Aug 06
Encouraging a healthy start in life: World Breastfeeding Week

To coincide with World Breastfeeding Week from 1 – 7 August 2018, the Western NSW Local Health District, Health Promotion Team has distributed 'Encouraging and Supporting Breastfeeding in Childcare' resource kit to all local early childhood eduction and care services. 

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend babies receive only breastmilk for the first six months. The 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey reported that almost all babies were initially breastfeed, 61% were exclusively breastfed for less than one month and this declined to 15% at around six months of age. 

Health Promotion Coordinator-Childhood at Western NSW and Far West Local Health District, Ms Hayley Vaughan says, “Factors for good health are complex, though breastfeeding contributes to better infant health outcomes. The resource kit is designed to assist early childhood eduction and care services create a supportive breastfeeding environment for families. 

“The resource provides practical tools including a breastfeeding welcome sticker, sample breastfeeding policy and plan, information for families, training activities for educators and information on useful resources." 

“With a large number of infants under 12 months of age attending early childcare services, educators play an important role in facilitating the continuation of breastfeeding for those mothers who wish to when their child starts in care." said Mrs Jodie Stewart, Educator at Yarrawong Children's Centre, Orange. 

“The resource complements the ongoing assistance our team has provided to local early childhood services participating in the Munch & Move program, over the last 10 years", said Ms Vaughan. 

“A number of the documents in the resource kit are designed to be shared with families at an orientation visit or at enrolment so services and families can work together to develop a breastfeeding plan prior to commencing care." 

Co-ordinator at Yarrawong Children's Centre, Ms Heather Brady says, “We are a breastfeeding friendly service that supports families with the feeding option they choose for their child. We have been implementing Munch & Move for a number of years and have found that the resources and workshops support us as we work towards our Assessment and Rating, as part of the National Quality Framework."

Munch & Move is a NSW state-wide healthy eating and physical activity program for the early childhood education and care setting. The program is celebrating its 10th  year. One of the six key messages of the Munch & Move program is to 'Encourage and support breastfeeding'.

For more information or for breastfeeding support, phone the National Breastfeeding Hotline on 1800 686 268 7 days a week or the Australian Breastfeeding Association at www.breastfeeding.asn.au/ More information on Munch & Move can be found at: www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/campaigns-programs/about-munch-move