25 June 2012
Expert comment on breastfeeding in Australia
Australia's poor breastfeeding rates have been highlighted in a report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The low levels of breastfeeding was noted by the committee as a concern, with only about 15 per cent of Australian mothers exclusively breastfeeding until their child is six months old (as recommended by the World Health Organization).
The committee's recommendations included a review of Australia's Paid Parental Leave scheme to ensure it supports "exclusive breastfeeding for six months by working mothers".
- What can we learn from experience overseas, in countries that have successfully put strategies in place to support breastfeeding?
- How do our systems fail new mothers who want to breastfeed?
- Where should resources be focused to increase breastfeeding rates and reduce the long-term risk of chronic disease?
- What practical action can health professionals, families and employers take now to support mothers in breastfeeding?
RMIT University's Dr Jennifer James is an expert on breastfeeding and human lactation.
Dr James comments frequently on infant nutrition, strategies to support breastfeeding and the marketing of infant formula.
She is a midwife, an IBCLC Lactation Consultant, a Counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association and has also acted as the consumer representative on the Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF).
Dr James is a Course Coordinator in the Discipline of Nursing and Midwifery at RMIT.
She is available for interview.
For interviews: Dr Jennifer James, 0411 409 375.
For general media enquiries: RMIT University, Marketing and Communications, Gosia Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.