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Food and Nutrition

The Maternal experiences - Breastfeeding (MEX) Module

To find out more about Canadian women's breastfeeding practices, Statistics Canada asked women of child bearing age a set of questions in the Maternal Experiences -- Breastfeeding (MEX) Module of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).

The MEX module focuses on self-reported breastfeeding practices. Included in the module are questions on breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding duration, folic acid supplementation before pregnancy and the provision of supplements containing Vitamin D to breastfed infants. Additional information is collected from mothers on their reasons for not breastfeeding, for stopping breastfeeding, and for introducing liquid and solid foods other than breast milk.

The MEX module asks women aged 15 to 55 who had given birth in the last five years before the survey about their breastfeeding practices. As a result, the MEX module does not provide estimates of the prevalence of selected breastfeeding practices at the time of data collection. Rather, it provides estimates of the percentage of mothers who engaged in selected breastfeeding practices in the previous five years.

Statistics Canada first introduced the MEX module on CCHS 2.1 (2003); however, CCHS 1.1 (2001) asked questions about breastfeeding as part of the women's health module. While the majority of questions from the MEX module have been consistent since 2001, a new question related to vitamin D supplementation was introduced in 2003. Furthermore, the order of the MEX module within the CCHS questionnaire and the order of the questions within the MEX module have varied from cycle to cycle.