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Ever Breastfed

Indicator Phrasing

% of children born in the last 24 months who were ever breastfed
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of children born in the last 24 months who were ever breastfed

French: % d'enfants nés au cours des 24 derniers mois qui ont été allaités à un moment donné

Spanish: % de niños nacidos en los últimos 24 meses que fueron amamantados alguna vez

Portuguese: % de crianças nascidas nos últimos 24 meses que já foram amamentado

Czech: % dětí narozených za posledních 24 měsíců, které kdy byly kojeny

What is its purpose?

Breastfeeding is recommended for all infants worldwide except, in very few cases, for those with specific medical conditions. While the prevalence of children who were ever breastfed is high in most countries, this is not the case universally. Therefore, this indicator shows the overall acceptance of breastfeeding in a given area. 

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with mothers of (a representative sample of) children aged 0 - 23 months:



Q1: Was [baby's name] ever breastfed?

A1: _

1) yes

2) no

3) doesn't know / doesn't say


If the respondent has more than one child aged 0 - 23 months, ask this question about all children aged 0 - 23 months. 


To calculate the indicator's value, divide the number of children aged 0 - 23 months who were ever breastfed by the total number of surveyed children aged 0 - 23 months. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. Please note that breastfeeding by a wet nurse and feeding of expressed breast milk both count as being fed breast milk.

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by gender. 

Important Comments

1) This indicator relies on an accurate age assessment. Since people often do not remember the exact dates of their children’s birth, the data collectors should always verify the child’s age. This can be done by reviewing the child’s birth certificate, vaccination card or another document; however, since many caregivers do not have such documents (and since they can include mistakes), it is essential that your data collectors are able to verify the child’s age by using local events calendars. Read FAO’s Guidelines (see below) to learn how to prepare local events calendars and how to train data collectors in their correct use.

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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