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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Media Release from RACGP for WBW!



31 July 2008

International evidence shows that breastfeeding is best for babies, boosting their resistance to infection and diseases, and their growth and development. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is using World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from 1 - 7 August, to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding and the role that general practitioners play in supporting mothers to breastfeed their babies. “Breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby in the first six months of life. Mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed and we need to promote society-wide acceptance of breastfeeding wherever and whenever the baby needs to feed,” said Dr Vasantha Preetham, RACGP President and GP from Perth.
“Most women make their infant feeding decisions before or early in pregnancy. GPs can play an important role in providing mums-to-be and their partners with information on feeding from the first trimester onward,” said Dr Preetham.“The first few months of a baby’s life can be an anxious time for new parents and many women and their infants visit a GP a number of times in the first six months. This is a great opportunity for GPs to support mothers who are breastfeeding or who are keen to breastfeed. Doctors can discuss a number of issues to determine if breastfeeding is going well for the mother and baby including the number and length of feeds, general contentedness and weight gain, the baby’s urine and faecal output and whether there are nipple or breast problems,” said Dr Kelly Seach, RACGP Registrar Representative and breastfeeding mother. “Breastfeeding is not only healthy for the baby; it also has benefits for mothers. Breastfeeding helps a woman's body recover to its pre-pregnant state more quickly, and lactation (the production of breastmilk) protects against premenopausal breast cancer and osteoporosis. Psychological benefits for the mother and her infant when breastfeeding, encouraging close bonds, have also been recognised.“When mums return to work, support should be in place to enable them to take breaks, ideally with a private area where they are able to breastfeed their baby. “The RACGP Red Book, our guide to preventive activity in general practice, recommends that GPs encourage and support exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, then the introduction of complementary foods and continued breastfeeding thereafter. It is recommended that breastfeeding continue until 12 months of age and thereafter as long as it suits the mother and the baby.
“It is important to note however, that there are women who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to breastfeed their babies. They also need their GP’s support and advice in relation to alternative feeding methods,” said Dr Seach. GPs can find more information about breastfeeding in the RACGP’s position statement on breastfeeding on the RACGP website:www.racgp.org.au/scriptcontent/policy/policydocs/Breastfeeding_Position_Statement.pdf

To read more about World Breastfeeding Week, please visit the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s website: www.breastfeeding.asn.au/

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is responsible for maintaining standards for quality clinical practice, education and training, and research in Australian general practice. The RACGP has the largest general practitioner membership of any medical organisation in Australia and represents the majority of Australia's general practitioners. Visit http://www.racgp.org.au/

For further media enquiries contact Jason Berek-Lewis, National Manager – Media and Communications tel: 0404 055 265 or Melanie Fontolliet, Media and Communications tel: 03 8699 0513.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mother Support: Everyone Wins!

Mothers in Victoria celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2008

As Australia’s athletes gear up for the summer Olympics in Beijing, mothers in Victoria join women in 120 countries in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week from 1–7 August.

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme focuses on a mother’s need for support — much like that of an Olympic athlete.

Athletes combine determination and commitment with support from family, friends, trainers and government. Breastfeeding mothers need similar support to overcome misinformation and doubts about their ability to breastfeed. Confidence is important for both an athlete and a mother.

When a mother is supported and able to breastfeed everyone wins — the mother, the baby, the family, the health system and the environment.

Taking inspiration from the Olympic rings, the Australian Breastfeeding Association provides five important rings of support:
A 7-day telephone counselling Helpline
Friendly mother-to-mother encouragement and family support at local groups
An accreditation scheme for employers who support breastfeeding mothers at work
Education for health professionals, including access to the most up-to-date information through the Lactation Resource Centre
Advocacy at the government, legislative and general community levels regarding the importance of human milk and breastfeeding.

More information about World Breastfeeding Week is available at:



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

“Not Just Talk- How Can We Help Mothers to Exclusively Breastfeed?

It has been estimated that globally, exclusive breastfeeding could reduce 13% of childhood deaths.

Each year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) promotes and celebrates World Breastfeeding Week. The theme for this years World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) is about supporting mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months.

In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, the Burnet Institute will host a half day symposium to provide an update on breastfeeding promotion, protection and support in developing countries.

The objectives of the symposium will be:
· To provide an update about the importance of support for exclusive breastfeeding in reaching the Millennium Development Goal for child survival (including in the context of HIV infection);
· To discuss the role of community level workers/peers in supporting women to breastfeed optimally in developing countries;
· To discuss the importance of male involvement in breastfeeding support, and strategies for engagement;
· To summarise and share existing evidence and resources around community level support for optimal breastfeeding;

Target Audience:
NGO project staff and advisers, academics, consultants, students of public health

Friday August 8th 2008.
1.30 pm – 4.30 pm

Burnet Institute, 85 Commercial Rd, Melbourne (Level 2 Training Room)

RSVP by Monday 4th August to Andrea Eakins.
Email: andrea@burnet.edu.au or Tel: 9282 2274

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Accreditation brings family-friendly workplaces to life

Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Accreditation (BFWA) is a consultancy service for employers provided by the Australian Breastfeeding Association

Through the accreditation process, BFWA assists employers to create a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers returning to work from maternity leave.

