Maternity Leave and Breastfeeding Rates

Maternity Leave and Breastfeeding Rates

Here’s another interesting infographic that looks at both maternity leave and breastfeeding rates in some developed countries. There are a number of studies that show a positive correlation between length of maternity leave and breastfeeding rates, but it is hard to see major trends in this particular graphic. There are many variables that influence breastfeeding rates from country to country, and maternity leave is only one of them. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Related information

Universal paid maternity leave in the US: What would it cost?

A comparison of breastfeeding rates by country

Breastfeeding: The Numbers – Breastfeeding rates in the United States and worldwide


Data sources

Save the Children’s 2012 State of the World’s Mothers Report

European Nutrition and Health Report 2009. Forum of Nutrition Vol. 62. Edited by Ibrahim Elmadfa, Vienna. European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection, Directorate-General.

National Perinatal Health Reports from

Pomerleau J. Promotion of Breastfeeding in Countries Wishing to Join the European Union: Analysis of national activities for the promotion of breastfeeding. Nutrition and Food Security Programme, WHO Regional Office for Europe. Updated 2004.

Berger-Achituv S, Shohat T, Garty BZ. Breast-feeding Patterns in Central Israel. Isr Med Assoc J. 2005 Aug;7(8):515-9.

Merten S, Dratva J, Ackermann-Liebrich U. Do baby-friendly hospitals influence breastfeeding duration on a national level? Pediatrics. 2005 Nov;116(5):e702-8. (Switzerland)

Ergebnisse der nationalen Studie zu Säuglingsernährung – 2003: Säuglingsernährung in der Schweiz. (Switzerland)

The National Strategic Plan of Action for Breastfeeding 2008-2012. Ministry of Health, New Zealand. April 2009.

Breastfeeding Data: Analysis of 2004-2009 Data. Royal NZ Plunket Society. August 31, 2010. (New Zealand)

The National Infant Feeding Survey 2008, prepared for the Health Service Executive, Ireland.