Many women know and understand the benefits of breastfeeding and during pregnancy have strong intentions to breastfeed their baby. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, with ongoing breast milk consumption to 12 months, and indeed proven benefits up to two years of age. In knowing this, many new mothers persevere through struggles with breastfeeding and while breastfeeding is a normal and natural part of being a new mother, for some it can be difficult.
From birth to four months of age, the rate of breastfeeding in Australia halves to around 40% (exclusively breastfeeding) and by 6 months of age, only around 15% of mothers are still exclusively breastfeeding at the time of commencing solids.
While for some this is driven by preference, and it is certainly very important to make a healthy decision about what is right for you and your family, for many others this drop in breastfeeding rates is driven by difficulty breastfeeding and/or lack of support.
It is important to remember that while breastfeeding has many well-known benefits for both a mother and baby, it is equally important to consider how breastfeeding impacts the emotional well being of a new mother and her family. If a mother doesn’t feel positive about breastfeeding, it is imperative to seek support so that breastfeeding can be more successful and be fuelled by pleasure rather than pressure.
If you are struggling with breastfeeding, be it with difficulty latching, pain or nipple damage, poor settling for baby, concerns with supply, or simply how you feel about it, please know there are many supports available to you, specific to what you need.
Arrivals patients are more than welcome to book appointments at our Woolloongabba rooms with our midwife Bernice, who is also a qualified lactation consultant. Please call reception to enquire which days Bernice is working if you would like to see her for a breastfeeding consultation during pregnancy, or after your baby is born.
Mater lactation consultants are available during your hospital stay for one on one consultation, and also run daily breastfeeding workshops on the postnatal wards. You will find a timetable for these services in your postnatal room. After your discharge, you are welcome to make use of the recently expanded Mater breastfeeding support services. This service is run at the Mater Campus (in the old Mater Childrens Hospital Building) and is a no cost service. You can book consultations at this service by calling 3163 2000 or booking online.
Private Lactation Consultants are available 7 days per week to come to your home or in their private clinics. This can be very useful if it is preferable for you to stay home, to book appointments according to when you baby’s feeding times and to have advice provided comfortably, based on your home situation. These appointments are charged according to each private practitioner and are often offered after hours. To find a lactation consultant in your area visit the LC organisation of Australia and New Zealand.
The Australian Breast Feeding Association
offers an endless array of support services, from online resources, 24 hour
contact number, support groups, education sessions and membership. I recommend all new Mums save the ABA website
to their home screens as the information and resources available cover all
topics related to the well-being of babies and children, certainly not limited
to breastfeeding alone.
1800 686 2 686 (24 hours per day)
Queensland Government Child Health Clinics offer an early feeding drop in clinic for parents of babies from birth to 4 weeks of age. These clinics are designed to help support new parents through the feeding, settling, growth and development of their new baby and are free of charge. To find your local clinic and which day they have early feeding drop in clinics, see the link below.
1800 882 436 (24 hours per day)
Possums is a clinic at Highgate Hill that focuses on the well-being of new mothers, babies and families through facilitating services including lactation consultation, psychology, GP services, day stay and specialist support in helping with unsettled babies. These services are charged at fees listed on the website, according to which specialist or combination of the Possums team you need to see.
We know that ‘breast is best’ but not at
any cost. Please help support yourself to nurture your precious new arrival.
Don’t struggle in silence, there are few breastfeeding problems that can’t be
overcome with perseverance, positivity, and most importantly, the right
Kaitlin Reid – Midwife
Arrivals Obstetric Centre
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