Scotland's breastfeeding rates at 6-8 weeks rise

Home > Scotland’s breastfeeding rates at 6-8 weeks rise

31 October 2018

The number of babies being breastfed at 6 to 8 weeks in Scotland has increased from 36% in 2001/02 to 42% in 2017/18.

It is credit to the Scottish government’s strategic approach to infant feeding that breastfeeding rates are increasing. Earlier this year Scotland became the first UK country to achieve full Baby Friendly accreditation across maternity and community services, and results from Scotland’s Maternal and Infant Nutrition Survey highlight the positive impact that Baby Friendly practices on breastfeeding rates and skin-to-skin contact.

Our Call to Action campaign calls on UK governments to take a more strategic approach to improving breastfeeding rates, as is being taken in Scotland. The need for this was highlighted in England last week, where data suggests that breastfeeding rates at 6-8 weeks may be declining. We call on UK governments to take four steps to support infant feeding:

  1. Develop a National Infant Feeding Strategy Board in each of the four nations, including members from all relevant government departments and tasked with developing a comprehensive National Infant Feeding Strategy and implementation plan.
  2. Include actions to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in all policy areas where breastfeeding has an impact.
  3. Implement evidence-based initiatives that support breastfeeding, including the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, across all maternity, health visiting, neonatal and children’s centre services.
  4. Protect babies and their families from harmful commercial interests by adopting, in full, the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes (“the Code”).

Add your voice to the campaign.

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Infant Feeding Statistics Scotland, 2017/18

BBC News, “Breastfeeding rate in Scotland increases”

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Call to Action on infant feeding in the UK

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Scotland celebrates 100% Baby Friendly accreditation

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More women in Scotland are breastfeeding their babies at six months

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England breastfeeding statistics at 6-8 weeks published

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