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World Breastfeeding Week

Tuesday 16 June 2020


The Central West Hospital and Health Service is highlighting the benefits of breastfeeding in the lead-up to World Breastfeeding Week from 1–7 August.

Central West Health Maternal and Child Health Manager Deirdre Murphy said in Australia, mothers were recommended to breastfeed their babies exclusively for around the first six months.

“Breastmilk is all the food and drink that a baby needs for the first six months,’’ she said.

“It is also recommended that once you introduce your baby to solids you continue to breastfeed your baby until 12 months of age and beyond, for as long as you and your baby desire.’’

Ms Murphy said breastfeeding had a range of benefits for both mum and baby.

“Breasfeeding can protect your baby against a range of illnesses and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, coeliac disease and obesity, as well as urinary, gastrointestinal and chest and ear infections,’’ she said.

“For the mother, breastfeeding can help you bond with your baby and there is no cost involved or formula to be made up. Evidence suggests it may help protect you from breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.

“Breastfeeding also releases hormones that make you feel relaxed and help you sleep easier.’’

Ms Murphy said World Breastfeeding Week aimed to highlight the importance of supporting mothers to breastfeed for as long as they wished.

“Of course, there are mothers who are unable to breastfeed for a range of reasons and it is also important that they are supported in doing whatever is best for themselves and their child,’’ she said.

“As a maternity service, that’s what we are here to do in the Central West and all women should feel comfortable that they will receive the help, advice and support they need to look after their baby.

“To further support women, we now have access to a lactation consultant and we can arrange consultations as needed both during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby.’’

Ms Murphy said as well as highlighting the benefits of breastfeeding, World Breastfeeding Week also aimed to draw attention to other aspects of maternal health, including good nutrition, poverty reduction and food security.

She said World Breastfeeding Week was organised every year by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, a global network that aimed to protect, promote and support breastfeeding around the world.

  • Or call the Australian Breastfeeding Association helpline 1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 268). 

PHOTO CAPTION

Longreach resident Noni Rutherford has been knitting some materials to help spread the breastfeeding message.

ENDS

For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379

Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au

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Last updated: 22 June 2020