Why do women stop breastfeeding? A closer look at 'not enough milk' among Israeli women in the Negev Region. Academic Article uri icon


  • The aim of this study was to describe the breastfeeding experience of a sample of Israeli women. A random telephone survey of women, aged between 25 and 42, who had children under the age of 18 and were resident in the Negev Region of Israel (N=302) was conducted. Women had an average of three children each (range 1-11) and most breasted for less than three months. The most common reason given for not breastfeeding or breastfeeding less than three months was 'not enough milk' (90/205; 44%). A four-factor solution was extracted from a factor analysis of the reasons that women gave for stopping breastfeeding before three months or for not initiating breastfeeding. The four factors were: personal concerns (body image, tired, return to work); need help (wants husband to help, child unwell, didn't like breastfeeding), uncomfortable (nipple/breast pain, didn't like breastfeeding) and not confident (not enough milk). Women most frequently report that they stopped breastfeeding because they have insufficient milk, yet the lack of any consistent sociodemographic correlation indicates that this may be a universal way of expressing lack of confidence in breastfeeding.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005