An Integrative Review of Factors Influencing Breastfeeding in Adolescent Mothers

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The purpose of this integrative review was to describe factors that influence breastfeeding behaviors in adolescent mothers. Twenty-two articles met inclusion criteria. Findings showed that most adolescent mothers intended to breastfeed during pregnancy. Yet, breastfeeding initiation ranged from 39% to 69%. Almost half of adolescent mothers stopped within 1 month. Less than 25% continued to breastfeeding behaviors to 6 months. Factors that influenced breastfeeding decisions in adolescent mothers included social and cultural norms. Personal beliefs about being a good mother were important to intention and initiation of breastfeeding. Promoting maternal competence was found to be essential to breastfeeding initiation and continuation for adolescent mothers. Support from partners and professionals also led to positive attitudes toward breastfeeding initiation and continuation.

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