Breastfeeding is one of the effective and easy way to build a smarter,
healthier population, protects children from a lot of illnesses, increases IQ,
and promotes a strong bond between mother and infant, Strong evidence indicates
that breastfeeding is the best practice for child health, development and
nutrition. WHO and UNICEF recommend that
breastfeeding be initiated within one hour of birth, that it continue with no
other foods or liquids for the first six months of life, and be continued with
complementary feeding until at least 24
months of ag . regarding to that, the World Health has set a goal of increasing the rate of
exclusive breastfeeding to at least 50% by 2025.
Globally, 44% of newborns are put to the breast within the first hour
after birth , this average give bad indicator in breastfeeding rates across
countries . The rate of exclusive breastfeeding for infants under six months of
age is 40% .
The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, which evaluated 194 nations, found that only
40 per cent of children younger than six months are breastfed exclusively , and
only 23 countries have exclusive breastfeeding rates above 60 per cent 1.
Exclusive breastfeeding — infant fed only breastmilk
Predominant breastfeeding — breastmilk the predominant source of nourishment,
with other certain liquids, drops and syrups permitted Any breastmilk — a
combination of breastmilk, formula and other type of food or liquid2.
These rates indicate a significant gap between
breastfeeding practice in Australia and the recommendations of the National
Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines
that all infants be fed exclusively on breastmilk from birth until at least six
months of age and that breastfeeding should continue in some form until the
infant is at least 12 months of age, from here the issue take place in the
agenda in Australia.
There were 311,104 births registered in Australia in 2016. Just over
half (51.3%) of all births registered in 2016 were male babies, resulting in a
sex ratio at birth of 105.3 male births per 100 female births. There were 5,727
more birth registrations in 2016 (a 1.9% increase) than in 2015 (305,377).3 The next diagram show this percentage.
The median age of all mothers for births registered in 2016 was 31.2
years, while the median age of fathers was 33.3 years, that mean increased the
range of the age of the mothers which influenced the breastfeeding.
National Breast Feeding Strategy | Australia
In response to the 2007 Parliamentary Report into the benefits of
breastfeeding , the Australian Government developed the Australian National
Breastfeeding Strategy 2010–15 to protect, promote, support and monitor
breastfeeding in Australia.
The Australian Health
Ministers Conference agreed in March 2009 to developing and implementing an
Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy, the development of the Australian
National Breastfeeding Strategy was coordinated by the Australian Government
Department of Health and Ageing with the Child Health and Wellbeing , this
viewpoint of institutions
give the power and positive support to make attention to the
breastfeeding issue .
The 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding
Survey provides baseline data on the practice and duration of breastfeeding and
other feeding practices across the country, it is the first specialized
national survey of infant feeding practices in Australia, The survey also
collected information about the attitudes towards the barriers against
breastfeeding , provides baseline data on key infant feeding indicators,
including: most babies (96%) were
initially breastfed, but only 39% were exclusively breastfed for less than 4
The survey results indicate that by 6 months
of age: around 60 per cent of infants
were receiving some breastmilk; but only 15 per cent of infants were being
Another finding is 35% of infants were
introduced to solid foods by 4 months of age and 92% by the recommended age of
The aim of the Australian National Breastfeeding
Strategy is to contribute to improving the health, nutrition and wellbeing of
infants , and the health and wellbeing of mothers, by protecting, promoting,
supporting and monitoring breastfeeding , and reach the
main objective” to increase the percentage of babies who are fully
breastfed from birth to six months of age, with continued breastfeeding and
complementary foods to twelve months and beyond “.
The Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy provides a framework for
priorities and action for all governments to address the protection, promotion,
support and monitoring of breastfeeding throughout Australia, the framework of
factors influencing breastfeeding is classified to environmental and societal
conditions that operate at individual, group and society level. Individual level factors associated with the
health and capacity of the mother and infant, the Group level factors
associated with environment of the mother and infant, including health
and hospital settings, home and work settings, and level of support available
in the community, Society level factors associated with social and cultural
attitudes to breastfeeding, and broader public policy approaches to health and nutrition.
The Strategy was formally endorsed by all levels of government in 2010,
with the Department assuming a leadership role in its implementation, the
implementation plan for the Strategy identifies ten key action areas that
facilitate breastfeeding and emphasis the quality, accessibility and continuity
of support within a continuous improvement process.
KEY ACTION AREAS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AUSTRALIAN
NATIONAL BREASTFEEDING STRATEGY 2010-15
The following action
areas have been identified as key to progressing the aims of the Australian
National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-15:
surveillance to provides national baseline data on infant feeding practices.
2. health professional
education and training through (The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA)
is funded to deliver workforce education and training including sponsorship of
the ABA’s annual health professional’s seminar series).
3.dietary guidelines and
growth charts (to evaluate and health education).
