NACCHO #ChildrensDay2016 : New #VACCHO book celebrates breastfeeding in Aboriginal communities

Photo VACCHO

The support and encouragement from the whole Community matters. VACCHO is pleased to launch Yarning About Breastfeeding: Celebrating Our Stories, sharing Aboriginal families’ breastfeeding stories. This book is also inclusive of the stories of fathers and grandparents because the people closest to mothers make a big difference to mum starting and continuing to breastfeed .

“It’s important to talk about the joys and importantly, the challenges of parents and boorais (babies) when it comes to breastfeeding.”

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher knows the importance of supporting mums to breastfeed.

Photo above supplied by VACCHO

Visit http://www.vaccho.org.au/resources/maternity-early-years/breastfeeding to download the book

Breastfeeding is one of the most important factors on the growth, development and health of infants and young children. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to six months of age.

Traditionally breastfeeding was common practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. The traditional way was to breastfeed for up to four years, sometimes longer, gradually introducing nutritious bush foods.

Currently in Australia, 96% of non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers begin breastfeeding and at 6 months 16% are exclusively breastfeeding.

Most Aboriginal children (83%) are also breastfed at birth, however, at around 1 month only around 60% of Aboriginal children are still breastfed and at 6 months 7% are exclusively breastfed.

Launched today by the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), the personal stories featured in Yarning About Breastfeeding: Celebrating Our Stories reflect the importance of kinship and culturally safe maternity services to enable success in breastfeeding.

It is hoped that by sharing people’s experiences and advice in this book, more families will be encouraged and supported to breastfeed their Boorai.

The new book features stories from Aboriginal mothers, fathers, Aunties, Uncles, grandparents and health professionals.

“The Koori Maternity Services (KMS) program is vitally important for our families. KMS provides safe and culturally strong environments – giving clinical care and meaningful support in preparing for and looking after boorais in our families.”

Keith Morgan, whose story features in the book, has a three year old daughter and is a proud Gunai/Kurnai man from Bairnsdale, East Gippsland.

“I really believe that fathers should be more educated about breastfeeding and learn more about the health benefits and also the financial benefits. Don’t be shame to ask any questions about breastfeeding, as we need to be more involved,” Keith said.

Visit http://www.vaccho.org.au/resources/maternity-early-years/breastfeeding to download the book

 

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