Hi everyone,

April has been a busy month for advocacy at ABA. We’ve released our election priorities for supporting breastfeeding, been in the media talking about the WHO Code and we are partners for the launch of the Mothers’ Milk Tool.

Election Priorities

Earlier this month ABA released five key Election Priorities that will make a big difference to supporting mums to reach their breastfeeding goals:

  1. Increase investment in support: ABA calls for an increase in our Breastfeeding Helpline services funding to $12.5 million over four years to expand and strengthen our services.
  2. Repeat the Australian National Infant Feeding Survey: ABA calls for the Australian National Infant Feeding Survey to be urgently repeated and continue to be repeated every five years in perpetuity, with initial survey results to be published no later than 2023.
  3. Empower working mums: ABA calls for a significant increase in the number of Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace (BFW)-accredited federal agencies, with half of all public service employees to be working for an agency which has achieved BFW accreditation by the end of the next term of government. 
  4. Stop exploitative marketing: ABA calls for the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes and the subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions (the WHO Code) to be legislated in full with funding for monitoring and enforcement of strong penalties.
  5. Improve postpartum care: ABA calls for Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) accreditation to become part of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards that all hospitals offering maternity services must meet.

The ABA Advocacy Working Group (AWG) has been working hard to get letters out to the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Greens and their health spokespeople, asking them to commit to supporting breastfeeding.

Once we receive their responses, we’ll let you know!

How can you help:

  • Share our social media posts on the Election Priorities. The more shares, the more reach, the more people listening.
  • Have a chat with local candidates: They want to know about the issues that matter to you, so if you see a candidate in a local shopping centre or at an event go up to them and have a chat. State branch presidents have sent letters to most candidates from the major parties. Hearing directly from a local voter to back this up is incredibly powerful.

You can find the full document detailing ABA Election Priorities on our website here.

The WHO Code in the media

In addition to this, ABA has been in the media talking all things WHO Code. An article appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. You can find it here. This highlights plain packaging but that’s not explicitly mentioned in the WHO Code and it’s certainly not in our top 5 things to implement. Our top priority in this area is for the WHO Code and WHA resolutions to be legislated in full and applied industry wide, with appropriate funding for monitoring and enforcement of strong penalties by an independent authority.

On Wednesday 27 April, Dr Jen Hocking who is a member of ABA’s WHO Code Taskforce steering group appeared on Sunrise to discuss regulating formula milk marketing. You can find the segment here.

Launch of the Mothers’ Milk Tool

ABA is joining with WBTiAUS to support the launch of the Mothers’ Milk Tool. Counting human milk production in food and economic statistics will encourage better policy decision-making and an appreciation for the value of breastfeeding both in terms of production and how much is lost if policies, healthcare, work and community settings do not enable breastfeeding.

To acknowledge the role, health and economic contribution of mothers to society through women’s unpaid care work, including breastfeeding, the tool will be launched when most countries celebrate Mother’s Day. We invite you to register for the online launch the Mothers’ Milk Tool, on Thursday 5 May 2022, 6-8 pm Sydney time (AEST).

Take care,

Naomi Hull

Senior Manager Breastfeeding Information and Research