Nunavut babies get just a nibble of the nipple
Most adopted babies never breast fed
About six in 10 Nunavut women breast feed their babies over some period of time, says the Inuit Child Health Survey for Nunavut has found.
But only one in three were exclusively breast fed for six months, the period recommended by the World Health Organization.
The survey is part of the larger 2007-08 Qanuippitali Inuit health survey, whose results were presented at the recent International Congress on Circumpolar Health in Yellowknife.
Of the 388 children aged three to five who participated in survey, 227 were breast-fed for an average of 4.2 months.
The WHO recommends breast feeding instead of formula as the ideal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.
The child health survey found that in Nunavut, babies who remain with their biological mothers were many times more likely to be breast fed.
Only a tiny number of the estimated 25 per cent of babies in the territory who are adopted were breast fed.
These babies were generally ones who remained, for example, in the care of their grandparents, the survey found.