Reasons for stopping breastfeeding: what are they, what characteristics relate to them, and are there underlying factors?

O'Brien, Maxine and Fallon, Anthony Bruce and Brodribb, Wendy and Hegney, Desley (2007) Reasons for stopping breastfeeding: what are they, what characteristics relate to them, and are there underlying factors? Birth Issues, 15 (3). pp. 105-113. ISSN 1038-023X


Aim: This study sought to identify the reasons provided for breastfeeding cessation among women who switched to formula feeding during the first six months postpartum. We further aimed to investigate the socio-demographic characteristics of the sample and the ability of these characteristics to uniquely predict the reasons provided.

Method: As part of a larger longitudinal study (n = 620), women who ceased breasfeeding before six months postpartum (n = 182) were asked about their reasons for stopping. Reasons provided were subjected to statistical analysis including logistic regression and principal components analysis.

Results: Concerns over insufficient milk supply, baby weight gain and the baby not sleeping through the night were the most commonly given reasons for weaning. Additionally, the likelihood of selecting a particualr reason for weaning was influenced by the woman's demographic and psychosocial characteristics. Unique predictors of the reasons provided included the mother's and her partner's usual occupations, maternal age, parity, and obtaining breastfeeding information before pregnancy. Two components, 'Maternal comfort and well being' and 'Infant comfort and well being' were identified.

Principal conclusions: Reasons for stopping breastfeeding are frequently associated with the mother's confidence in her breastfeeding ability, and her perception of the impact of breastfeeding on the comfort and well being of both herslef and her infant.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version, due to publisher copyright restrictions. Print issues held USQ 618.4 P1.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2010 03:06
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: breastfeeding; Australia; weaning
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111006 Midwifery

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