Bond of human kindness
CARISSA Dickson feels a very special bond with her daughters Giselle and Scout.
The Moura mum said breastfeeding had helped create that bond with her daughters.
“Giselle is only 3½ months old so I suppose the biggest benefit so far is seeing her grow into such a beautiful bright bubby,” Carissa said.
“It's also fairly easy to get out and about because the tucker's always there.
“I breastfed my first daughter, Scout, for just over two years (as recommended by World Health Organisation) and it was great.
“Every cough and cold seemed to bypass her.
“But apart from the health benefits, I think it's created a lovely emotional bond between us.
“I always felt we were very in tune while she was feeding and I'd like to think that that will continue in some form throughout her life.”
Carissa was surprised to see figures from a recent Newspoll survey that has found one in four Australians think breastfeeding in public is unacceptable.
The survey found 18 to 24-year-olds the least approving and the most unwelcome places to breastfeed is in a church, followed by work, then cafes/ restaurants, with shopping centres last.
“I find it difficult to believe that one quarter of all Australians think a mother should only nourish her baby behind closed doors.
“As far as breastfeeding in public goes, I think it should be not only be supported, but encouraged.
“Although breastfeeding is natural, it is a learned art,” Carissa said.
Before she had Scout, Carissa joined the Moura branch of the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
“I think just being around mothers breastfeeding their babies as a part of normal daily life helped get me off to a great start,” Carissa said.
Claudia Stephenson, a Moura breastfeeding counsellor, is a passionate advocate for breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding is natural, normal and designed for human babies whenever and wherever they need it,” she said.
“(Breastfeeding is) an ancient art which has been lost to modern society by the undermining of mothers' confidence in their inborn ability to nurture their children as nature intended,” Claudia said.
The counsellor said not only did a mother's milk provide food and nutrients, it also helped regulate babies' temperature, breathing and blood pressure, along with (providing) antibodies that helped develop babies' immune systems.
“The human baby is expected to double its birth weight in the first six months; therefore breastfeeding must be very frequent.
“Queensland's hot climate dictates that to avoid dehydration, babies must breastfeed very frequently.”
Breastfeeding counselling maybe accessed by phoning free call 1800 MUM - 2 - MUM (1800 686 2 686), with further information visit www.breastfeeding.asn.au.