Commenting on the Infant Feeding statistics, Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick MSP said:
“I am delighted that breastfeeding rates across Scotland continue to rise with more than half of the babies born in 2019/20 being breastfed at their first health visitor visit.
“These statistics also show that 44% of babies born in 2019/20 were being breastfed at their 6-8 week review.
“We are continuing to support women to breastfeed as the normal nutrition for babies and have provided additional funding of more than £5 million over the past three years for breastfeeding support.
“This extra funding is enabling NHS Boards and third sector partners to improve the breastfeeding experiences, particularly for younger mothers and those from more deprived areas and work is underway to meet our target of reducing the drop off in breastfeeding rates at the 6-8 week point by 10% by 2025.”
Additional data released during the COVID-19 pandemic on the Public Health Scotland Wider Impacts dashboard shows that there was also a notable increase in the proportion of mothers breastfeeding (both exclusively and overall) during the months Scotland was in lockdown between March and May. We continue to monitor data relating to this and other child health indicators during the pandemic on a regular basis. This data will be included in the annual report published in October 2021.