barriers to breastfeeding.
Compared with mothers aged 20 to 29, teens and their babies are more likely to have medical complications. They may also (Celik 2017; Kanhadilok 2015):
- Have less life experience, which can reduce confidence.
- Have less education.
- Be facing unwanted unemployment or a premature return to work.
- Have financial problems.
- Have partners, families, or friends who do not support breastfeeding or are not comfortable seeing them breastfeed (Austen 2017).
- Have poor self-image.
- Feel embarrassed about breastfeeding.
Sometimes health-care providers, friends, and family assume that teen mothers cannot care for their baby or breastfeed. This can result in less breastfeeding support (Sipsma 2013).
Younger mothers may not be taken seriously. However, a baby’s mother, young or not, is often the first person to notice changes or problems in the baby’s behaviour.
If you are a younger mother, trust your instincts and ask for help if you think there is a problem.