To breastfeed or not to breastfeed? That is the question. Well, at least it was thought to be the question. New research from the United Kingdom suggests that a mothers decision to breastfeed or bottle feed is based on her personality - the more extraverted, the more likely they are to breastfeed.

Dr. Amy Brown, who studies early nutrition at Swansea University in Wales, surveyed 602 mothers of infants ages 6 to 12 months, to see if there was a common thread between the mothers. What Brown found surprised her and the research team -the more extraverted, conscientious and emotionally stable the mom was, the more likely she was to try breastfeeding.

Published Tuesday in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, the study suggests that conversely, introverted women felt more self-conscious about breastfeeding in public or even in front of friends and family.

Anxious mothers found breast-feeding was more difficult and felt that they couldn't get the support they needed, the study noted.  The women in the study ranged in age from 16 to 45 years old, and spanned a spectrum of income, education and professional achievement levels.

The study found that more than 80 percent of the 602 women tried to breastfeed, but less than half who tried were still breast-feeding six months later. About 73 percent of the women who stopped breast-feeding did so within two weeks after giving birth.

Mothers who kept breast-feeding during the first six months were more extroverted and less anxious than mothers who always bottle-fed or switched to the bottle. The effect was particularly strong within the first six weeks after birth.

"The important message from the findings is that some mothers may face more challenges with breast-feeding based on their wider personality," Brown said in a journal news release. "Although they may want to breast-feed, more introverted or anxious mothers may need further support in boosting their confidence and learning about how to solve problems, and they may need encouragement to make sure they access the breast-feeding support services that are available."

However, there are noted reasons for why mothers may choose not to breastfeed. Insufficient milk supply, inability to pump milk at work or if the mother tried it and got Mastitis, an infection of the breast tissue that results in breast pain and swelling, may lead a mother to opt for formula.

Breastfeeding benefits have long been touted by doctors as breast-fed babies tend to have lower rates of infections and allergies and are less likely to be overweight. Recent research suggests they may also have a higher IQ in their early school years compared to children who weren't breast-fed. Mothers who breastfeed are also less likely to develop certain cancers and Alzheimer's Disease.

Overall, breastfeeding rates in the United States are up as 75 percent of mothers report having breastfed at some point, the CDC said. About 43 percent choose to continue breastfeeding for six months, and 22 percent continue until the infant is 12 months old.