2016 Awareness of the Benefits of Breast Milk Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

The purpose of this health indicator report is to provide information on the level of public awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding/breast milk for babies and mothers.

Background

Breastfeeding is the recommended method of feeding for infants. Health Canada guidelines promote breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months after birth, and sustained for up to two years or longer in conjunction with appropriate complementary feeding. This optimizes the nutrition, growth and development of infants and toddlers. Additionally, breastfeeding can benefit the mother’s health by helping the mother gradually lose weight gained during pregnancy, and providing protection against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and weak bones later in life. For more information about breastfeeding in Halton, please visit Halton Region’s breastfeeding website.

This health indicator report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

Benefits of Breast Milk for the Baby—Nutritional Requirements

  • Overall Findings
    • In 2016, 64% of Halton adults reported that they were aware that a baby who is fed only breast milk for the first six months of life gets all the food they need for growth, 25% were not aware and 12% did not know.
  • Sex
    • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that a baby who is fed only breast milk for the first six months of life gets all the food they need for growth.
  • Age
    • In 2016, Halton adults aged 18-24 were less likely than all other age groups to report that they were aware that a baby who is fed only breast milk for the first six months of life gets all the food they need for growth. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 18-24 to adults aged 25-44.
  • Municipality
    • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that a baby who is fed only breast milk for the first six months of life gets all the food they need for growth.
  • Income
    • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that a baby who is fed only breast milk for the first six months of life gets all the food they need for growth.
  • Education
    • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by education in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that a baby who is fed only breast milk for the first six months of life gets all the food they need for growth.

Benefits of Breast Milk for the Baby—Illness Prevention

  • Overall Findings
    • In 2016, 81% of Halton adults reported that they were aware that breast milk helps to keep babies from getting sick, 10% were not aware and 8% did not know.
  • Sex
    • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that breast milk helps to keep babies from getting sick.
  • Age
    • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by age in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that breast milk helps to keep babies from getting sick.
  • Municipality
    • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that breast milk helps to keep babies from getting sick.
  • Income
    • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that breast milk helps to keep babies from getting sick.
  • Education
    • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by education in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that breast milk helps to keep babies from getting sick.

Benefits of Breast Feeding for the Mother

  • Overall Findings
    • In 2016, 83% of Halton adults reported that they were aware that breastfeeding is good for the mother’s health, 6% were not aware and 11% did not know.
  • Sex
    • In 2016, Halton females were more likely to report that they were aware that breastfeeding is good for the mother’s health and this difference was statistically significant.
  • Age
    • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by age in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that breastfeeding is good for the mother's health.
  • Municipality
    • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that breastfeeding is good for the mother's health.
  • Income
    • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that breastfeeding is good for the mother's health.
  • Education
    • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by education in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they were aware that breastfeeding is good for the mother's health.