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Many factors can determine whether a woman continues to breastfeed: knowing that breastfeeding is good for the baby is important to mothers but breastfeeding in public continues to be a negative experience for some
  1. Alison McFadden
  1. University of York, Heslington, York, UK
  1. Correspondence to Alison McFadden
    Mother and Infant Research Unit, Department of Health Sciences, Area 4 Seebohm Rowntree Building, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD UK; am534{at}york.ac.uk

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The challenges of breastfeeding

There is increasing good-quality evidence of beneficial long-, medium- and short-term health outcomes for both the mothers who breastfeed and their babies as well.1,,3 In many developed countries, despite national and international health policy aspirations to increase breastfeeding, rates remain low, and few women breastfeed exclusively for the recommended 6 months.4 There is evidence that many women give up breastfeeding before they wish to, which is caused by a range of factors, including the following: clinical problems, the challenges of combining breastfeeding with women's other roles and negative attitudes of families, friends and communities. The reasons that women face so many obstacles to breastfeeding are complex and include health service and socio-cultural barriers. It is unsurprising, therefore, that the randomised controlled …

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