- To determine breastfeeding patterns according to the ethnic origin of mothers of 2-year old babies in two Well Child-Care Clinics in Beer Sheva and Ofakim, Israel. A cross-sectional study was performed including all mothers of 2-year old babies in two Well Child-Care Clinics in Beer Sheva and Ofakim. A structured interview was given to 132 mothers, which included demographic data and breast-feeding characteristics. A total of 106 mothers (80%) initiated and maintained breast-feeding. Mean duration of breast-feeding was 10.7 weeks (SD = 13). Women of North-African ethnicity were less likely to maintain breast-feeding (8.8 +/- 21.1) as compared to mothers of Iranian/Iraqi/Turkish descent (29.7 +/- 39.8) (p < 0.05). Mean duration of breast-feeding among mothers who worked out of their house was significantly longer as compared to housewives (7.7 +/- 14.5 vs. 16.9 +/- 29.3; p = 0.05). These women had a higher level of education as compared to the housewives (14.0 +/- 2.7 years vs. 11.6+/- 1.4 years; p < 0.01). Mothers of three children were less likely to maintain breast-feeding as compared to mothers of two children (8.8 +/- 10.6 weeks vs. 16.1 +/- 19.7 weeks; p < 0.05). Special efforts in the realm of education regarding the importance of breast-feeding should be focused on mothers of North-African descent, secular women, housewives and those having three or more children. Further prospective studies should investigate the efficacy of educational programs as well as support groups regarding breast-feeding.