Breastfeeding in Canada: Infographic

  • Breastfeeding initiation rates in Canada have increased
    • less than 25% in 1965 vs. 90% in 2015/16
  • The most common reasons mothers give for stopping breastfeeding before 6 months are
    • not enough milk
    • difficulty with breastfeeding technique
  • In 2011/12, over half (57%) of mothers who breastfed continued some breastfeeding beyond 6 months.
  • Close to 25% of women stop breastfeeding before their infant is one month old.
  • Breastfeeding rates also vary across the country along a general west-to-east gradient.  In 2011/12, breastfeeding initiation ranged from 96% in British Columbia and Yukon to 57% in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Baby-Friendly Facilities

21 hospitals, 8 birthing centres and 117 community centres are designated as Baby-Friendly facilities in Canada.

Globally only 10% of infants are born in a hospital designated Baby-Friendly.

A hospital providing maternity services or a community health facility is designated as Baby-Friendly if it meets the criteria for achieving the Ten Steps and adheres to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

For references consult Chapter 6: Breastfeeding: Public Health Agency of Canada. Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care: National Guidelines. Ottawa (ON): PHAC; 2018

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