Breastfeeding is a biocultural behaviour that is influenced in complex ways by the social and economic context as well as by opportunities and barriers to its practice in specific settings, and by social or other characteristics of individuals which multiply risks of premature cessation of optimal breastfeeding. Despite the centrality of breastfeeding practices to optimal feeding in the first two years of life, in Australia exclusive breastfeeding decreases rapidly over the initial weeks and months. Although most (96%) of children are breastfed at least initially (4), breastfeeding practices (exclusivity and duration) have not significantly improved in Australia since the 1990s (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2011).
The previous Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015 was a recommendation from a 2007 Senate inquiry into the health benefits of breastfeeding. At the end of 2015, the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) requested that the Department of Health develop a high level enduring breastfeeding strategy. During consultations by the Department, stakeholders identified key strategies for the enduring Breastfeeding Strategy. The purpose of this review is to provide evidence that indicates the effectiveness of key strategies identified for the enduring Breastfeeding Strategy. The main audience for this review will be the Preventive Policy Section of the Department of Health and their associated stakeholder groups, including the Breastfeeding Expert Reference Group and the Breastfeeding Jurisdictional Officers Group.
|The Sax Institute
|Australian National University
|Number of pages
|Published - 2018