Northern Ireland: breastfeeding rates climb – but remain lowest in UK

06 November 2017

Breastfeeding rates in Northern Ireland are increasing, but are behind the rest of Ireland and are still the lowest in the UK.

The Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) report, Breastfeeding on the island of Ireland, finds that, in 2015, 45% of infants were being breastfed at discharge from hospital – up 5% over the past decade, compared with a 9% rise in the Irish Republic in the same period.

But breastfeeding rates fall off quickly, with just 35% of babies in Northern Ireland receiving breastmilk at the first health visitor visit, 27% at six weeks, 21% at three months and 13% at six months.

IPH development officer Joanna Purdy said Northern Ireland society is ‘slowly becoming more welcoming and appreciative of breastfeeding but still has a long way to go’.

Read the IPH report at

Picture credit | Alamy