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Infants Breastfed For Their First Six Months

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Breastfeeding Rates by Country 2024

In the pediatric world, there is a saying that breast is best. What this means is that breast milk is best for newborn babies. However, a significant percentage of the total babies born in the world each day are not breastfed. There are lots of reasons why someone may not breastfeed a baby, ranging from cultural mores to medical concerns. In general, breastfeeding is still the most popular way to ensure newborn babies have access to the nutrition they need.

Which Country Has the Highest Rate of Breastfeeding?

Croatia has the highest rate of breastfeeding in the entire world. More than 98 percent of all babies are breastfed starting at birth. Some of the other countries that also have very high rates of breastfeeding include Rwanda, Chile, and Burundi. All of these countries have breastfeeding rates greater than 80 percent.

What Is the Breastfeeding Rate in the United States?

The United States has a relatively high breastfeeding rate at birth. Approximately 84 percent of all babies in the United States are breastfed at birth; however, by 6 months of age, which is when babies should still be breastfed, only about 60 percent of infants are still being fed by breast. Therefore, the United States does not rank as high on breastfeeding charts as many people believe.

Why Are Babies Not Breastfed?

There are a lot of reasons why some babies may not be breastfed as long as others. For example, there are some situations where mothers need to go back to work. Therefore, they may not be able to breastfeed their babies for very long. Even though babies might still be getting breast milk, this does not necessarily mean that it is coming directly from the breast. For example, some others prefer to pump and then feed using a bottle.

There are other reasons why babies might not be breastfed as well. For example, there are some babies that do not live in a house with a mother. They may have a single father, or there may be two fathers. Therefore, there might not be someone available to breastfeed them.

Finally, some others developed complications. They may not be able to breastfeed their babies. Some of them may have had a double mastectomy for breast cancer, while others may have developed a serious infection of the nipple. As a result, some babies might not be able to feed directly from the breast.

Why Is Breast Milk Recommended?

There are a lot of reasons why breastfeeding is recommended for newborn babies. For example, breast milk contains powerful antibodies that can protect the baby during the first few months of his or her life. Until babies get vaccinated, they are very vulnerable, as they might not be able to fight off certain infections. Breast milk has antibodies that can make this easier. In addition, breastfeeding is recommended because it gives an opportunity for the mother to bond with her child. That is why a lot of OBGYNs and pediatricians will recommend that mothers breastfeed their babies for the first year of life.

Download Table Data

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Country
Infants Breastfed For Their First Six Months
Infants Breastfed For Their First Six Months Range
Data Year
Rwanda80.9%2020
Burundi71.9%2019
Zambia69.9%66.6-72.92018
Peru65.3%62.1-68.42019
Timor Leste65%61.3-68.52020
Kiribati63.6%56.3-70.32018
Sao Tome and Principe63.1%53.5-71.72019
Bangladesh62.6%60.3-64.82019
Nepal62.1%56.5-67.52019
Lesotho59%50.5-67.02018
Ethiopia58.8%52.5-64.82019
Mongolia58%2020
Burkina Faso57.9%54.3-61.42019
Tanzania57.8%2018
Uruguay57.7%52.8-62.62018
Afghanistan57.5%2018
Turkmenistan56.5%49.2-63.52019
Liberia55.2%48.8-61.52019
Philippines54.9%2018
Sierra Leone54%50.1-57.82019
Gambia53.6%49.7-57.62020
Madagascar50.6%47.1-54.12018
Pakistan47.5%43.3-51.62018
Kyrgyzstan45.6%39.2-52.02018
Zimbabwe41.9%37.5-46.42019
Benin41.4%38.6-44.22018
Senegal40.8%35.5-46.42019
Turkey40.7%2018
Cuba40.6%29.6-52.72019
Mali40.5%36.5-44.62019
Mauritania40.3%2018
Tonga39.6%30.3-49.62019
Cameroon39.4%35.8-43.22018
Central African Republic36.2%32.3-40.22019
Somalia33.7%2018
Algeria28.6%25.4-32.12019
Syria28.5%25.3-31.62019
North Macedonia27.5%17.3-40.82019
Mexico27.1%21.1-34.22019
United States25.8%18.6-34.72018
Iraq25.8%23.2-28.62018
Costa Rica25.3%17.5-35.12018
Nigeria25.2%22.5-28.02018
Serbia23.6%11.9-41.62019
Belarus21.7%14.9-30.42019
Niger21.6%16.6-27.72019
Georgia20.4%14.9-27.32018
Montenegro19.5%12.3-29.52018
Thailand14%10.2-18.92019
Tunisia13.5%9.9-18.22018
Chad9%7.2-11.22019
Suriname8.9%5.7-13.72018
showing: 52 rows

What country has the lowest rates of breastfeeding?

Of the countries with available data, Suriname has the lowest rates of breastfeeding, at 8.9%.

What country has the highest rates of breastfeeding?

The country with the highest rate of breastfeeding is Rwanda. Around 80.9% of babies born in the country are breastfed at birth.

Frequently Asked Questions

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