The main aim of the survey was to provide estimates on the incidence, prevalence, and duration of breastfeeding and other feeding practices adopted by mothers in the first eight to ten months after their baby was born. The 2005 survey is the first to provide separate estimates for all four countries in the United Kingdom, as well as for the UK as a whole and to provide estimates of exclusive breastfeeding (where the baby is given only breast milk, no other liquids or solids).
The survey is based on a representative sample of mothers who were selected from all births registered during August and September 2005 in the United Kingdom. Three stages of data collection were conducted with Stage 1 being carried out when babies were around four to ten weeks old, Stage 2 when they were around four to six months old, and Stage 3 when they were around eight to ten months old. A total of 9,416 mothers completed and returned all three questionnaires.
The survey report covers:
- incidence, prevalence and duration of breastfeeding
- breastfeeding intentions and awareness of health benefits
- the use of milk, other than breast milk, and additional drinks
- problems encountered with breastfeeding
- babies' health
- introduction of solids foods
- feeding outside the home
- smoking and drinking during pregnancy.