Factors influencing the duration of breast-feeding

J Biosoc Sci. 1980 Jul;12(3):325-31. doi: 10.1017/s0021932000012864.


PIP: A group of 239 Scottish mothers breastfeeding on leaving hospital were followed up 6 months later by a postal questionnaire. 216 (90%) responded. Of these, 41% had discontinued breastfeeding before the end of the 12th week, the greatest decline occurring within the 1st 6 weeks. Duration of breastfeeding was significantly influenced by social class and, for parous mothers, previous breastfeeding success. 72% of the mother who stopped breastfeeding within the 1st 12 weeks gave inadequacy of the milk supply or an unsettled baby as contributory reasons. Maternal fatigue and painful nipples were the other 2 most frequent contributory problems. Only 6% of all mothers admitted to not enjoying breastfeeding. The person most commonly consulted about breastfeeding problems was the health visitor. Regardless of how long they had breastfed, 43% of the mothers would have liked more help.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Breast Diseases / psychology
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors