In the United Kingdom the percentage of newborn babies who are breastfed has increased significantly since 2005, from 78% to 83% in England, 67% to 71% in Wales and 70% to 74% in Scotland. The exception was Northern Ireland which had no statistically significant change for that period.

33% of mothers smoked before or during their pregnancy in 2005. The figure in 2010 dropped to 26%. Smoking rates during pregnancy dropped in all four UK countries during that period.

In 2010, 54% of regular female smokers gave up during their pregnancy, compared to 48% in 2005. Twelve per cent of mothers smoked throughout their pregnancy in 2010, versus 17% in 2005.

The NHS Information Centre Chief Executive, Tim Straughan, said:

"It is pleasing to see that a greater percentage of babies than in the previous survey are being breastfed initially by their mothers. "Similarly the percentage of women who are choosing to smoke either before or during pregnancy has fallen and a smaller percentage smoked throughout pregnancy."

The mothers age is closely linked to smoking status, the report revealed: Mothers aged less than 20 years
57% smoke either before or during their pregnancy
38% of smokers gave up during their pregnancy
35% smoked throughout their pregnancy Mothers aged at least 35 years
15% smoked either before or during their pregnancy
58% of smokers gave up during their pregnancy
6% smoked throughout their pregnancy "Infant Feeding Survey 2010 - Early Results"



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