First time mothers who report early concerns or problems with breastfeeding are nearly 10 times more likely to abandon it within two months.
In a new study nine in 10 new mothers reported at least one breastfeeding concern within three days of the birth.
More than half were concerned the baby was not latching on properly while 44pc worried about pain and 40pc about milk quality.
“Breastfeeding problems were a nearly universal experience in the group of first-time mothers in our study” said Dr Laurie Normmsen-Rivers of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre.
The study of 532 first time mothers found that those who reported problems at day three and day seven after giving birth were most likely to stop breastfeeding.
“Our findings indicate helping mothers meet their breastfeeding goals requires a two-pronged approach”.
These included prenatal breastfeeding education, peer support and then ensuring any concerns were fully addressed with professional support, especially in the first few days at home.
The 8 percent of mothers who did not report any breastfeeding problems or concerns seemed to have protective factors that prevented them from experiencing concerns, said Dr. Nommsen-Rivers.
These factors included prenatal self-confidence about breastfeeding, youth, unmedicated vaginal birth and strong social support.
The study is published online in the journal Pediatrics.