August 05, 2022
Breastfeeding best but in decline
The kaumatua advisor for the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance says breastfeeding is on the decline in Aotearoa.
It’s World Breastfeeding Week, and the alliance, the College of Midwives and the Paediatric Society have joined forces to remind New Zealanders successful breastfeeding involves the whole whānau.
Henare Edwards says Māori culture teaches that breastfeeding is not just natural, but skin-to-skin contact benefits both mother and baby.
“Right from the beginning, from the time baby is born, there is that bonding that takes place, the first kai, and form then the bonding begins, mai i te kiri ki te kiri,” he says.
In Aotearoa four in five percent of babies are exclusively breastfed when their māmā are discharged from birthing services, but the percentage drops significantly by six weeks after birth.