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A healthy start in life

Published: 21 Feb 2018 12:20

More babies breastfed for longer.

A new report has revealed that mothers across Scotland are breastfeeding their infants for longer periods.

The Scottish Maternal and Infant Nutrition Survey found 43% of mums are continuing to breastfeed up to six months after birth, compared to 32% in 2010. This follows a number of Scottish Government programmes aimed at encouraging breastfeeding.

The survey also found many infants are being introduced to complementary foods later – 46% by at least six months – in a trend that has continued since 2010, which is an important development for helping prevent obesity.

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said:

“This survey, the only one of its kind to be carried out anywhere in the UK since 2010, found that there has been welcome progress in encouraging breastfeeding in Scotland.

“We want to go further and continue to build on these improvements. The survey also provides insights into where we can do more, particularly in the early days and weeks after birth. It is my aim to ensure our work to increase support in this area for new mothers will continue.

“The findings of the survey will also be used to inform the development of our healthy weight strategy for Scotland, with support and interventions aimed at improving the diet and health of the nation from birth through to adulthood.”

Background

Read the Scottish Maternal and Infant Nutrition Survey in full.

A total of 8,000 women took part in this survey.

Scottish Government programmes to support breastfeeding include backing the implementation of the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards, funding peer volunteer breastfeeding support, the National Breastfeeding Helpline and launching the feedgood.scot website.

The 2010 UK-wide Infant Feeding Survey showed a shift towards the later introduction of complementary foods.