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CDHB breastfeeding funding boost

26 November 2007

Healthier Canterbury population target of CDHB breastfeeding funding boost

The Canterbury District Health Board has allocated more than half a million dollars to help improve breastfeeding rates in the region. Encouraging mothers to fully breastfeed infants for at least six months is a key target for the District Health Board and forms part of the Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) strategy.

Although New Zealand has breastfeeding rates at birth that are consistent with other OECD countries, rates are lower at six weeks, especially among Maori and Pacific women. “The new funding is a huge opportunity to contribute to the long-term health of Canterbury people and reduce health inequalities between population groups,” Cathy Robinson, Canterbury HEHA Development Manager, said.

With $200k per year allocated over three years, the CDHB is searching for expressions of interest from organisations that focus on Mother to Mother support or increasing the access and availability of lactation consultants in the community.

A substantial body of evidence shows that breastfeeding contributes positively to nutrition, health and wider well-being for babies, mothers and whanau/families.

For instance, breastfed infants have increased resistance to illnesses, better cognitive development, and reduced risk of a range of conditions including diabetes and obesity. Benefits for mothers include protection from haemorrhaging after their baby is born, and reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Organisations wishing to file an expression of interest for the new funding should contact Cathy Robinson at the CDHB on 03 337 8659.

ENDS

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