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: