4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/08/2019
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Exclusive breastfeeding refers to children receiving only breast milk (including expressed milk) and no other fluids, food or water (with the exception of vitamins, minerals and medicines where necessary).
Breastfeeding confers health benefits for both mother and child. For breastfed infants, benefits are across nutritional, physical and psychological wellbeing, and health advantages may persist into later life .
Infant feeding guidelines
The National Health and Medical Research Council's infant feeding guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding to around 6 months of age. It also recommends mothers "continue breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods until 12 months of age and beyond, for as long as the mother and child desire." 
At 2 months of age:
At 4 months of age:
At 6 months of age:
Aged 1 to 3 years:
The rates of children receiving breast milk as well as those exclusively breastfed have remained consistent since 2014-15.
Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results 2017-18
1 The 2014-15 NHS exclusively breastfed rates have been recalculated and do not match the datacube tables in Health Service Usage and Health Related Actions, 2014-15 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.002). Updated 2014-15 NHS data is provided with this publication.
2 National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012, Infant Feeding Guidelines: information for health workers, https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/n56, Last accessed 17/07/2019.
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