By Lyz Lenz
I chose to stop breastfeeding when my daughter was 16-weeks old. I had planned on feeding her for the first year, but when we started her on bottles of pumped milk, she soon began to refuse to breastfeed and despite my best efforts, she quit. I continue to give her bottles of pumped milk, but I have to confess, I want to quit. The arduous task of pumping, which makes me feel like a dairy cow, is taxing, frustrating and time-consuming. I’m trying to take it one day at a time and do what is best for my baby, but I would be lying if I told you that the thought of being untethered from the machine didn’t fill my heart with joy.
75% of women in the United States breastfeed their babies. However, the Center for Disease Control reports that by one year that rate has dropped to only 22%, with the majority of women choosing to stop breastfeeding when their babies are six months. This is despite the World Health Organization recommendation for women to breastfeed for at least a year.
With such undeniable benefits, why do some women stop breastfeeding so soon? In order to shed light on this topic, I spoke to moms and lactation consultants about why they chose to stop breastfeeding early. Click through to hear their stories.