Table 2

Pregnancy, maternal and household characteristics for the UKMCS cohort (n=17 521)

UKMCS: totalBF initiatedBF≥8 weeksBF at 6 monthsEBF at 6 months
VariablesnPer centnPer centnPer centnPer centnPer cent
Total17 52110011 774677630443768222261
Place of birth
 Home birth34022802 (82*)2283 (67*)1594 (47*)136 (4*)
 Hospital birth17 1819811 49498 (67†)740297 (43†)360996 (21†)21394 (1†)
Maternal age
Marital status
 Single parent712141390433218529907245223
Maternal education
 NVQ 1–39039525537473196421329357533
 NVQ 4–55093294408383377441904519743
 Foreign Qual.5423404329941735146
 No Qual.2846171405127431035493917
 Never worked211412130811817111904113917
 White14 6778493177958847728387514163
Smoking status
Maternal alcohol consumption§
 Every day372229322103112352
Maternal BMI
Infant gender
Gestational age (weeks)
 ≥3716 2749410 9549471589528599521196
Mode of delivery
 SVD12 1686980446853117026637117376
  • *The proportion of mothers (%) who had home birth and were still BF at the specified BF time point, of the total number of mothers who had home birth.

  • †The proportion of mothers (%) who had hospital birth and were still BF at the specified BF time point, of the total number of mothers who had hospital birth.

  • ‡Indian, Bangladeshi or Pakistani nationality.

  • §Alcohol consumption: the reported figures are frequency of alcohol consumption (not units of alcohol consumption).

  • BF, breast feeding; BMI, body mass index (maternal, measured postdelivery, available for n=15 205, 87%); EBF, exclusive breast feeding; Manag., managerial; n, number of participants; Prof., professional; education level is classified according to National Vocation Qualification (NVQ) level, NVQ level 3 corresponds to a qualification of A-levels standard (school leaving examinations at 18 years of age) and level 4 is at certificate level, a qualification immediately above leaving-school level; SES; socioeconomic status: maternal employment is classified according to the National Statistics, Socio-Economic Classification,34 a five-part classification system; SVD, spontaneous vaginal delivery; UKMCS, UK Millennium Cohort Study; Qual., qualification.