World Breastfeeding Week

As this week nears its end I thought I would bring to your attention that it is World Breastfeeding Week. The WBW campaign commenced 23 years ago. The theme this year is “Working Women & Breastfeeding”, Over the last two decades there have been ongoing campaigns to improve conditions including  maternity payments, questioning of marketing practices by milk supplement companies  and encouraging  more work places to be mother-friendly. The focus for 2015 is for global action to occur to support the working women’s rights to breastfeed.

The 2015 Slogan is “Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s make it work”.

The Objectives of WBW 2015 are:

  1. Galvanise multi-dimensional support from all sectors to enable women everywhere to work and breastfeed.
  2. Promote actions by employers to become Family/Parent/Baby and Mother-Friendly, and to actively facilitate and support employed women to continue breastfeeding.
  3. Inform people about the latest in global Maternity Protection entitlements, and raise awareness of the need to strengthen related national legislation and implementation
  4. Strengthen, facilitate and showcase supportive practices that enable women working in the informal sector to breastfeed
  5. Promote actions by employers to become Family/Parent/Baby and Mother-Friendly, and to actively facilitate and support employed women to continue breastfeeding.

Many countries around the world have been actively involved in promoting WBW 2015 this week. In Australia the Australian Breastfeeding Association(ABA) launched its “Friendly Workplace Program “. Their aim is to encourage all employers to provide clean, safe & friendly environments where women can express or feed their infants at work. Education of fellow employees is also key to the success of such programs.  In Australia 96% of women initiate breastfeeding but by 5 months of age there are only 15 % still exclusively breastfeeding.  In Guanzhou,China this week there was a “Flash Mob” of breastfeeding mothers  with their family supports standing around them at Canton Tower! Their aim was to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and encourage the government to provide breastfeeding rooms in the cities so that women would feel more comfortable to breastfeed away from their home environment. Breastfeeding rates in China are very low with only 16% of the population  breastfeeding  in the first 6 months.

Are you or someone you know returning to work soon? Is the employer struggling with what they need to do to make the workplace a more supportive environment for women breastfeeding and or expressing?  The ABA can help, they have a resource pack that will guide your employer and help them achieve this goal. They also have great fact sheets that will help you start the conversation!

Supporting women in the workplace makes good business sense. The benefits include less absenteeism, reduced recruitment costs and improved retention rates.

“ Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s make it work”.

Marren Campbell & Mackie Newsletters

Marren Campbell and Mackie  will be posting monthly newsletters on a variety of topics in the near future. We will also be posting on Facebook to notify of the newsletter release with a link to the website. In addition anything newsworthy will also get a mention. Today we posted on Facebook,that well known paediatrician Howard Chilton will be on ABC 702 at 10am Thursday 16 July 2015. Dr Chilton will be discussing“Introduction of solids” to infants. This is always very topical. When is the right time to start? Do you introduce a variety of foods straight away ? What do you do if the baby wont’ eat? This is a great opportunity to get up to date information, so tune in to 702 tomorrow if you get the chance!


Whooping Cough & Flu Vaccine

There are two vaccinations that are highly recommended in pregnancy Flu vaccine and Whooping cough.  The flu vaccine is developed each year and usually effective in treating two of the flu virus’s expected to be prevalent in the Australian winter that year. It is for this reason that a flu vaccine is recommended every year.  Pregnant women are considered one of the high risk groups and for this reason it is offered as a free vaccine with your GP. It may also be offered in some work places for free. Pregnant women are more susceptible to infection and can develop pneumonia  and dangerous infections needing hospitalization ,  especially if the  flu is contracted in the second and third trimester. The flu vaccine can be given at anytime in the pregnancy.

Whooping cough is a child hood illness that in recent years has become more prevalent. Whooping cough in adults in general is not a serious illness and can be easily treated with oral antibiotics. In newborn babies and infants it can be life threatening. The virus can cause the airway to close and resuscitation can be very difficult. Whooping Cough immunisation is now recommended by The  National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) with each pregnancy & can be safely given in the third trimester & ideally between  28 and 32 weeks. It is  a free vaccine for pregnant women available from the GP.