Why do I help Melbourne women breastfeed their babies?
Did you know that there are more than 1000 types of proteins in human breast milk? Or over 200 complex sugars that act as prebiotics, feeding healthy gut bacteria?
Did you also know that breast milk contains millions of live cells including immune boosting white blood cells and stem cells, which go on to become other cell types like brain and heart tissue? And the amount of these cells increases in your breast milk the moment you or your baby become sick by receiving feedback from your baby’s saliva while feeding (breasts are seriously amazing!).
This list only includes some of the hundreds of amazing components that make up your breastmilk – and the composition of these ingredients is constantly changing to meet the needs of your growing baby. From month-to-month, week-to-week, day-to-day, and even throughout a single feeding. But it’s not just breast milk that fascinates me.
Did you know?
Breastfeeding actually lowers your risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and postpartum depression? And, for baby, breastfeeding lowers their risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, obesity, and common childhood illnesses, including ear infections, respiratory infections and gastroenteritis.
I’m all about Breasfeeding
If you can’t already tell by the nerdy science facts above, breastfeeding is enormous passion of mine, and so naturally formed part of my advanced studies. The magic and utility of breastmilk blows my mind every day. (Side note: did you know that breast milk has even been shown to reduce tumor size in patients with bladder cancer?! There is literally nothing else like it on this planet). I am a huge advocate for the normalisation and education of breastfeeding. But if science has shown us just how amazing breast milk is, then you might be wondering why our breastfeeding rates in Australia are so terrible?
Well let’s look at survey conducted in 2010 by the department of health. Statistics from the report indicate that 96% of women in Australia initiated breastfeeding after birth. However, these exclusive breastfeeding rates rapidly drop to 39% at three months of age and drop even further to roughly 15% by five months. That means that although the World Health Organisation standards recommend that ALL babies should be breastfed for a minimum of six months and continued to two years and beyond; less than 15% of Australian babies are meeting this standard.
Rates get even more dismal after 12 months of age with less than 28% of all Australian infants receiving any form of breastmilk, dropping right down to less than 5% by two years of age.
But why is this happening?
In a 2010 report conducted by the State Government of Victoria, the main reason for early breastfeeding cessation given by women were difficulties associated with breastfeeding. Perceived low milk supply, attachment problems and nipple trauma and pain were among these top reasons.
All of these reasons are common hurdles that many women face early in their breastfeeding journey. I believe that with the right support and guidance, women have the ability to overcome these initial obstacles and go on to breastfeed their babies with ease.
More nerdy articles:
Supporting breastfeeding women across Melbourne
I work intimately with women from early pregnancy and beyond to prepare, educate, inspire and remind them of their innate biological ability to breastfeed, in order to give their babies the best possible start in life.
Ultimately, I want to do all I can to help raise the desperately low breastfeeding rates in Australia through advocacy and support. It is one of the areas I believe needs the most attention in the birthworld, and is one where substantial gains could be readily made if only informed decisions, made on the merits, were allowed to prevail.
If you feel a connection with me and my approach to breastfeeding, and think we can make beautiful things happen together, then I’d love to hear from you! Please contact me for more details about my breastfeeding support packages and offerings.