Just came upon these statistics on Duration of Exclusive Breastfeeding in Canada; data came from the 2007-2008 Canadian Community Health Survey.
- 23.1% breastfed exclusively for >6 months
- Women with less than a secondary education were much less likely to breastfeed exclusively for the recommended six months (12.1%) than those women with post-secondary degrees (24.8%)
- Cultural/racial background had an impact; 34.3% of Asian mothers and 32.7% of "other" mothers exclusively breastfed for >6 months vs. 20.8% of "White" women
- Off-reserve women of Aboriginal descent were less likely to breastfeed exclusively for >6 months (17.5%) than non-Aboriginal women (23.5%)
- As maternal age increased, so did the percentage of mothers who breasted exclusively for >6 months
- Urban mothers were more likely to breasteed exclusively for >6 months (24.3%) than those residing in rural areas (17.7%)
- As can be seen in the diagram above, duration of breastfeeding varies widely by province; 38.2% of mothers in BC breastfed exclusively for >6 months while only 14.4% of those in the Atlantic Region did so
Hopefully researchers and health care professionals in public health can determine some of the causes of this variation and effectively decrease the variation while simulateneously encouraging a greater percent of mothers to make a commitment to exclusive breastfeeding for >6 months. I don't mean to get up on a soapbox but there are just so many benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.