Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Help for Mothers Learning the Ropes

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Help for Mothers Learning the Ropes

Article excerpt

PUT your hand up if, as a new parent, you've been given well-meaning advice only to find out later it was totally incorrect.

Now put your hand up if you followed that incorrect advice and stopped breastfeeding your newborn baby because you were confused, totally exhausted, told you just weren't meant to breastfeed, had low supply or quality of milk and eventually felt you had no choice but to give up.

You're not alone.

This week is World Breastfeeding Week and medical and community organisations skilled in providing breastfeeding advice are hoping all new parents know help is close at hand.

Research shows that if new mums get through those first few weeks of exhaustion and confusion and receive the right advice, they are more likely to successfully breastfeed.

Queensland Health midwife and lactation consultant at Nambour Hospital, Katie James, said learning to breastfeed was not unlike learning to drive a car.

Katie also works at the Newborn and Family Drop In Service at Maroochydore - a Queensland Health post-natal centre for mums who have given birth in Nambour Hospital.

"It can look so easy from books and pictures, but to be confident at both breastfeeding or driving, you need to have a few lessons first," Katie said.

"When a new mum is exhausted and concerned about why her baby is crying and whether this little person is getting enough milk, then understandably they often feel they have no other choice but to stop breastfeeding."

Often the seemingly biggest problems were the easiest and simplest to solve with help from a trained professional.

"I've known many mums to sit at home, crying for days because they don't know what to do. Whereas if they'd just reached out and asked for help, they could have got through that hiccup a little easier and come out the other side a confident breastfeeding mum."

Local Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) counsellor and group leader Liz Harris agrees that timely advice can help many mothers successfully breastfeed. …

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