4.breastfeeding friendly environments through
(publish guidance for child care settings covers both
supporting breastfeeding and appropriate use of infant formula in child care,
give brochures for parents, complementary resources adapted for translated
versions are available in Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean,
Indonesian, Malaysian, Arabic, Turkish and Spanish).
for breastfeeding in health care settings through (Baby
Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) and its ten steps to successful
breastfeeding for health services. They encouraged all public and private
hospitals to implement the ten steps to successful breastfeeding and to work
towards or maintain their BFHI accreditation).
for priority groups through (The Australian Government funds a range of
programs for Aboriginal people that address the needs of Indigenous children in
their early years, including maternal and child health services and support for
7.continuity of care, education
and awareness, including antenatal education (The Clinical Practice Guidelines
– Antenatal Care, that encourage health professionals to take a woman-centered
and culturally safe approach, ensuring that each woman’s social, emotional,
physical, psychological, spiritual and cultural needs and expectations are
considered and respected. The guidelines recognize the importance of discussing
breastfeeding during antenatal visits and providing information and support so
that women can make informed decisions).
8. Revisiting the WHO International
Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO Code) through (promote optimal infant feeding by promoting
breastfeeding, provide information about infant formula when required and
support families who are using infant formula, and understand the intent of the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formulas:
Manufacturers and Importers Agreement (MAIF Agreement) in limiting the marketing of infant
formula, particularly in regard to gifts and samples from infant formula
The evaluation was done
in different periods with surveillances, growth chart, many conferences, to assess
how they achieve from their goal , and make opportunities to widespread the
The figure below show
the different between the target and the the current rate 1n 2016, the percentage give indicator of the
improvement with good results , and partially achievement to the goal.
Many different parts play a role in
breastfeeding, affecting it with positive and negative view, the national
leadership, stewardship and government action are important, achieving the
vision of the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy also relies on the
efforts and goodwill of other sectors and stakeholders. These include health
professionals, community, family and peer leaders, non-government
organizations, employers and workplaces, child care services, shopping centers, pharmacies, the hospitality industry,
as well as the importers, manufacturers of infant formula. Importantly, the
implementation plan will devise a way forward for the complex issues identified
in the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy, including milk banks, growth
charts and the WHO Code.
Breastfeeding Association: it is drives greater
community awareness of the importance of breastfeeding, take a role in project
design, evaluation framework, evaluation tools, and workshopping of preliminary
findings, and training and education of ABA counsellors, it had over 14,000
members, over 250 ABA groups, and nearly 1,200 trained volunteer counsellors.
Department of Health and Ageing: Implementation of the Breastfeeding
strategy, performance reporting and data collection.
MAIF: self-regulatory code of conduct between manufacturers and importers of
infant formula in Australia.
Healthcare and Hospitals Association: that implement
the idea of BHFI.
Volunteers: the contribution of volunteers and an association with the
purpose or mission of the organization they are volunteering with, it’s an
important way to widespread the strategy value.
The Australian Government: to be responsible for implementation activities with
a view to achieving the objectives and goals set out in the Australian National
Breastfeeding Strategy and consulting and liaising with stakeholders
(non-government organizations, community services and consumers) at a local
All of mentioned organization support the strategy that take
position from the government support, and their responsibility to achieve the
strategy goals, although the, shopping centers, pharmacies, the hospitality industry, have conflicts
of interest with their advertisement to reach
high score of sales, and encourage mother that
bottle feeding is easy than breastfeeding, with early start of nutrition of
their babies to have a suitable weight.
Overview to the situation, the
supportive organization have more power and decisions than another part, and
the initial information support that.
The evidence informing the Australian National Breastfeeding
Strategy was drawn from a range of sources including systematic reviews,
documented expert opinion. The high-level themes emerging from the review of
evidence included the need for continuity of care, the importance of combination
and providing promotion and support at multiple stages before and after birth.
A number of complex issues remain on the Australian National Breastfeeding
Strategy agenda but do not lend themselves to immediate solutions. These issues
will be thoroughly addressed as the implementation plan is developed and
enacted under the recommended governance structure. The Australian National
Breastfeeding Strategy was developed in an environment of national health
reform and it complements the health reform agenda and will inform the
development of the National Maternity Services Plan.
There are a number of challenges for the Breastfeeding strategy,
support, effective reach of the service into priority population groups,
ensuring that its support role continues to be recognized , remaining relevant
to all mothers and contributing more widely to the consistency of breastfeeding
information and support.
Finally, Australia go
a long way in the breast feeding strategy, and has a food indicator to reach a
global rank in breastfeeding if supportive government, communities,
organization five the optimal coordination.
Breastfeeding Scorecard, 2017: Tracking Progress for Breastfeeding Policies and
Report to the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, June/2012
Bureau of Statistics
Australian national infant feeding survey: indicator results.