Media release 26 July 2017
Latching on promotes normality of feeding practice
World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7
For four-time Mum Kylie Dillon, breastfeeding is a normal thing. She can’t recall experiencing any difficulties, it was just something she did without fuss or bother.
Her extended family were supportive. “There was no issue about feeding wherever – whether it was at the dinner table or elsewhere. No one made a comment. It was quite normal.”
The Stratford early childhood teacher fed her two eldest, now teenagers until they were toddlers, and only wished she could have fed youngest daughter, Esme aged 2 and a half years, for longer. Her decision to stop at six months was driven by the need to return to work.
“I do have a bit of regret about that. I didn’t find expressing easy.”
Kylie describes Esme as “more sickly” than her older three, and puts that down to a shortened period of breastfeeding. Still, she’s the last person to foist an opinion on others.
“It was my own personal preference. It suited me and it was easy and convenient. If they were tired or hungry they would latch on and have a snack or go to sleep. It’s also a comfort thing.
“But each to their own.” She suggests the best thing is for people to treat it as a normal practice and to include breastfeeding mothers in conversations or at meal times.
Kylie’s Mum, Emma Dillon, also breastfed her three children and says she never considered anything else, despite the fact her own mother used bottles. “I never had anyone say anything to me. I never felt like I had to leave the room, I just did it.”
She admires her daughter’s relaxed attitude towards the practice.
“Half the time people didn’t know she was breastfeeding. We would go out to a sports game and she would sit up there in the crowd, and it was very natural.”
However, Emma is a childbirth educator and notes that while there is more discussion about the benefits of breastfeeding, there also seems to be more public comment. “Women now say they feel they are being looked at more.”
There is also a need to educate the wider family about the value of Dads. “We talk about the role they can play in bathing babies, holding them, walking them…there are all sorts of things.”
World Breastfeeding Week runs from August 1-7 with the Big Latch On happening in New Plymouth at the Novotel on Friday August 4 at 10am and in Hawera at the Presbyterian Centre, Argyle St, 10am. The annual event is a fun promotion and chance for women to get together and breastfeed. All are welcome. For more, see the New Plymouth Big Latch On Facebook page or www.womens-health.org.nz/programmes/breastfeeding-activities/big-latch-on/(external link)
For further details contact:
Julie Foley, breastfeeding co-ordinator, Tui Ora, [email protected] ph 759 4064 or 027 704 5497