The Australian Breastfeeding Association and many other bona fide health institutions around the world consider breastfeeding as the best feeding practice that mothers are encouraged to comply to ensure optimal health and well-being of their children (“Why Breastfeeding is,” 2005; World Health Organization (WHO), n.d.a) -- and suggested positive effects have indeed inspired many to do so. Besides providing nutrition, breast milk is also believed to help spare a baby from a range of illnesses.
In the year 2004, the Federal Government received a report about the alarming trend of the decline in breastfeeding rates among mothers as their babies reach the first few months (as cited in Godfrey, 2009). As a result, the Department of Health and Aging introduced the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015 in response to the perceived threat to the health of the young Australians which is “recognized as a matter of national importance” (National Public Health Partnership (NPHP), 2004). As health providers, it is the responsibility of nurses to perform their designated roles in advocating proper breastfeeding practices and nutrition among infants in the community level in support to the thrust of promoting health and preventing illness in the population.
Complementary Feeding - “Complementary feeding refers to feeds that are given after 6 months of age when breast milk along does not provide adequate nutrition to the growing infant” (Bhat, 2009, p. 43).
Despite the fact that Australia is indeed one of the healthiest countries in the whole world, it cannot be denied that it still suffers from major health problems like most, if not all, of the countries around the world do. What makes Australia’s health status unique, however, is the presence of a considerable socioeconomic status diversity between its mainstream and Indigenous populations (Moodie, Harper, and Oldenburg, 2008, p. 4).
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