Demographic and perinatal factors were analyzed in an Israeli urban community to determine the rates of continuation of breast-feeding and the factors influencing these rates. For the purpose of this study, breast-feeding was defined as occurring if infants received at least one breast-feed during a 24-h period. Among 633 mothers initiating breast-feeding, 40.3% completed 3 months of breast-feeding. The factors significantly associated with the continuation of breast-feeding were maternal religious belief, high education level, high parity, and previous breast-feeding success. Multivariate analysis by stepwise logistic regression showed that orthodox religious belief was the most significant associated factor. A third interview undertaken after 12 months among the 165 mothers who successfully completed 3 months of breast feeding showed declines of breast-feeding at the second (31.5%), third (53.1%), and fourth (60.4%) trimesters. Only 12.7% of this population completed 12 months of breast-feeding. Again, the mothers' religious beliefs and education levels were significantly related to the continuation of breast-feeding. Each specific community must be analyzed to find those groups of mothers at risk for early weaning from breast-feeding.