Employers are able to offer employment conditions which are appealing to mothers who are breastfeeding. This adds value to recruitment and retention strategies, demonstrates a commitment to employee health and wellbeing, promotes workplace diversity and equal employment opportunity and is aligned with corporate social responsibility.

Why accredit?

Gaining accreditation as a breastfeeding friendly workplace shows that you are serious about providing a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers at work and are committed to removing workplace barriers.

Helping breastfeeding employees return to work from maternity leave is not only demonstrating a supportive and caring approach, it makes good business sense. Through the accreditation process, we work closely with you to assist in establishing facilities and developing policies that support breastfeeding women to meet both their work and family commitments
Accreditation is an innovative way to meet organisational objectives:
Optimises recruitment and retention strategies
Promoting your status as an accredited breastfeeding-friendly workplace in recruitment advertising gives employees and potential candidates confidence about the quality of breastfeeding support provided in the workplace. Creating a supportive breastfeeding environment can deliver significant cost savings associated with improved retention rates, earlier return to work, duration of service and reduced recruitment and re-training costs.
Builds your reputation as a family-friendly employer
Formalising workplace policies through the accreditation process indicates a commitment to creating a workplace culture supportive of breastfeeding. It demonstrates transparency of process and shows you are serious about helping women balance work and family commitments. Typically, this is reciprocated through increased employee loyalty and motivation, resulting in improved productivity.

Enhances cost savings associated with a healthier, happier workforce
Research shows breastfed babies are healthier, so parents and carers require less time off work to care for sick children. Anecdotal evidence also suggests bottom-line benefits from reduced absenteeism, and minimising disruption to work flow. Accredited workplaces receive updates on the latest research to demonstrate how breastfeeding support in the workplace benefits employers and employees.

Demonstrates your commitment to equal opportunity and workplace diversity
By offering breastfeeding support in the workplace you're also promoting equal employment opportunity and enhancing your status as a socially responsible employer. Gaining accreditation from the ABA as a breastfeeding-friendly workplace reflects a commitment to the health and well-being of pregnant, potentially pregnant and breastfeeding employees.

Even if your organisation already has breastfeeding facilities for employees, accreditation will help promote and communicate what your workplace offers to staff and potential candidates. Our consultation services ensure that your workplace provides the right combination of time, space and support that allows mothers to balance their paid work with breastfeeding. Accreditation keeps the needs of breastfeeding mothers on the workplace agenda.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Let's get libraries hooked on our books!

Children’s book week is the 16th - 22nd of August 2008.

Let's get libraries hooked on our books!

Libraries are a place where mothers and children often hang out - they have story reading and other activities and are an important part of our communities. It's great to keep their "breastfeeding section" up to date. So we are asking groups to consider buying their library a subscription to ABA for one year - so they can sample the great stuff ABA has to offer. It is our hope that they will find it something worth keeping up.

For $50 they will get a free copy of "Breastfeeding Naturally" and copies of Essence every 2 months. Coming soon will be a special place on the website where groups can order their subscription for their library. This will allow us to send BFN to you - you may want to make a special presentation to the library- may want to invite the local newspaper along.

Keep your eyes open for more information over the coming weeks
Feeding at Frankston Library - photo by Dez Rock

Friday, July 4, 2008

Nothing ARTificial ­ breastmilk

an exhibition @ CAGE Art Space, South Kingsville Community Centre -

Call for artists!

To celebrate World Breastfeeding week the Westgate Region of the Australian Breastfeeding Association is creating a vibrant installation. All media welcome, photos, fibre, digital, clay, text, collage, knitting, glass, painting and sculpture etc. The only limit is your imagination and a circle 16cm across, multiple works welcome. Entry is free, a small commission applies. Six works will be selected to feature on a limited edition of badges to raise funds for volunteer activities that support mother's, babies and their families in the West. Entries close July 25. The exhibition will run for 6 weeks from August 1. A family friendly launch event will be held on Saturday August 16, 3-7pm. Enquiries please contact Michal Teague on 03 9317 5176 or artopia@bigpond.com.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Breastfeed! Where did you do it today?

The Manning/Great Lakes group is proud to announce a fantastic new photography competition open to everyone throughout Australia. First prize $100 and a viewer's choice prize of $50.The more that enter, the more prizes we will be able to have.

What sort of photos? We are accepting photos showing breastfeeding in public.

$5 entry fee for those submitted by mail (printed photo 6'x8' in size) or $8 entry fee to enter by emailing your photo (max 2MB) to ababec@hotmail.com (we will print it for you).

Please email Nicole if you would like a copy of the flyer and entry form. Details are also available on our group website http://www.mumsmilk.org/ (including entry form and terms and conditions of entry).

The photos will be showcased across the Manning and Great Lakes area during the month of August in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week.

So get clicking, you don't have long. Competition closes 1 August.

Please feel free to pass this information on to any you feel would love to get a chance to win!