Challenges to Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration for Teen Mothers

Sonia Cota-Robles, Laura Pedersen, Craig Lecroy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations


    The purpose of this study was to evaluate breastfeeding practices of teen mothers in a pre-A nd postnatal education and support program. We studied breastfeeding practices of primarily Hispanic and non-Hispanic White teen mothers who participated in the Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services (TOPS) program, which promoted breastfeeding through prenatal programming and postpartum support. Analyses identified the most common reasons participants had not breastfed and, for those who initiated breastfeeding, the most common reasons they stopped. Participants (g = 314) reported on whether and for how long they breastfed. Nearly all participants reported initiating breastfeeding but few breastfed to 6 months. For the most part, reasons they reported stopping breastfeeding paralleled those previously reported for adult mothers across the first several months of motherhood. We found that teen mothers can initiate breastfeeding at high rates. Results highlight areas in which teen mothers' knowledge and skills can be supported to promote breastfeeding duration, including pain management and better recognizing infant cues. Our findings expand limited previous research investigating reasons that teen mothers who initiate breastfeeding stop before 6 months.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)173-178
    Number of pages6
    JournalMCN The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 2017


    • Adolescent
    • Breastfeeding
    • Mother
    • Teen

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pharmacology (nursing)
    • Maternity and Midwifery


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