Early Concerns Affect How Long Women Breastfeed

Health Nursing Mom 001

Breastfeeding concerns affect the duration of breastfeeding, according to a study in the October 2013 issue of the journal Pediatrics. Authors conducted 2,713 interviews with first-time mothers and found that breastfeeding concerns within the first 14 days postpartum are significantly linked to the duration of breastfeeding.

Interviews were conducted during pregnancy 24 hours after giving birth and again at 3, 7, 14, 30 and 60 days postpartum. Breastfeeding concerns at any of these points were significantly associated with increased risk of stopping breastfeeding and starting to use formula.

The most predominant concerns were:

* Difficulty with infant feeding at the breast (52 percent).
* Breastfeeding pain (44 percent).
* Milk quantity concerns (40 percent).

The study authors concluded that future efforts to increase breastfeeding duration should focus on protective factors, such as building confidence in successful breastfeeding, providing adequate support and resolving concerns as early as possible. Learn more at pediatrics.aappublications.org (search for “breastfeeding concerns”).

Katherine Kopp is a freelance writer and editor in Chapel Hill. She and her husband are the parents of three daughters.

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