Australia's first 24-hour toll-free helpline for breastfeeding mothers will be officially launched on Friday 20 April.
1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 2 686) is run by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) and utilises the real-life experience of over 200 trained volunteer counsellors each week who help other mums with issues including the early days with a new baby, expressing and storing milk, weaning, supply and what to do when baby simply says no.
"This is such an important resource for breastfeeding mothers," says Australian Breastfeeding Association president Querida David.
"Mothers across Australia can call one toll-free number to access mum-to-mum support and information from trained breastfeeding counsellors. That's good news for mothers, babies, dads and families. Getting the right help at the right time is important for breastfed babies and their mums. The Australian Breastfeeding Association's free breastfeeding helpline 1800 mum 2 mum delivers that help whenever mothers need it."
The 1800 mum 2 mum number replaces 13 different numbers that operated in different states, with different levels of service. And 1800 mum 2 mum is proving a word-of-mouth hit even before its official launch, averaging 1214 calls per week in February, which were answered by an average of 214 volunteer counsellors each week.
The service is available to everyone, from mothers and fathers to nurses and other health care professionals, whether ABA members or not.
Each volunteer counsellor has completed 400 hours of training and has a Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education or equivalent. The service is available to everyone, from mothers and fathers to nurses and other health care professionals, whether ABA members or not.
The major upgrade of the ABA Breastfeeding Helpline is possible through funding from the Federal Government under the Support Breastfeeding Mums initiative.
Australian Breastfeeding Association is a voluntary organisation established in 1964 to encourage and support mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies. There are 300 ABA groups nationwide with over 17,000 members.
Head to the Essential Baby breastfeeding forum to discuss these issues with Essential Baby mums.