Approve medicare rebate to support breastfeeding mothers.
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To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:
The petition of the undersigned shows:
It isn't new information that the current health system is failing mothers and babies daily. In fact breastfeeding by three months is now the minority and unfortunately, this is due to the lack of support and education by our health system. Statistics from the 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey ( http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420927 ) results indicate that 96% of mothers initiate breastfeeding. Thereafter, exclusive breastfeeding rates drop off. Less than half (39%) of babies are still being exclusively breastfed to 3 months (less than 4 months) and less than one-quarter (15%) to 5 months (less than 6 months). Yet, the World Health Organisation tells us that babies should be exclusively breastfed until the age of 6 months and then continue to breastfed with complementary foods until a minimum of 2 years. (http://apps.who.int/gb/archive/pdf_files/WHA55/ea5515.pdf?ua=1 paragraph 10 )
Not only do women find it hard to access support, due to costs and lack of resources. They also now face the battle of constantly being told incorrect information by health care professionals. There is not enough breastfeeding education for medical professionals who support women in the early stages of breastfeeding. As a nation, we are letting down mothers and we are letting down babies.
How can we dramatically change this?
Your petitioners ask that the Senate:
- Allow International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) to be funded by medicare. Make help more accessible and affordable for mothers.
- Have a IBCLC on every maternity ward, every day. Early support is critical. Our maternity wards are so busy women can not access enough one on one time to establish breastfeeding.
- Fund a nationwide program to update all medical professionals who will be supporting breastfeeding women on the current most up to date breastfeeding information and know how to support women wanting to breastfeed.
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