We’ve all heard the stories. Mums being told to leave cafes or subjected to terrible abuse simply for feeding their babies. Businesses are being encouraged to show their support for breastfeeding mums as the Australian Breastfeeding Association lead World Breastfeeding Week celebrations.
The ABA’s chief executive officer Rebecca Naylor says providing support to breastfeeding mothers is key to improving breastfeeding rates, as well as helping mothers to feel comfortable and accepted in society.
“World Breastfeeding Week is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness, offer support and demonstrate how breastfeeding contributes to the sustainability of the world we live in,” Rebecca says.
“There are so many things society as a whole can do to support breastfeeding mothers and a few simple words of encouragement can go a long way.”
Businesses are encouraged to take part in ABA’s Breastfeeding Welcome Here initiative by displaying welcome stickers in their windows.
No part of parenting is ever as straightforward as we hope and, when it is, even the most confident parent gets suspicious.
We all want our children to be happy and healthy and that’s why the ABA is also calling all mummas out for a coffee and a chat.
Last year, the focus was getting more workplaces to be breastfeeding friendly.
This year, it is about demonstrating exactly what the association is doing to support recommendations from the World Health Organisation, which are for babies to be exclusive breastfed up until six months and for breastfeeding to continue up to two years and beyond.
Throughout the week, ABA volunteers will host the friendly meet-ups across the country as they set about highlighting the role the association plays in achieving the world’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Vanessa Campbell says the support she received from the group helped her overcome some painful breastfeeding problems. She is now an ABA volunteer and helps other mums.
“We are talking about how we can add value to the well being of babies from the start of life, how we can respect each other and how we can help care for the world in which we share,” Vanessa says.
“Part of the way we are doing that is by raising awareness about breastfeeding support, and also providing information and a friendly shoulder to mothers who do breastfeed anywhere, any time.”
Vanessa says, while we are far from achieving 100 per cent of babies exclusively breastfed until six months, 96 per cent of Australian mums do start out breastfeeding. But less than one in seven mums still nurse by the time their baby is five-months-old.
“We know that sometimes there can be challenges that families do face,” Vanessa says. “We just want them know, if they do want to give us a call on the helpline or check out the website, there is information there and there are people who would like to provide them with some support if that’s what they need.”
Details of the catch-ups in your area are available from your local group.
We all agree as long as mum and baby are happy and healthy this World Breastfeeding Week and any other week, parents are kicking goals.