Breastfeeding

Evidence suggests that breastfeeding provides significant short- and long-term health benefits for both mother and baby.

Breastmilk provides all the necessary nutrients for optimum physical and mental development of your baby and has unique qualities to help build their immune system, that are not found in infant formula.

Research shows babies who are breastfed are protected against some infectious conditions such as gastroenteritis and respiratory infections and decreases their chance of a chronic illness later in life.

Mothers who breastfeed return to pre-pregnancy health sooner and have a reduced chance of breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends babies be exclusively breastfed to around 6 months of age. You should continue breastfeeding with solid food to at least 12 months of age.

More information is available from the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

Looking after yourself

We encourage you to eat a well-balanced diet and get plenty of rest and fluid while you are breastfeeding or expressing breast milk.

Lactation Consultant

A Lactation Consultant (LC) is a specialist who can help prevent, recognise and solve breastfeeding difficulties.

The NICU and SCN have LCs who are also practicing midwives and nurses. Please ask your baby’s nurse if you would like them to organise a time for the LC to visit you.

Face to face support

Breastfeeding support is available from various services within ACT Health. Please see the links below for more information. You can also speak to your GP about any questions or concerns you may have about breastfeeding.

Telephone support for families

There are many support services available over the phone to give you information and advice about breastfeeding. Please see the links below for more information.

1800 882 436

24-hour helpline (free call)

1800 022 222

24-hour helpline (free call)

1800 647 831

Free support service for children, young people and families in Canberra

1800 686 2 686

24-hour breastfeeding helpline

(02) 6207 9977

Helpline for clients and the general public about ACT Health services

ACT Breastfeeding Strategy

ACT Health is committed to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding through the ACT Breastfeeding Strategic Framework 2010-2015.

Breastfeeding DVD for young parents

This video aims to increase awareness about breastfeeding and empower young parents to achieve a successful breastfeeding journey. It provides valuable information and tips on successful breastfeeding, including what to expect, how long to breastfeed for and breastfeeding in public.

For more information, please contact WYC-Communityhealth@act.gov.au

Online breastfeeding resources

Having a baby and becoming a parent may be one of the most exciting and challenging things you ever do. The Breastfeeding in the ACT e-resource contains more information.

Please see the links below for other online breastfeeding articles and videos from the Raising Children Network.

Page last updated on: 12 Oct 2018