Breast is best

Promoting the message that breast is best during National Breastfeeding Month is lactation consultant Caroline Ryan (far right) with local mum Penelope Hurwitz and new baby Carita (front), and other Lismore mums.

While breastfeeding might seem like the most natural thing in the world, for some new mothers it doesnt come naturally and professional support is crucial to encourage and assist these women.

Thanks to a $114,000 grant from the YWCA Community for Children program, two breastfeeding support clinics have been set up in Lismore to help mothers experiencing difficulties establishing and sustaining breastfeeding.

The clinics are in two locations: a drop-in clinic at the Lismore Library and an appointment only clinic at the Northern Rivers Family Care Centre.

We recommend that all children receive six months of exclusive breastfeeding, but initial problems can be a significant risk factor for mums to stop early, said lactation consultant Caroline Ryan. The majority of mothers leave hospital breastfeeding but unfortunately many of them give up at the six to eight week mark. This can often be due to misleading advice from well-meaning relatives or just because they are having difficulties and give up.

Caroline says breastfeeding boosts the babys immune system. Babies who are breastfed for at least six months are also less likely to develop allergies and type 1 diabetes; to become overweight or obese; or to suffer from recurrent ear infections.

One mum, Lia Masman, found the clinic really helpful when she was having problems breastfeeding her second child Dylan.

I had no problems first time around, but every baby is different, Lia said. The clinic was really helpful and it only took a couple of visits for Dylan to start feeding well. It would have been much more frustrating without the service.

The drop-in clinic is on Tuesday mornings from 9.30am-12.30pm while the appointment only clinic is available Tuesday afternoons from 1-4pm and Fridays from 9am-4pm.

Phone Caroline on 6622 8705 for enquiries and appointments, or drop in at the library.

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