There are many things that local communities can do to support breastfeeding. Most strategies to support breastfeeding have a low budget impact and will provide significant benefits to families, the community, the environment and the economy.
Ways that local government can support breastfeeding
- Encourage the inclusion of breastfeeding facilitates in local council development planning processes.
- Provide appropriate parenting facilities, environments and messages for breastfeeding in public places. This may include the development, update and dissemination of a list of venues containing breastfeeding friendly facilities within local areas.
- Ensure that parenting facilities are available at community events. This could be a shaded area with some chairs allocated for parents of young children.
- Foster a supportive working environment for breastfeeding employees. This may include promoting breastfeeding friendly workplaces and participation in the Australian Breastfeeding Association workplace accreditation program.
- Encourage local child care services to adopt policies and practices that support breastfeeding. Ensure that council operated child care services and schemes are supportive of breastfeeding.
- Encourage local businesses to become breastfeeding friendly. This may include participation in the Australian Breastfeeding Association's free 'Breastfeeding Welcome Here' program.
- Raise awareness about support services available in the local community and ensure that people know how to access these services.
- Support local breastfeeding and parenting support groups such as the Australian Breastfeeding Association. This may include inclusion of group details in local community directory and on website.
- Ensure that the staff of Council services and facilities are aware of anti-discrimination legislation in relation to breastfeeding.
- Include a page on breastfeeding information and services on your Council website.
The Cradle Coast Authority have developed a Healthy Communities Toolkit supporting local government to build healthier Tasmanian Communities
A 2009 Newspoll survey commissioned by ACLA found that 19% of people consider it unacceptable to breastfeed a baby in a shopping centre
Are you a mother needing help?
Click here to visit the Australian Breastfeeding Association website for information and support