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Supporting mums to provide the golden start

Supporting mums to provide the golden start for every child

Over 80 per cent of babies are getting at least some breast milk up to the age of six weeks according to Plunket statistics.

“This is great news for New Zealand babies, but we need to support women so they can breastfeed for longer,” says Allison Jamieson, Clinical Advisor, Plunket.

Breastfeeding gives babies a great start in life - and Plunket, along with other organisations, recommend that babies are fed breast milk only for the first six months. After six months other foods can be added to a baby’s diet, but breast milk remains the ideal milk drink for children up to two years and beyond.

“It is essential for mothers to get the support they need from those around them. A supportive environment is vital for breastfeeding mothers,” says Ms Jamieson.

“Each one of us can find a way to play our part, especially partners, whānau, friends and employers – by offering to do the laundry, shopping, cook a meal or look after older children are just some of the ways you can support a breastfeeding mother. This support will help mum to relax and focus on feeding baby.”

“Employers can support breastfeeding mothers by allowing flexible breaks and providing a suitable clean, private space where they can feed their babies.”

This week, to coincide with World Breastfeeding week (1-7 August), the Ministry of Health has launched a breastfeeding campaign to promote practical and emotional support for mothers to breastfeed.

World Breastfeeding Week 2008 is focusing on supporting mothers to provide the golden start for every child. The theme is linked with the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, and just as our athletes need support to achieve their goals, breastfeeding mums need support as they provide their child with the ultimate in a healthy diet.

For support, information or advice about breastfeeding your baby parents can contact their local Plunket Nurse or call PlunketLine 0800 933 922 7am to midnight, 7 days a week.
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