Following weeks of intense lobbying, the Government has guaranteed funding for the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s breastfeeding helpline for the next 12 months.
— ABA (@OzBreastfeeding) February 22, 2016
In the first few weeks, as a mother sets out on her journey as a parent, there are few things more fraught than feeding your baby.
While for some mothers, breastfeeding comes naturally and perfectly normally, that’s the exception rather than the rule.
For most mothers, learning to breastfeed a baby is a process filled with hope, crushing defeat, joy, questions, indecision, hormones and love.
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For us at The Motherish, the most important thing is that every mother is supported to feed her baby, however she chooses to do that.
And for women who choose to breastfeed, a critical part of her support network is the breastfeeding helpline run by the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Holly Wainwright, writing for Mamamia last week, recalled her own experience; “It’s hard to fathom that as I tried to weather the pain of another failed “latch on” technique, as I wrestled with crescent-shaped pillows and cushions and ‘football holds’, as my tiny, tiny baby’s perfect rosebud pout failed to clamp around my nipple in any meaningful way, I questioned whether I was fit to be a mother.
“But what I do remember, is picking up the phone and calling [the ABA].”
The response to the announcement from ABA supporters has been mostly positive, though many people have noted the need to fund the helpline well into the future.
Commenting on Facebook, Melinda Taylor said, "The breastfeeding hotline should receive funding every year not just for another 12 months. A vital service that's so important in encouraging and helping women bf their babies."
Sarah Kelly wrote, "Wonderful news but so sad funding is on a year by year basis. I wouldn't still be breast feeding if it wasn't for the support from the hotline. Thank You to all the wonderful ladies who volunteer their time x."
Rebecca Naylor, the CEO of the ABA says she is pleased to have secured funding for the helpline for another year and that the ABA remains in discussion with the Department of Health and the Government about the need for longer term funding security.
Did you ever call the ABA's breastfeeding helpline?