9am, Thurs Oct 20, National Convention Centre
CANBERRA, 19 October 2011
– After welcoming her first child into the world earlier this year, and being appointed UNICEF Australia’s Patron for Breastfeeding, television presenter and bestselling author Tara Moss will begin her official duties tomorrow (9am, Thurs Oct 20) when she opens the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s International Conference in Canberra.
The ABA’s international conference ‘Step Up, Reach Out: developing an inclusive breastfeeding society’, brings together experts in breastfeeding management from around the world and from within Australia. They will present the latest research on how to help mothers and babies, to more than 600 health professionals from around Australia. The full program can be viewed here: www.breastfeedingconference.asn.au.
‘We are excited to have the new UNICEF Australia Patron for Breastfeeding, Tara Moss, opening our conference,” says Querida David, President of the ABA. “Ms Moss and UNICEF share the ABA’s philosophy that all mothers and babies should have access to the best skilled help in learning to breastfeed.’
The new collaboration allows Ms Moss, a UNICEF Australia Goodwill Ambassador since 2007, to promote and support the practice of breastfeeding in Australia, something she is a passionate advocate for.
“'I am very honoured to be appointed to this role. After my own experiences this year with the obstacles that women can face when breastfeeding, I'm excited about the opportunity to help increase awareness of the importance of nursing and how we can, in real and practical ways, assist women in this regard,” said Ms Moss
Ms Moss said that while some women did have difficulty breastfeeding, there was overwhelming evidence to support the importance of it, but sometimes that message was confused.
“I hope that with enough real information, we can combat the negativity and misinformation that abounds on this topic, and hopefully raise the rate of breastfeeding in this country to the world average or above. It would be a gift for mothers and babies alike. Not to mention our chequebooks and our environment,” she said.
UNICEF and the World Health Organisation recommend babies are exclusively breastfed – that is, given no other food, drink or even water – for 6 months, and continue breastfeeding with nutritional supplements for up to two years.
In Australia only 56 per cent of women are breastfeeding exclusively at three months after giving birth and a low 14 per cent at the recommended six months.
Breastfeeding is important for optimal growth, development and health of children. Scientific evidence shows breastfeeding is a preventative measure against illness and disease for children whilst also creating an invaluable bond between mother and baby.
About Baby Friendly Health Initiative
The Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) was introduced into Australia by UNICEF in 1993 with the aim to promote and support the practice of breastfeeding. UNICEF Australia works in association with the Australian College of Midwives to support Australian hospitals and health organisations to become ‘Baby Friendly’ accredited and provide the care, support and advice women need to make informed choices about breastfeeding in line with global standards set by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.
UNICEF works in over 190 countries to promote and protect the rights of children. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. In Australia, UNICEF advocates for the rights of all children to be realised and works to improve public and government support for child rights and international development. UNICEF receives no funding from the UN, but relies on the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Tara Moss bio note
Bestselling international fiction author and television presenter Tara Moss has been a UNICEF Australia Ambassador since 2007. In this role, she has proven her commitment to children by using her time, energy and talents to support UNICEF’s work, including supporting the UNICEF Australia Mother’s Day campaign only five weeks after giving birth to her daughter. A new mother, passionate about the importance of breastfeeding, Tara Moss now takes on a new role with UNICEF as Australian Patron for Breastfeeding.
For more information, please contac
Australian breastfeeding association national conference:
To arrange interviews, contact Sharyn Low Conference Coordinator:
T 02 4572 3079 M 0417 202 448 F 02 8580 5089
To speak with the ABA spokesperson, contact Querida David ABA National President on 02 6543 6339. firstname.lastname@example.org
For an interview with Tara Moss, please contact:
Martha Tattersall, UNICEF Australia
0421 570 393
Monique Hughes, UNICEF Australia
0401 456 128
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