2.3.4 Percentage of Canadian women aged 18 to 55 years who initiated breastfeeding and exclusively breastfed for 6 months, by Indigenous identity, 2009-2012

First Nations people living off reserve* Inuit** Métis* Other than First Nations / Inuit / Métis 
Initiated breastfeeding 78.6 74.7 75.6 89.5
Breastfed exclusively for 6 months 17.7 0 20.9 28.6

*Interpret with caution
**Values have been suppressed because the measure itself or at least one of the components used to calculate the value has a coefficient of variation greater than 33.3%, a small numerator (>10), small denominator (>20), or empty age-standardization groups.

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Towards a Healthier Canada – Health Inequalities Data Table, Health Inequalities Data Tool, A joint initiative of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network, Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute of Health Information.Breastfeeding, initiation – Women aged 18-55 years, who breastfed or tried to breastfeed their last child (including short duration). Breastfeeding, exclusive – Women aged 18-55 years who breastfed their child exclusively for at least the first 6 months of life (the child received only breast milk, without any additional liquid or solid food). Data: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2009-2012.

79% of First Nations women aged 18 to 55 years initiated breastfeeding with their last child, as did 75% of Inuit women and 76% of Métis women.

90% of women who were other than First Nations, Inuit or Métis in the same age group initiated breastfeeding with their last child.

Fewer women in all groups exclusively breastfed for 6 months – 18% of First Nations women living off reserve, 21% of Métis women and 29% of women who were other than First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

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