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National Statistics

Infant Feeding Survey - 2005, Early results

This is part of

Official statistics, National statistics, Survey
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
United Kingdom
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Date Range:
Snapshot on 19 May 2006


The 2005 Infant Feeding Survey is the seventh national survey of infant feeding practices adopted by mothers from the birth of their baby up to around nine months. The survey also collects information on the smoking and drinking behaviour of mothers before, during and after pregnancy.

These early results are based on the first of three questionnaires completed by a sample of mothers from across the UK. Two key topics are covered in the early results report; the initial incidence of breastfeeding and smoking during pregnancy. The final stage of the survey is underway and a full report will be published in spring 2007.

Key Facts

The breastfeeding initiation rate for the UK was 76 per cent in 2005. The rates for the four countries of the UK were 78 per cent in England, 70 per cent in Scotland, 67 per cent in Wales and 63 per cent in Northern Ireland.

In England and Wales (combined figure), Scotland and Northern Ireland there was a significant increase in the initial incidence of breastfeeding between 2000 and 2005. This continues a rising trend seen since 1990.

In 2005, a third of all mothers (33 per cent) in the UK smoked at some point in the 12 months before, or during, their pregnancy and 17 per cent of all mothers continued to smoke throughout their pregnancy.

In 2000, 35 per cent of mothers in England smoked before or during their pregnancy and 19 per cent continued to do so throughout their pregnancy. These figures were both lower in 2005 (32 per cent and 17 per cent respectively).


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Last edited: 20 June 2018 9:47 am