The number of mothers who are breastfeeding their babies when they are six weeks old is falling, according to health officials.
Only 42.7 per cent of mothers were nursing their babies at that age in 2017-18, down from 44.4 per cent the year before, according to figures from Public Health England.
Rates were shown to vary across England. Eight in ten babies were being breastfed at six weeks in Tower Hamlets, east London, compared with fewer than one in five in Knowsley, Merseyside.
The World Health Organisation recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. After this age, when they start eating solid foods, officials suggest that breastfeeding should continue up to the age of two and beyond.
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