Breastfeeding, Breast milk, Exclusive breastfeeding, Maternal



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


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.