2.20 Breastfeeding practices

This measure reports on the breastfeeding status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants, breastfeeding duration, breastfeeding and other sources of food, and reasons mothers stopped breastfeeding.

Visualisation not available for printing

Why is it important?

This measure reports on the breastfeeding status of infants, including: breastfeeding duration; breastfeeding and other sources of food; and the reasons mothers stopped breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is 1 of the most important human behaviours for the survival, growth, development and health of infants and young children. Early initiation (within the first hour after birth) and exclusive breastfeeding during the first month is associated with a reduced risk of neonatal morbidity and mortality (Khan et al. 2014). Breastfeeding also offers protection against many conditions, including sudden infant death syndrome, diarrhoea, respiratory infections, middle ear infections and the development of diabetes in later life (Annamalay et al. 2012; Horta et al. 2015).

Related measures

Data sources

  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
  • National Health Survey

References

  • Annamalay AA, Khoo SK, Jacoby P, Bizzintino J, Zhang G, Chidlow G et al. 2012. Prevalence of and risk factors for human rhinovirus infection in healthy Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal Western Australian children. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 31:673–9.
  • Horta BL, Loret De Mola C & Victora CG 2015. Breastfeeding and intelligence: a systematic review and meta‑analysis. Acta Paediatrica 104(467):14–9.
  • Khan J, Vesel L, Bahl R & Martines JC 2014. Timing of breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity of breastfeeding during the first month of life: effects on neonatal mortality and morbidity—a systematic review and meta‑analysis. Maternal and Child Health Journal 1:1–12.