*PE – interpret with caution
Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 105-0501 and Catalogue no. 82-221-X. Breastfeeding practices by province and territory.
In 2012, 90% of Canadian women who had given birth in the last five years initiated breastfeeding.
There were differences among the provinces and territories.
99% of women in the Yukon and 97% of women in BC initiated breastfeeding.
That was the case for 59% of women in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.
Breastfeeding is the optimal method of feeding for infants up to 2 years – this is recognized by international organizations such as the World Health Organization and is endorsed by many Canadian organizations such as the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society. Breastfeeding has many benefits for the baby – related to growth, immunity and cognitive development. In addition it has benefits for the mother such as decreased postpartum bleeding, protection against certain cancers, and improved bone health. Breastfeeding also strengthens the bond between mothers and babies.1
1Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, and Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Six to 24 Months. 2012. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/infant-feeding/nutrition-healthy-term-infants-recommendations-birth-six-months/6-24-months.html -accessed July 26, 2017.