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Formalised breastfeeding support in Australia: A narrative review

Phoebe, R., Fetherston, C. and Nilson, C.ORCID: 0000-0003-3975-3862 (2019) Formalised breastfeeding support in Australia: A narrative review. Breastfeeding Review, 27 (2). pp. 7-19.

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Background: A range of supports are required to protect and promote breastfeeding and although Australia boasts high initiation rates, these supports have not yet been able to increase duration of breastfeeding to achieve national and global targets.

Aim: To explore the current literature describing the range of formalised supports being implemented to assist Australian breastfeeding mothers and better enable understanding of where the future focus is required to improve support and ensure breastfeeding success.

Method: A search for relevant peer-reviewed and grey literature published after 1989 was undertaken using CINAHL, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Proquest, Scopus and Google Scholar.

Findings: Breastfeeding support in Australia exists as globally influenced, policies and directives that inform a range of recommended management procedures, clinical practice and community support. Despite this broad approach, unsupportive societal attitudes still exist and breastfeeding prevalence remains suboptimal. There is also uncertainty regarding how support, from an individual to community health level, is implemented effectively for improved sustainability.

Conclusion: Strengthened support at all levels is needed to see the cultural change needed for improvement. Further research into how women interact with support may prove valuable in revealing ways in which current breastfeeding supports can be strengthened to avoid early cessation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Health Professions
Publisher: Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA)
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