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Mothers' Reasons for Early Breastfeeding Cessation

Morrison, April H. DNP, FNP-BC, IBCLC; Gentry, Retha DNP, FNP-C; Anderson, Joanna MLIS

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: November/December 2019 - Volume 44 - Issue 6 - p 325–330
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000566
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Purpose: The purpose of this review is to assess maternal explanations for early breastfeeding cessation in economically developed countries.

Study Design and Methods: The electromic databases EBSCO, CINAHL, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, PsycInfo, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, Nursing and Allied Health; ProQuest databases: Family Health Database, Health and Medical Collection, Nursing and Allied Health, Psychology Database, and Public Health Databases were searched using the terms breastfeeding, cessation, stop, discontinuation, early weaning, quit*, early termination, and six months. Inclusion criteria included infants born at least 37 weeks gestation, single birth, and infant birthweight > 2,500 g.

Results: Initial literature search yielded 117 studies; 10 studies met inclusion criteria. The two most common reasons for early breastfeeding cessation were perceived inadequate milk supply and maternal breast or nipple pain.

Conclusion: Research on maternal reasons for early breastfeeding cessation is limited. Reasons for early breastfeeding cessation are varied; however, the most common themes were perceived inadequate supply and breast or nipple pain. Nurses should tailor assessment of each breastfeeding mother-baby couplet and associated interventions based on these findings.

Research on maternal reasons for early breastfeeding cessation is limited. In this review, maternal explanations for stopping breastfeeding were examined. Reasons for early breastfeeding cessation are varied; however, the most common themes noted in the studies identified were perceived inadequate milk supply and breast or nipple pain. Nurses can target breastfeeding interventions in light of these findings.

April H. Morrison is an Assistant Professor at East Tennessee State University, and Family Nurse Practitioner, Mountain City Extended Hours Healthcare Clinic, Mountain City, TN. Dr. Morrison can be reached via e-mail at MORRISONAH1@mail.etsu.edu

Retha Gentry is an Assistant Professor at East Tennessee State University, and Family Nurse Practitioner, University Health Center, Johnson City, TN.

Joanna Anderson is an Assistant Professor at East Tennessee State University, and Library Administrator, Sherrod Library, Johnson City, TN.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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