Northern Ireland: half of mothers don’t try breastfeeding

06 June 2017

Almost 50% of mothers who have given birth in Northern Ireland since 2012 left hospital without trying to breastfeed, a new study has found.

Breastfeeding in Northern Ireland: Shutterstock

Children born to mothers living in areas of high social deprivation were the least likely to breastfeed, with rates falling to as low as 13% compared with 68% of mothers from more affluent places.

The figures were reported by website Detail Data, following an examination of feeding data for 97,737 babies in hospitals across all trust areas in Northern Ireland from April 2012 to the end of March 2016.

Northern Ireland has the worst breastfeeding rate in the UK, which has one of the lowest rates in the world according to a recent report in The Lancet.

The Public Health Agency is set to launch a new breastfeeding awareness campaign this summer.

Breastfeeding figures: 

50% of mothers in Northern Ireland leave hospital without having breastfeeded their babies

97,737 - the number of babies examined from April 2012 to March 2016 for the Detal Data website