Presentation Information

Christine Van Den Broecke-Schneider

Breastfeeding in Belgium


Breastfeeding rates in Belgium are among the lowest in Europe. Mothers usually return to work fulltime when the baby is only 3 month old. Family, daycare and society very often are not supportive to breastfeeding mothers. Over the last decade things are changing for the better. The rate for initiation of breastfeeding does not increase, but mothers nurse their babies much longer than they used to do 10 or 15 years ago. Nevertheless, the complex and changing structure of the federal Belgium state and the three different official languages of the country (Dutch, French and German) create additional challenges. For example, it is impossible to get national breastfeeding rates. The efforts of the Federal Breastfeeding Committee are usually bogged down in the jungle of regulations and laws of this little but very complex country.