The latest numbers are out for mothers in our province who decide to breastfeed. These numbers are exciting. They serve to show how well the breastfeeding message is getting across. The first step to six months exclusive breastfeeding is to start breastfeeding. And more mothers in Newfoundland and Labrador are doing just that!
Think about this. In 2000, less than 60% of women in Newfoundland and Labrador hospitals started breastfeeding their babies. We have the lowest rates in the country for starting breastfeeding. Our first step, obviously, is to correct that. By 2005, our rate had increased to 62.5%. Still the lowest in the country, but headed in the right direction.
That brings us to 2011. When our breastfeeding rates were…….drum roll please…… 66.7%! In the past ten years, the number of women who decide to breastfeed has been steadily growing.
Is there still work to do? There sure is. Someone has to have the lowest rates in the country, but we’d rather it not be us! But these numbers show that the work is being done. We’re headed in the right direction and there’s nowhere to go but up.
Each year, information on mother’s feeding choices is collected and analysed by the Provincial Perinatal Program. Following are the numbers from 2010 and 2011. These numbers were collected through the Newborn Screening Program in our hospitals. A full 1% increase across the province, with an upward trend in most areas: