Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2018) Children’s Headline Indicators, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 02 December 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018). Children’s Headline Indicators. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/childrens-headline-indicators
Children’s Headline Indicators. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 18 September 2018, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/childrens-headline-indicators
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Children’s Headline Indicators [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018 [cited 2022 Dec. 2]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/childrens-headline-indicators
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2018, Children’s Headline Indicators, viewed 2 December 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/childrens-headline-indicators
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Breastfeeding promotes the healthy growth and development of infants and young children. In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council publishes infant feeding guidelines which state ‘it is recommended that infants are exclusively breastfed until around 6 months of age when solid foods are introduced, and that breastfeeding is continued until 12 months of age and beyond, for as long as the mother and child desire’ (NHMRC 2012). ‘Exclusive breastfeeding’ means that the infant receives only breast milk (including expressed milk) and medicines (including oral rehydration solutions, vitamins and minerals), but no infant formula or non-human milk (AHMAC 2009). Breast milk contains all the requirements necessary for a baby’s development for the first 6 months and remains the most important part of the baby’s diet, with the addition of family foods, until around 12 months. Breast milk continues to provide a valuable source of nutrition and immunological protection for 2 years and beyond (ABA 2013).
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended as evidence suggests it has health, nutritional and developmental benefits, including:
In the 2014–15 National Health Survey, the national proportion of infants exclusively breastfed to around 4 months of age was almost 58%. Babies born to a mother who was born overseas were more likely to be exclusively breastfed to around 4 months (almost 76%) than those babies born to mothers born in Australia (51%). There was no statistically significant difference between the proportion of infants exclusively breastfed to around 4 months in couple families (60%) and one-parent families (61%). Nor were there statistically significant differences across remoteness areas or areas of highest and lowest socioeconomic disadvantage.
CALD refers to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse background.
Data from the three periods 2010, 2011–12 and 2014–15 are not comparable; data in 2010 were from the Australian National Infant Feeding Survey, while data from 2011–12 and 2014–15 were from the National Health Survey. Data from 2011–12 is derived using people aged 4 months to 47 months of age. Data from 2014–15 is derived using people aged 4 months to 24 months of age. Due to a change in question sequencing between these two surveys, 2014–15 data is not comparable to 2011–12 data.
For more detailed information on the data refer to the data source tables.
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