This Event was first put together by WHO, UNICEF and WABA to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding in the first 6 months of an infant’s life.

It is important to keep in mind how common it is for mothers to experience ups and downs with breastfeeding. However it is also important to not give up unless you really want to. There’s a lot of help available and most problems can be overcome.

Breastfeeding can be a special time for mother and baby as well as offering tremendous health benefits to both. Breast milk is designed to cater for your child’s nutritional needs in the first six months of life. Benefits start straight from birth when the woman’s breasts secrete colostrum, a yellowish fluid rich in proteins. Colostrum is the most superior and well-designed nutrition for your baby in the first few days of life. These valuable proteins are essential to the development of a healthy immune system. The protein is easily digested and absorbed by the body, especially by the rapidly developing brain.

It contains factors that promote maturation of the gut and good digestion.

Benefits just continue on for breast fed babies. Advantages include increased resistance to infections, decreased risk of allergies and lactose intolerance. Baby experiences fewer stomach upsets and constipation and they benefit emotionally as they are held more.

Not only does breast feeding benefit the baby but it also helps the mother in many ways. The benefits start straight after birth with the baby’s suckling helping Mum’s uterus to contract, reducing the flow of blood after delivery.  It is an amazing bonding experiencing helping mother and child feel close to each other. It helps the mother’s body return to normal quicker in terms of losing weight more easily and breastfeeding is more economical than formula feeding.

Of course there are many different demands on busy mothers, meaning that women who may want to breastfeed their babies haven’t always got the support to continue this. Busy working schedules alongside the many other challenges that modern women face can mean that women don’t always feel that breastfeeding their child is something that is an accessible option to them.

Breastfeeding support and advice can be sought from other mothers and from a range of health professionals including midwives, baby health nurses, Australian Breastfeeding Association counsellors, lactation consultants and doctors.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association offers mother-to-mother support and encouragement to breastfeed. It also provides counselling from trained ABA counsellors, a newsletter, a library and other activities. ABA support is available in all states and territories of Australia.

The website<>

is an excellent source of useful hints and information. One feature is information for fathers. It provides an email counselling service and links to other breastfeeding sites.

*   Breastfeeding Helpline – Australia 1800 686 2 686.

*   Child and Family Health Services in your state or territory.

*   Parent Helpline in your state or territory.