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New figures show slight drop in pregnant smokers

Government statistics also reveal breastfeeding is up marginally

Jo Carlowe

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The number of women who start breastfeeding has risen slightly, while the percentage of women smoking at delivery has fallen.

However, the figures, released today by the Department of Health, show that the differences are small and that the prevalence of breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks in 2010/11 quarter 3 was 44.9% of all infants due a 6-8 week check, which is largely unchanged from the figure of 44.8% recorded for the same period last year.

For the quarter ending December 2010 the statistics reveal that the breastfeeding initiation rate was 73.5% in 2010/11 quarter 3, a slight improvement on 2009/10 (72.7%) and 2008/09 (71.7%).

The percentage of mothers smoking at delivery in England was 13.5% in 2010/11 quarter 3, lower than the 2009/10 outturn (14.1%) and 2008/09 outturn (14.4%).

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