Women need to be supported through all stages of breastfeeding, from pregnancy, after birthing, during the early days and weeks, and at home in their local community.
The whole community also plays an important role in accepting breastfeeding as the normal way to feed babies.
The Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy1 objectives highlight the importance of each stage of breastfeeding and the need for consistent advice and a smooth transition of support. See a full copy of the strategy.
Breastfeeding strategies – what works best?
The Australian National Breastfeeding strategy1 has examined and documented evidence for the most effective strategies in breastfeeding promotion and protection. Most of the evidence is from overseas, however is still relevant to Australia.
What works best?
- Timing is crucial for effectiveness. Interventions can occur at different stages but they must be targeted for that timing (i.e. before pregnancy, during pregnancy, in hospital, at home or in the community).
- Combination or multifaceted interventions are more effective. Strategies addressing several stages are better at improving breastfeeding rates.
- Consistency of relationships (continuity of care) throughout pregnancy, birth and after is beneficial.
In Tasmania, the breastfeeding focus area in the Tasmanian Food and Nutrition Policy2 remains a relevant framework to guide action and investment.
What we need now is financial investment to implement these strategies.
 Australian Health Ministers' Conference 2009, The Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra.
 Tasmanian Government, 2004. Tasmanian Food and Nutrition Policy. http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/.../TFNP_final.pdf
Too many women do not meet their breastfeeding goals due to lack of support
Are you a parent needing help?
Click here to visit the Australian Breastfeeding Association website for information and support