Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Former Minister for Health; Tourism

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Former Minister for Regional Development; Lands; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development

    New telehealth service provides lactation advice

    18/03/2016 7:30 AM
    • Specialist breastfeeding advice available for Wheatbelt mums closer to home
    • New service offers access to lactation consultants via videoconference 

    New mothers in the Wheatbelt can now access breastfeeding advice thanks to a new telehealth service developed by the WA Country Health Service and King Edward Memorial Hospital.


    The project is part of the $500 million Southern Inland Health Initiative, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.


    Health Minister Kim Hames said Wheatbelt mothers experiencing issues with breastfeeding could now connect with specialist lactation consultants via videoconference from their local regional health service.


    "In Australia, 92 per cent of babies are exclusively breastfed for the first month of their life, however by six months this reduces to only 14 per cent of babies. This indicates many mothers start out wanting to breastfeed their babies, but may experience issues and switch to formula feeding," Dr Hames said.


    "The new telehealth service links first-time mothers in the Wheatbelt with specialist lactation consultants at King Edward Memorial Hospital who are trained to help with issues like attachment difficulties, breastfeeding a premature or small baby, and low milk production."


    Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the telehealth service had been developed as part of the Maternal Health Service Improvement Project and would significantly improve access to quality of health care for many regional residents.


    ""The Southern Inland Health Initiative creates opportunities for higher levels of health service efficiency and boosted employment opportunities in regional Western Australia," Mr Redman said.


    "This service will provide new mothers in the Wheatbelt with much needed extra support."


    Other initiatives introduced under the Maternal Health Service Improvement Project - such as community midwives and telehealth antenatal education - are contributing to safer pregnancies, births and infant care, and better outcomes for babies and their mums.


    Fact File

    • Community midwives and child health nurses provide initial support and advice to breastfeeding women, and refer them to lactation consultants when extra support is required
    • The Southern Inland Health Initiative is improving access to medical and emergency coverage, providing new and improved modern health facilities and new models of health care delivery. For more information, visit http://www.health.wa.gov.au/southerninland  

    Health Minister's office - 6552 5300

    Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700