In the lead-up to Breastfeeding Week, cohealth has supported organisations and public venues in Maribyrnong, to welcome breastfeeding parents through the Breastfeeding is Welcome Everywhere program.
Developed by the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Breastfeeding is Welcome Everywhere supports public breastfeeding by encouraging venues to self-identify as spaces that are welcoming of all families, including breastfeeding parents and babies.
Cohealth Acting Health Promotion Manager Elise Sampson said breastfeeding parents need to feed their babies when they are away from home.
“Creating a community where breastfeeding is welcomed and supported empowers parents to feel comfortable breastfeeding their children wherever, whenever they need to be fed,” she said.
Cohealth visited each community venue to find out about staff knowledge of breastfeeding, the environment, and the social support for breastfeeding that was available.
Cohealth Health Promotion Coordinator Nishamanie Karawita said the visits were beneficial for them all.
“We were then able to identify strengths and areas for improvement in each setting,” she said.
“These included knowledge of breastfeeding practice recommendations, social protection laws for lactating parents, as well as the importance of social support including the welcoming attitudes of staff and management.”
To address these themes, coheath partnered with the Australian Breastfeeding Association, to deliver training in these settings to help them become recognised as Breastfeeding is Welcome Everywhere venues.
“The training allowed us to provide staff at these settings with the information and confidence needed to create spaces where families feel safe, supported and welcome,” said Ms Karawita.
Eight settings were recognised as Breastfeeding is Welcome Everywhere spaces, including the Braybrook Community Hub.
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme is ‘Enabling breastfeeding – making a difference for working parents’.
This highlights the importance of breastfeeding-friendly environments for women who are navigating their transition back to work.