Breastfeeding statistics

Published statistics on breastfeeding, including prevalence at 6 to 8 weeks after birth.

Find guidance on using these statistics and other intelligence resources to help you make decisions about the planning and provision of child and maternal health services. There is also guidance on how to submit aggregate data to the central system for local authority analysts with the technical detail they need.

You can use this intelligence, together with information to support the commissioning of local infant feeding services, including evidence-based interventions to improve breastfeeding rates and the breastfeeding section of Fingertips, to track and compare the rates of breastfeeding in local areas.

Current breastfeeding statistics

Quarterly and annual experimental statistics by local authority for infants who have been fully, partially or not at all breastfed at 6 to 8 weeks after birth.

The Maternity Services Data Set now collects and reports data from providers of maternity services including breastfeeding initiation.

Earlier and archived breastfeeding statistics

See NHS England for 6 to 8 weeks breastfeeding statistics from before October 2015.

See below and the Department of Health for earlier and archived breastfeeding statistics.

Published 26 October 2016
Last updated 5 November 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added 2019 to 2020 quarterly data.

  2. Added new page 'Breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks after birth: 2018 to 2019 quarterly data' to the collection.

  3. Added link to new child and maternal health data and intelligence guidance and new data sets

  4. First published.