The Dubbo hospital maternity ward has embraced breastfeeding week.
Last week Maternity Unit operations manager Margo Mackenzie and her team set about promoting how important it is to educate and support women on the benefits of breastfeeding.
Ms Mackenzie said knowledge is a powerful tool for women who may feel overwhelmed during the first days of their new baby’s life.
“We pass on information from the Australian Breastfeeding Association that outlines helpful hints on learning to breastfeed and why mothers milk is healthy for you and your baby,” she said.
“Breast milk helps make for a healthier baby who will have less risk of ear infection and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
“Plus, breast milk saves money because it is absolutely free.
“We let the new mum know that baby needs nothing else but breast milk for the first six months of their life.”
Midwife Susan Cahill said the maternity unit staff also provide helpful suggestions for new mums that help them realise they can breastfeed anywhere at any time.
“Many don’t know that is legal to breastfeed in every territory and state in Australia,” she said.
“It is very portable, and it is always at the correct temperature, baby gets essential antibodies through the milk that does help fight infection.
Ms Cahill said the response to the initiative was very positive.
“The new mums were very happy to get the information,” she said.
“Of course we do give this information to every new mum, not just during breastfeeding week.
“When mum’s have education they feel empowered, and it puts them at ease, they become to understand that although breastfeeding is a natural thing, it is a learned skill.
“Often women do feel isolated when they have a new baby, they are tired and sometimes stressed, and we provide as much support for them as possible.”
There is a support line that is always open for new mothers to contact. The national 24-hour support line contact number is 1800-686-268.