Continued Breastfeeding at 2 Years
English: % of children age 20 – 23 months who received breastmilk during the previous day
French: % d'enfants de 20 à 23 mois qui ont reçu du lait maternel la journée ou la nuit précédentes
Czech: % dětí ve věku 20 – 23 měsíců, které během uplynulého dne či noci konzumovaly mateřské mléko
What is its purpose?
WHO recommends that breastfeeding should be continued up to (or beyond) two years. Breastmilk is an excellent source of nutrients and supports children’s healthy growth and development. This indicator therefore measures the proportion of children who are breastfed up to the recommended age of two years.
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 20 – 23.99 months:
RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
(ask the first question only if you did not collect the data in an earlier part of the questionnaire)
Q1: Can you please tell me the age of your youngest children?
1) the youngest child: .... (specify in months)
1) 2nd youngest child: .... (specify in months)
(ask the next question only about a child aged 20 – 23.99 months, if available)
Q2: Yesterday, did you breastfeed this girl/ boy during the day or night?
A2: yes / no
Calculate the indicator's value by dividing the number of children aged 20 – 23.99 months who were breastfed during the previous day or night by the total number of children aged 20 – 23.99 months and multiplying the result by 100.
1) This indicator relies on accurate age assessment. Since people often do not remember the exact dates of their children’s birth, the data collectors should never rely only on the information provided by caregivers and always verify the child’s age. This can be done by checking the child’s birth certificate or other documents. However, since many caregivers do not have such documents, it is essential that your data collectors are able to determine 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.
2) Most likely, your survey's sample size will be calculated for "households with children aged 0 – 24/ 59 months", not for 20 – 23 months, resulting in a lower representativeness of data for this indicator (Only part of your sample will be children aged 20 – 23 months). Unless you have a separate (representative) sample for this age group, the best thing you can do is to ensure that your survey uses a larger sample of respondents (e.g. by using a 95% confidence level and 4% margin of error).
3) Disaggregate the data by sex.
Access Additional Guidance
- FAO (2008) Guidelines for Estimating the Month and Year of Birth of Young Children (.pdf)
- WHO (2010) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 2: Measurement (French version) (.pdf)
- WHO (2010) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 2: Measurement (English version) (.pdf)
- WHO (2008) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 1: Definitions (English version) (.pdf)
- WHO (2008) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 1: Definitions (French version) (.pdf)