Skip to main content

Table 1 Breastfeeding rates and formal support for new parents comparing Finland and the UK1

From: Parenting stress in the early years – a survey of the impact of breastfeeding and social support for women in Finland and the UK

  Finland UK
Initiation 98% 81% (2010)
Any BF 94% (4 weeks) 55% England, (6 weeks)
68% Scotland
37% Wales
35% N Ireland
Any BF at 6 mths 77% 34% England
43% Scotland
27% Wales
13% N Ireland
Formal health care
Unicef Baby friendly Hospitals 25% hospitals BFHI certificate
85% hospitals BF outpatient clinic
80% hospitals breastmilk-bank
England; 53% of births in BFHI
Scotland; 100%
Wales: 86%
N Ireland 93%
Postnatal health care (hospital and community) Hospitals:
100% Midwives WHO BF course
40% Exclusive BF in hospital
97% Partial BF in hospital
97% PH nurses WHO BF course
BF outpatient clinics in community
UK – Services with full Baby Friendly Accreditation
60% of maternity services
73% of Health Visiting (Community) services
Formal parenting support
Maternity/paternity leave Maternity leave 105 working days
Paternity leave 54 working days
52 weeks maternity leave
Pay for 39 weeks
1–2 weeks Paternity leave
Parental leave 158 working days 18 weeks ( 90 working days)
Daycare provision Subjective right for public day-care Variable – linked to receiving Government benefits
Maternity package Baby-Box or cash benefit of €170 England – pilot schemes in some areas
Scotland – baby box free for Every baby
Wales – pilot schemes in some areas
  1. Abbreviations: WHO World Health Organisation, BF Breastfeeding, BFHI Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, PH Nurse Public Health Nurse
  2. 1 Estimated data, accurate comparisons are difficult due to different data collection processes, time-frames and metrics