Many New Moms Find Breastfeeding a Challenge

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-09_cbc06203a5.jpgGeorge Doyle/Thinkstock (CINCINNATI) -- Three-fourths of all new moms try breastfeeding. But, according to study findings published in the journal Pediatrics, only 13 percent ultimately maintain breastfeeding for the doctor-recommended six months' duration.

For the study, which aimed to uncover the main reasons mothers stop breastfeeding, researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center collected free-text surveys of first-time mothers during their pregnancies and at several time-points postpartum. They found that nearly all new moms -- 92 percent -- had at least one concern about breastfeeding three days after delivery. The most frequent concern at day three was difficulty with infant breastfeeding (52 percent), followed by breastfeeding pain (44 percent), and milk quantity (40 percent).

Having concerns at any postpartum interview predicted a higher rate of stopping breastfeeding early and using formula. Women with difficult infant feeding at one week postpartum were most likely to stop breastfeeding. Women with concerns about milk quantity at two weeks postpartum were the next most likely moms to stop breastfeeding.

Overall, concerns about breastfeeding among first-time moms appear to be quite common. Addressing these concerns in the early postpartum period may help more of these new moms reach their breastfeeding goals.

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