Skip links and keyboard navigation

Bubs latch on as hospital celebrates breastfeeding

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Bubs latch on as hospital celebrates breastfeeding

Local mothers and their babies are joining Cairns Hospital staff at a ‘Latch On’ morning tea today (Tuesday 7 August) to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.

Local mothers and their babies are joining Cairns Hospital staff at a ‘Latch On’ morning tea today (Tuesday 7 August) to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.

World Breastfeeding Week is a World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) initiative which promotes breastfeeding and supports women to effectively feed and care for their babies.

Cairns Hospital Lactation Consultant Mary Mulcahy said this year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life” which highlights the importance of breastfeeding as a low-cost way of feeding babies, promoting good nutrition, food security and reducing poverty.

“Today’s event is an opportunity to congratulate and thank all mothers for giving their babies the best start to life,” said Ms Mulcahy.

“Breastfeeding is natural, affordable and has immediate and long-term health benefits for infants and their mothers.”

“We acknowledge breastfeeding isn’t always possible, and regardless of feeding choices and circumstances, every woman is supported to care for her baby in the best and safest way possible.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said establishing exclusive breastfeeding - giving infants nothing but breastmilk for the first six months of life, helps young children grow, preventing undernutrition, promoting brain development, and reducing the risk that children will become overweight.

Cairns was the first public hospital in Queensland to achieve Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) accreditation in 2002 and has since been re-accredited every three years, most recently in 2017.

“BFHI provides the standards facilities must meet to ensure they are providing best practice care and maintaining a breastfeeding-supportive environment,” said Catherine Smith, the Acting Nursing Director, Women’s Health.

“We want to let our local mothers know that Cairns Hospital has skilled midwives and lactation consultants to help them initiate and maintain breastfeeding,” Ms Mulcahy said.

Women who experience any difficulties in breastfeeding can access midwives and lactation services after they leave the hospital through home visits. They can also speak to child health nurses and lactation consultants at the Community Health Centres in Cairns North, Edmonton and Smithfield.

Last updated: 31 August 2018