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Thread: New report on Australian breastfeeding patterns

  1. #1

    New report on Australian breastfeeding patterns

    I saw this report on the news this week (released December 2011) about how long Australians are breastfeeding for: The report states that only 15% of babies are exclusively breastfed by 6 months (even though this is the Australian dietary guideline). Does this surprise you? What do you think could be done to increase this figure to mean more babies were breastfed for longer?

  2. #2
    aussiemidwife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I am surprised at the low exclusive breastfeed rates at six months as we have such a high breastfeeding initiation rate of breastfeeding at 96%. I am disappointed as well. We have wonderful guidelines for breastfeeding - however we do not have the support for women to breastfeed. Many interventions occur during labour and birth that are known to reduce successful breastfeeding. Caesareans and morphine injections for pain relief are but two of these interventions. Babies are taken from their mothers and wrapped in blankets and then handed back. This stops skin to skin contact and early initiation of breastfeeding. Then women are sent to busy postnatal wards were they do not get the time and support necessary to start successful breastfeeding. Then they are sent home early before their milk comes in without appropriate follow up. As a lactation consultant I get so many phone calls from women desperate for help and worse of all I know this is only the tip of the ice burg.
    Moderator Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond

  3. #3
    The news is really very surprising. Government should take some measures to increase the above rate.

  4. #4
    Thank you for your comments robthomas.

    This year, during the Australian National Breastfeeding Week, there was increased promotion and media coverage of 'breastfeeding peer support groups'. Current research shows that these type of groups can be hugely beneficial not just with the start of breastfeeding (getting a good latch, positioning etc) but also with giving mothers the confidence to continue two years and beyond.


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