AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data linking Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources
Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Almost all Australian infants commence breastfeeding but most do not continue as long as recommended, according to a new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
The report, 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey: Indicator results, presents results from the first large-scale, specialised, national survey of infant feeding practices and related attitudes.
Australian dietary guidelines recommend babies are fed only breastmilk to around six months, but the survey shows that only 15% are meeting this recommendation.
The survey found that although 96% of babies were initially introduced to breastmilk, 61% were exclusively breastfed for less than one month and this progressively decreased to 15% at around six months of age.
About 21% of infants were predominantly breastfed to around 6 months of age, meaning that breastmilk was their main source of nourishment, though they may also have been given other drinks such as water or fruit juices.
Infants of mothers aged 35 years and over were more likely to breastfeed for longer periods. Breastfeeding was also more likely for infants whose mother/carer had a tertiary education or higher income.
The main reasons why mothers gave their child breastmilk were that it was ‘healthier for child’, ‘convenient’ or ‘helps with mother-infant bonding’.
‘Wanting to share feeding responsibilities with their partner’ and ‘previously unsuccessful breastfeeding experiences’ were the two most common reasons for not breastfeeding. Many women also felt that formula was just as good as breastmilk.
‘The guidelines also recommend babies be introduced to solid foods at around 6 months, however, our survey found that around a third of babies were introduced to these foods a little earlier than recommended, indicating there is some more work to be done in this area,’ said AIHW spokesperson Mark Cooper-Stanbury.
The survey results will help monitor aspects of the National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015, which aims to improve breastfeeding practices in Australia.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 20 December 2011
Further information: Mr Mark Cooper-Stanbury, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1251, mob. 0408 417 340
For media copies of the report: Publications Officer 02 6244 1032
Full report: 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey: Indicator results