Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published the results of a breastfeeding survey in the journal Pediatrics. Breastfeeding mothers, nearly 1,200 in all, were followed for a period of one year. Monthly surveys were used to follow breastfeeding habits and weaning patterns.

About 60% of the women chose to stop breastfeeding before they had originally intended. Various factors were listed as reasons for the early stoppage, but the most common included difficulty lactating, need for prescription medications, worry about infant health and growth and the time-consuming nature of pumping breast milk.

Conclusion: Researchers believe many women stop breastfeeding early due to a lack of support. Support for breastfeeding mothers is crucial for the first year, particularly during the first few months when breastfeeding habits are established. Pediatricians can also ease stress by addressing growth rates of breastfed infants with mothers at regular check-ups.

Source: Odom EC, Li R, Scanlon KS, Perrine CG, Grummer-Strawn L. Reasons for Earlier Than Desired Cessation of Breastfeeding. Pediatrics. 2013 Feb 18.