Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week-BHF

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Midwives and mums at hospitals in the Barossa and surrounds are working together during World Breastfeeding Week to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Barossa Hills Fleurieu Regional Director, Debbie Martin, said this coincides with an assessment of Gawler Health Service, Kapunda and Tanunda hospitals to ensure they maintain their status as a Baby Friendly Health Initiative accredited service.

“World Breastfeeding Week provides an important opportunity to reinforce our commitment to breastfeeding mums and do everything we can to support them,” Ms Martin said.

“The staff and mothers birthing at these hospitals work together to protect, promote and support breastfeeding by providing a framework to operate within, which is called the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

“These standards ensure all mothers and babies receive appropriate support and the latest information regarding breastfeeding during the antenatal and postnatal periods.”

Baby Friendly Health Initiative Regional Coordinator, Melissa Ball, said Gawler, Kapunda and Tanunda will be assessed over four days this week.

“During the past six months, 635 babies were born in these hospitals,” Ms Ball said.

“With support from our staff, more than 90 per cent of mums choose to breastfeed their babies.

“In today’s busy society mothers can feel isolated and without the right support at the right time, and may not be able to sustain breastfeeding for as long as they had hoped.

“During World Breastfeeding Week, it’s important to remember the Australian Breastfeeding Association provides mums with practical mother-to-mother support and information, helping them gain confidence in breastfeeding and continuing as long as they want to.”

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was developed by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF in 1990 and since then has been successfully introduced into over 15,000 facilities in 134 countries, including Australia in 1993.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies across the globe. This year’s theme is: Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.

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