Newly published breastfeeding study from Brazil: Hear from an expert

Home > Newly published breastfeeding study from Brazil: Hear from an expert

You may have heard about a recently published study, linking duration of breastfeeding with intelligence quotient (IQ), years of schooling, and income at the age of 30 years.

The research was carried out in Brazil, where no strong social patterning of breastfeeding existed in the early 1980s, which was when the subjects of the study were born.

In this short audio, Dr Colin Michie, Chair of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s Nutrition Committee, talks about why this research is important and why in the UK we should “sit up and listen” to the message,  what it means and how we must keep working to support mothers to breastfeed.

So what does the data tell us? Here’s a bit of information on breastfeeding in the UK, highlighting why we need to support mothers to breastfeed:

  • The World Health Organization and Unicef recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life; and continued breastfeeding for two years or more
  • In England, breastfeeding initiation rates remain static at around 74%, but there are huge geographical variations.
  • By six weeks, rates also vary widely according to region, with  11.9% in Rotherham to 81.9% in London (City and Hackney).
  • By six months, rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the UK are around 1%.

If you’d like to find out more, you can read the study and listen to further audio content.