China should take more measures to raise its breastfeeding rate

Biosci Trends. 2019;13(4):358-360. doi: 10.5582/bst.2019.01240.


A growing number of studies show that breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for infants and young children and one of the most effective measures to ensure the healthy growth and development of children. However, a study from the China Development Research Fund found that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding among Chinese infants within six months of birth is only 29%, a rate that is lower than that in other countries and regions of the world. Other data provided by the World Bank shows that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in China declined from 1998 to 2013 and that it increased slightly by 2018, but it was still lower than the global average. Compared to other Asian countries, the exclusive breastfeeding rate in China is also low. Establishing a sound breastfeeding support system and creating a breastfeeding environment with full support for mothers of infants is a way to effectively improve the state of breastfeeding in China, to ensure the healthy growth of children, and to achieve the goals of Healthy China 2030.

Keywords: China; Exclusive breastfeeding; infants within six months of birth; rate.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child Health*
  • China
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Nutritional Status / physiology