Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Breastfeeding Week Highlights Breastmilk Benefits

1 August 2002 Media Statement

Benefits of breastmilk highlighted in World Breastfeeding Week

Health Minister Annette King says that World Breastfeeding Week, which begins today, is a timely reminder of the need to improve the level of breastfeeding in New Zealand.

Ms King and Health Select Committee member and Rotorua MP Steve Chadwick say only half of all New Zealand babies are fully breastfed at three months old.

“Breastfeeding has important health benefits for both babies and mothers. Breastfed babies have fewer childhood illnesses and hospital admissions than babies who have been artificially fed,'' Ms King said today.

“Breastfeeding is a cheap, effective, important contribution towards children's health in the first years of life. It is something we should all encourage.''

Ms King said that later this year the Ministry of Health would launch its Breastfeeding Action Plan, which outlines steps the Ministry and other key health sector organisations will be taking to improve breastfeeding statistics.

“While there are many social and societal issues affecting a woman's decision to breastfeed, I want to ensure that health professionals like well child nurses, lactation consultants and midwives provide all the encouragement, support and professional advice that will allow women and their babies to get off to the best possible start.''

Steve Chadwick, a former midwife, said breastfeeding was not just about mothers and babies. “It's about all of us. We need to better promote breastfeeding-friendly social and physical environments so women feel comfortable about one of the most natural things a mother can do.''

Ms King said the action plan was expected to identify current breastfeeding rates and recommend new breastfeeding rate national targets for babies aged six weeks, three months and six months.


The nutritional benefits of breastmilk:
- It meets the full term baby's complete nutritional needs for the first four to six months of life
- It is readily available with no heating required
- It has low risk of bacterial contamination
- It is low cost
- There is less risk of over or under feeding
- It contains optimal ratios of the fatty acids required for eye and brain development
- The nutrients in human milk are more bio-available than in infant formula.

Other benefits for the baby include:
- Reducing the risk of infectious disease such as meningitis, gastroenteritis, respiratory and ear infections because it contains maternal antibodies
- Reduces the risk of food allergy.

Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother are that it:
- Speeds up the contraction of the uterus back to its normal size after birth
- Provides emotional and physical satisfaction to the mother and may help the mother to return to her pre-pregnancy weight
- Does not require preparation or storage
- Exclusive, on-demand breastfeeding may help to space pregnancies
- Reduces the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: Building a Community Newsroom

The “Scoop 3.0” Transition Plan
There is good reason to believe that a new path and a better future is possible for Scoop in 2019 as a pioneering independent Media company. A combination of new technology, ideas, institutions and business models and a renewed energy and commitment by the Scoop team, means Scoop aims to be at the forefront of the development of this renaissance that we term ‘News 3.0’.

By opening up Scoop’s structure to community ownership and exploring decentralised technology through the blockchain we can ensure the public has a stake in this enterprise and a say in its development. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Jami-Lee Ross (And The New Hobbit Law)

Clearly, Jami-Lee Ross is not waging a normal form of political warfare, with agreed rules of combat and rational cost/benefit calculations.

This is politics-as-terrorism where everything is being sacrificed by the man in the bomb vest in order to remove Simon Bridges as the leader of the National Party. More>>

Text Messages Released: National On $100,000 Donation(s)
The Botany Electorate of the National Party received 8 donations, and Mr Ross declared 8 donations to us. More>>


Film Industry Working Group:

Three Killed: DOC Supporting Family, Colleagues After Helicopter Crash

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is rallying around family and colleagues of the staff who died in a helicopter crash this morning in Wanaka... The helicopter, with two DOC staff on board, was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed. More>>


Political Donations: Greens Call For Tighter Anonymity Rules And Public Funding

“It is clear that those vested interests have a tangible influence on the decision making of political parties. This is a threat to democracy and should change.” More>>


Education Amendment Bill Passes: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>


Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>


Cull: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>


Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>


Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>





InfoPages News Channels