The latest set of infant feeding profiles (2010 to 2011) from the Department of Health show a correlation between higher breastfeeding rates and lower rates of inpatient admissions for babies less than one year old.
This analysis shows a correlation at Primary Care Trust level between higher rates of breastfeeding prevalence and lower rates of inpatient admissions among infants under one year old for 10 conditions, including lower respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis, eczema, otitis media (ear infection), lactose intolerance and asthma.
For some conditions, like otitis media, there was also a correlation between breastfeeding prevalence and the rates of admission for children aged 1 to 5 years.
Jane Verity, Acting Deputy Director of Maternity Services and Starting Well at the Department of Health, wrote: “When combined with the analysis in the UNICEF report Preventing disease and saving resources: the potential contribution of increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK this report provides readers with the economic and scientific justification to support the commissioning and provision of breastfeeding services.”
Download the full set of profiles.