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Breast Feeding Needs Policy Support

1 August, 2005

Breast Feeding Needs Policy Support

Every Child Counts supports the world-wide campaign reported by La Leche League to encourage mothers to breast feed their babies for the first six months of their life.

“There will have to be a turnaround in provision for breast-feeding mothers if this is to be made possible,” said Ian Hassall Every Child Counts spokesperson and former paediatrician.

“There is a rapid decline from about six weeks of age in the number of babies breast fed in New Zealand. One of the main reasons is a failure by government, employers and other agencies in the economy to take the needs of parents and their infants into account. This is not good for New Zealand babies and their families,” he said.

“Every Child Counts aims to place children at the centre of government decision-making. One effect of this would be to bring in policies that enabled mothers to breast feed for longer. Baby-friendly policies such as a longer period of paid parental leave, workplace crèches and flexible hours would go a long way toward giving children a better start in life,” said Ian Hassall.

Every Child Counts is a coalition including Barnardos, Plunket, Save the Children, Unicef NZ and AUT’s Institute of Public Policy, supported by more than 325 other organisations and thousands of individual supporters. It will be providing informed comment, sometimes critical, throughout the election campaign, identifying sensible or poor policy proposals from any political party from a children’s perspective.

The public are invited to demonstrate their support for the nation’s children by adding their names to the Every Child Counts campaign at: www.everychildcounts.org.nz

ENDS

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