ABA’s Mother’s Day gift delights local hospital

Thanks to the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s (ABA) Castlemaine and District group, new mums birthing at Castlemaine Health have a very special reason to celebrate this Mother’s Day.

The ABA have generously donated a new Medela Symphony breast pump to Castlemaine Health’s maternity unit. This state-of-the art pump, valued at over $3000, is available for new mums birthing at Castlemaine Health during their stay.

Cate Wotley, Castlemaine Health’s lactation consultant said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer this to our new mums and couldn’t be more grateful to the ABA. What an incredible gift to our hospital and to our community.”

Rachel Honeychurch, ABA Breastfeeding Counsellor said: “During the early days and weeks after birth establishing a good milk supply is really important – especially with premature babies. So we’re very excited that Castlemaine Health mums have access to this technology. The pump was purchased from money raised by women in our district through local fundraising activities. It is very much a gift from the community, to the community.”

Around 70 babies are born at Castlemaine Health every year. It’s maternity ward is renowned for its home-like environment and for providing a respectful and supportive space for new mums and their babies.

Castlemaine Health and the ABA have a long-standing and close relationship. The ABA regularly presents at the hospital’s childbirth classes where they encourage, give confidence and provide support to expectant parents wanting to breastfeed their babies. Cate said: “Their support is invaluable – we couldn’t do it without them.”

Rachel said: “Central Victoria has a high breastfeeding rate at almost 10% higher than the Victorian average*. This pump will help some mothers to achieve their breastfeeding goals with the support of midwives at the hospital. It’s a useful tool that can assist mothers in some circumstances to establish milk supply and therefore help achieve better outcomes for mothers and babies.”

Deanne Greenwood, a volunteer trainee with the ABA agrees.:”It’s so important to have it nearby when you need it.”

The Castlemaine and District group currently run regular group meetings in the Castlemaine, Maldon and Maryborough areas. Trained volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellors provide mother to mother support and current research based information to local families. They also offer hospital grade breast pump hire and counsellors assist in staffing the National Breastfeeding Helpline. The National Breastfeeding Helpline is a 24 hour service providing information and support on 1800 686 268.

The ABA is currently holding its annual National Raffle and 50% of the proceeds from each ticket sold by the Castlemaine and District Group going directly back to the group. This money helps fund initiatives such like this, train volunteers and most importantly support local families. Tickets are available until Mother’s Day. If you would like to purchase a raffle ticket or learn more about the local group please email abacastlemaine@gmail.com.

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