Sleepless nights, sore breasts, milk spills and mastitis these are subjects only new mothers can relate to, and why groups like the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) are so vital.
The Lismore branch of the ABA has been operating for 32 years and has just relocated from Goonellabah to the Lismore Library, where about a dozen mums meet every second Friday of the month.
It is great to be more centrally located and the library is much more accessible to mums who use public transport, said Lismore ABA group leader, Ros Fleetwood. Plus the library has a great atmosphere, with the Toy Library and storytime all in the same location.
Mothers who join the ABA can find the mother-to-mother interaction invaluable, and the chance to have a chat and a cup of tea in a baby friendly environment priceless.
The focus of the group has always been support for mothers, said Ros, and it is also a great opportunity to learn from other mothers who have older babies. I joined 18 years ago when I was pregnant with my son. I found the group so supportive and breastfeeding so fascinating that I became a counsellor.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association was established in 1964 by Mary Paton, a new mum who discovered there was absolutely no information available on breastfeeding. In fact, back then you werent even allowed to use the word breast or nipple in public print, hence the groups original title the Nursing Mothers Association. Marys group expanded purely by word of mouth (often in whispers) with friends bringing along friends to Marys house for clandestine breastfeeding sessions.
Now there are over 400 groups nationwide and the World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, followed by continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond while other foods are introduced.
To join the Lismore group contact Ros on 6689 9356 or for more information go to www.breastfeeding.asn.au.
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