Reasons for Breastfeeding Discontinuation Vary by Week

Main Reason for DiscontinuationWeek of Breastfeeding Discontinuation
0–1 (n = 105)2–3 (n = 74)*4–6 (n = 112)7–9 (n = 53)10–12 (n = 19)
Infant still hungry/not enough milk27%18%38%28%11%
Problems sucking/latching on23%12%1%1%5%
Breast pain/soreness14%14%4%0%0%
Mother returned to work or school4%14%29%34%58%
Mother sick or on medication2%12%6%11%11%
Bottle feeding easier or more convenient8%9%7%13%0%
Lack of energy/desire to discontinue4%8%7%2%4%
  • * Mothers were asked, during the 2- and 12-week interviews, to report when they discontinued and the reason for breastfeeding discontinuation. Of the 135 women who discontinued breastfeeding at 2 weeks, 132 (98%) women responded to this question.

  • Of the 321 additional women who discontinued breastfeeding after 2 weeks, 231 (72%) responded to this question.

  • Other reported reasons for discontinuation included infant not gaining weight or sick, breast milk intolerance, and infant spitting up.