It's Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2014 (1-7 Aug) – A great time to celebrate that 100% of Tasmanian hospitals are Baby-Friendly accredited, but there's more work to be done…
Nine out of 10 babies born in Tasmania begin life breastfeeding. This is a great start to life.
It's a wonderful achievement that 100% of Tasmanian hospitals are Baby-Friendly accredited. All of our hospitals provide consistent care and support for mothers to make decision about breastfeeding. This makes a positive difference.
Sadly, although most women start breastfeeding, many don't breastfeed as long as they had planned. Problems in the early weeks without the right help, lack of support from family and friends or pressures to return to work earlier than planned can all lead to stopping breastfeeding before a mother wishes.
Our challenge is to help our community become more supportive of breastfeeding. We need to see more parenting facilities in public spaces, businesses with a welcoming attitude to breastfeeding and workplaces and child care services that support mothers to continue breastfeeding.
Making sure that our Community Health Services are baby-friendly is the next step. It would be great to see Tasmanian Community Health Services working towards Baby Friendly Health Initiative accreditation. This would mean health services in the community meet standards to support women to continue breastfeeding. Find out about Baby Friendly Health Initiativewww.babyfriendly.org.au