The inaugural meeting held
National Breastfeeding Advisory Committee
Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in Aotearoa New Zealand
The inaugural meeting of the National Breastfeeding Advisory Committee (NBAC) was held on 28th June.
The NBAC was established in May 2006 by the Director-General of Health. Its mission is “to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.”
At its first meeting, the NBAC confirmed that one of its first items of business will be to develop a National Plan of Action for Breastfeeding.
The Chair, Norma Campbell, said “There are significant benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mother, and for families, communities and society.”
“The National Plan of Action for Breastfeeding will be based on a review of evidence and will set out key actions required to promote, encourage and support breastfeeding in New Zealand. This is a crucial public health issue that demands a wide-ranging response from all parts of society.”
Minister of Health Pete Hodgson agrees. “Breastfeeding is critical to the health of infants, but also provides lifelong benefits to mother and baby. Breastfed babies are less likely to develop health problems such as obesity and diabetes in later life. The work of the committee – to promote, support and support breastfeeding - is consistent with this Government’s commitment to Healthy Eating Healthy Action. I am very pleased to see the committee established and supported by a wealth of knowledge and experience through committee members and those who work with them.”
The Plan of Action will focus on work within the health sector, Government, non-government agencies and communities, with the goal of increasing the rates and duration of breastfeeding. Considerable work has already been done by a number of organisations and individuals to support breastfeeding, and the Plan of Action will build on that experience and progress made to improve breastfeeding rates in this country.
Norma Campbell said “We want to see everyone in New Zealand take ownership and come up with new ways to bring back an understanding and acceptance that breastfeeding is the normal way to feed babies.”