NIH: Reasons for Earlier Than Desired Cessation of Breastfeeding


Approximately 60% of mothers who stopped breastfeeding did so earlier than desired. Early termination was positively associated with mothers’ concerns regarding: (1) difficulties with lactation; (2) infant nutrition and weight; (3) illness or need to take medicine; and (4) the effort associated with pumping milk.


Our findings indicate that the major reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding before they desire include concerns about maternal or child health (infant nutrition, maternal illness or the need for medicine, and infant illness) and processes associated with breastfeeding (lactation and milk-pumping problems). Continued professional support may be necessary to address these challenges and help mothers meet their desired breastfeeding duration.