- 20 years of supporting women to breastfeed
- 20 years of educating and guiding health professionals
The Breastfeeding Centre of WA today celebrates 20 years of supporting women to breastfeed.
The centre officially opened in April 1998, and has since become the mainstay of breastfeeding information and support for WA families and health professionals throughout the State.
Coming from humble beginnings in 1998, the centre has transformed from a small clinic to become a network that provides a State-wide telephone counselling service, telehealth service and an outpatient service for mothers and babies at King Edward Memorial Hospital.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health Alanna Clohesy MLC represented the Minister at the celebrations today. Attending the celebrations were former and current staff, clients and their children along with Adjunct Associate Professor Robyn Collins, one of the Breastfeeding Centre's initiators.
The Breastfeeding Centre's services cater to women in various areas. The State-wide telephone counselling service means that advice is available to women in remote and rural areas, or even women who just need some simple breastfeeding tips but do not necessarily require extensive intervention.
The centre also recognises the role of health professionals in the establishment of breastfeeding. Having experts available to offer training, education and guidance to medical staff, GPs, pharmacists and midwifery staff and students ensures any problems with breastfeeding can be addressed at various opportunities during a patient's care journey.
In 2017, more than 1,200 new mothers and babies attended the centre and were able to spend up to six hours overcoming breastfeeding difficulties with the help of a midwife or lactation consultant.
Comments attributed to Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Health Alanna Clohesy MLC:
"The Breastfeeding Centre of WA significantly contributes to the improvement of the health, nutrition and wellbeing of infants, young children and mothers.
"With innovative thinking and a team of committed experts, an exceptional service has been created which continues to bring about positive outcomes for the women and babies who seek breastfeeding support.
"The World Health Organisation recommends babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months. In Australia around 92 per cent of babies are breastfed for the first month but this figure drops to just 14 per cent by the age of six months.
"This shows that while most women want to breastfeed, it can be difficult without support.
"The centre plays an invaluable role in supporting women who want to continue breastfeeding."
Minister's office - 6552 6500