Press release

Statistical press notice: Indicators on breastfeeding – quarter ending December 2011

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Indicators on breastfeeding statistics for the quarter ending December 2011 were released today by the Department of Health

The following statistics were released today by the Department of Health:

Indicators on breastfeeding - quarter ending December 2011

The key points from the latest release are:

•  The breastfeeding initiation rate was 74.1% in 2011/12 Quarter 3, a slight improvement on 2010/11 outturn (73.7% ), 2009/10 outturn (72.7%) and 2008/09 outturn (71.7%).
•  The prevalence of breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks in 2011/12 Quarter 3 was 47.0% of all infants due a 6-8 weeks check, slightly higher than the figure of 45.7% recorded in 2010/11 Q3.

Full tables are available on the Department of Health website.

NOTES TO EDITORS

The indicators on breastfeeding and the smoking status of pregnant women at the time of delivery are being published as two separate releases, commencing from the publication relating to the quarter ending December 2011, released on 16 February.  The information on breastfeeding initiation and the prevalence of breastfeeding at 6 to 8 weeks will continue to be published by the Department of Health.

Information on the smoking status of pregnant women at the time of delivery will be published by the NHS Information Centre.

This change is being made because of the way these data are collected: the breastfeeding data are collected by DH via its Unify2 system, whereas the smoking data are collected by the IC via its Omnibus system.  The historical smoking data will continue to be made available on the DH web site.  It is anticipated that this will not affect users significantly, as the two sets of information have historically been made available in separate documents anyway and the change does not affect the range of data available.