Breastfeeding Norms Around The World

Find out how moms are breastfeeding in France, Mongolia, Japan and 6 other countries.

Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world. It is also one of the healthiest things moms can do for their babies, as breast milk provides all the nutrients they need to grow and develop. While not every mothers can or chooses to breastfeed, the World Health Organization recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed until they are 6 months old. Thereafter, continued breastfeeding with nutritious, complementary foods remains the healthier choice until they turn two. But culture heavily influences people’s views on breastfeeding; and how you do it, when you do it and for how long can vary greatly from country to country.   

To offer some perspective, we are taking you on a little breastfeeding world tour. Here’s how breastfeeding rates compare in 9 countries around the globe and how these nations’ cultural norms affect breastfeeding trends.

1. The United States, where breastfeeding is recommended for one year and beyond, has seen a steady increase in its breastfeeding rates in recent years. That’s partly due to some powerful grassroots campaigns that normalize nursing with the participation of celebrities and staged breastfeeding sit-ins. The latest CDC report card of 2015 found that 81 percent of American mothers breastfeed at birth. The biggest challenge that the country face now is to get mothers to nurse longer. Fifty-one percent of mothers make it past six month and only 30 percent keep it up until the recommended one-year mark.

2. Mongolia is possibly the most breastfeeding-friendly country...