Scottish Cities

Breastfeeding trends in the 4 largest Scottish cities

Breastfeeding to 2022 SCities

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There was relatively little change in the exclusive breastfeeding rate from 2004/5 to 2014/15, nationally and in Glasgow. From 2014/15 rates mainly increased, but between 2018/19 and 2021/22, they have either risen less steeply or decreased in Scotland and in the cities shown.

In the most recent period, 2021/22, 29% of babies in Glasgow were reported to be exclusively breastfed at the 6-8 week review. This was a decrease from the previous year, 2020/21, where 32% of babies were being exclusively breastfed at that stage. Edinburgh had considerably higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding throughout the time period, at 48% in 2021/22.


All babies are offered a health review approximately six to eight weeks following their birth. The Health Visitor notes whether the baby is still being exclusively breastfed, bottle fed formula or a mixture of both. The status is recorded in the Child Health Surveillance Programme, Pre-School. The figures shown are for those exclusively breastfed at the time of the visit.

Visits for which the status has not been recorded or known have been included in the denominator. These figures come from Public Health Scotland. This page was updated in February 2023, with figures from 2022. It will be updated again when the data is next released, expected in November 2023. 

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