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World Breastfeeding Week marked

Hon Jo Goodhew
Associate Minister of Health

2 August 2013

World Breastfeeding Week marked

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has today marked World Breastfeeding Week by visiting a Big Latch On event at the Timaru Women’s Community Centre.

“Breastfeeding provides babies with the optimum nutrition for the beginning of their lives, protects against infectious diseases and assists with physical and emotional development,” Mrs Goodhew told attendees at the event.

“The Ministry of Health recommends that all babies are exclusively breastfed until around six months of age, when they take supplementary food, and that breastfeeding should continue until the infant is at least one year old.”

The Big Latch On, coordinated by Women’s Health Action, has been taking place in New Zealand as part of World Breastfeeding Week since 2005. Big Latch On is now global and New Zealand is joined this year by 21 other participating countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

World Breastfeeding Week runs from 1-7 August. This year's World Breastfeeding Week theme highlights peer support for breastfeeding mothers.

“This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme recognises that successful breastfeeding requires support from family, friends and the community. Research shows that appropriate community, peer support and family links are critical for breastfeeding women and have a positive influence on breastfeeding rates and duration,” Mrs Goodhew said.

“Midwives, Well Child nurses and GPs support breastfeeding through their work with mothers, babies, family and the community. The Ministry of Health supports breastfeeding through the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, ensuring all maternity facilities are accredited and follow the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.”

More information and advice about breastfeeding can be found on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz.

ENDS

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