Total fertility rate: Ontario=s 1997 rate of 1.53 compares to a national rate of 1.55. While the Ontario rate declined 8.4%, from a rate of 1.67 in 1990, the rate in Canada dropped 9.3% from 1.71 in 1990.
Low Birth Weight: Ontario=s low birth weight (LBW) rate for 1997 is slightly higher than the national rate (5.86% in Ontario compared to 5.75% for Canada). Since 1990, Ontario=s LBW rate has increased by 8.9% (from 5.38%), while Canada=s rate has increase by 5.9% (from 5.43% in 1990).
Breastfeeding: In Ontario, 81.2% of mothers have breastfed, and 59.2% of mothers’ breastfed for at least three months (Statistics Canada, National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth 1996/97 as cited in the Canadian Perinatal Health Report, 2000). This compares favourably with the national rates of 76.7% mothers ever having breastfed and 53.6% who breastfed for at least three months.