Maternal Country of Birth Differences in Breastfeeding at Hospital Discharge in Ireland

  • Aoife Brick Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin; Trinity College Dublin
  • Anne Nolan TILDA, Trinity College Dublin; Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin
Keywords: maternity, breastfeeding, hospital, Ireland


In 2010, 46 per cent of Irish-born mothers were breastfeeding at hospital discharge, in comparison with 84 per cent of non-Irish-born mothers. Using data from the Irish National Perinatal Reporting System, we find that maternal country of birth is a large and highly significant predictor of breastfeeding at hospital discharge in Ireland over the period 2004-2010. Furthermore, we find that most of the difference in breastfeeding rates between Irish-born and non-Irish-born mothers is unexplained, i.e., not due to differences in observable characteristics. Our findings suggest that there are strong cultural/attitudinal differences in breastfeeding behaviour between Irish-born and non-Irish-born mothers.