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Mother’s Day: an chance to celebrate breastfeeding

6 May 2005

Media release
For immediate use

Mother’s Day: an opportunity to celebrate the value of breastfeeding

With Mother’s Day 2005 falling at time when the Health Select Committee is hearing submissions on the legal protection of women who breastfeed in public, Every Child Counts is calling for a focus on how mothers can be supported to provide the very best for their children.

“The importance of breastfeeding for infants cannot be understated. In general, breastmilk is the optimal food for infants; it promotes cognitive development and protects the child against infectious and chronic diseases,” states Dr Emma Davies, spokesperson for Every Child Counts. “In short, it can help to give children a good start in life.”

“The health benefits for the child of breastfeeding are manifold,” continues Dr Davies. “Healthy children are the foundation of a sustainable nation and, if we want to consider the economic angle of the debate, the protection afforded by breastmilk against diseases helps reduce public health costs.”

“Enabling women to breastfeed requires families and wider society to provide support. Policies that provide for quality maternity and post-natal care, income support for parents, paid parental leave, and the availability of comfortable spaces to breastfeed at work and in other public places are all part of the picture.

“This Mother’s Day, we should be happy to see women breastfeeding in public, confident that New Zealand is a place where doing the best for your child is a source of pride, not shame,” concluded Dr Davies.

Every Child Counts is a coalition of individuals and organisations from all sectors of New Zealand life campaigning to promote children issues in the context of the general election. Ensuring that all children in New Zealand get the best possible start in life is one of the aims of the campaign.


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