First time expectant mother considers breastfeeding

By Heeni Brown
  • Auckland

It's World Breastfeeding week and expectant mother Corey Roberts says she's looking at whether or not breastfeeding is the best option for her.
When it comes to breastfeeding, the 23-year-old says she wasn't too keen on the idea to begin with. 

At 33 weeks pregnant, she says, "When I first thought about it, my cousins asked me, 'Are you going to breastfeed?' I was like, no."

It was only in the last month that Roberts changed her mind when she saw her young sister, also a mother, had continued to breastfeed her baby.

"My sister kind of convinced me that it's actually better for the baby so I'm gonna go ahead and breastfeed."

Plunket's statistics last year suggest 87.5% of babies aged between two and six weeks received breast milk.

However, only 78% of babies aged 12 weeks received some breast milk.

Midwife and breastfeeding advocate Katarina Komene says, "I think the barriers are quite often, some of our young mamas can be whakamā about breastfeeding particularly in public so it's definitely good that we promote breastfeeding as normal."

In an attempt to get more mothers to breastfeed, Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi is running these Māori antenatal programmes.

With Katarina's key message for mothers that breast is best. 

"Like in my mum's day, she never breastfed any of us four because she was told she never had enough milk and that was normal for them, but because they haven't had the education that our young mamas have today, they still don't understand that concept."

According to the Ministry of Health, breastfeeding helps to protect your baby against colds, tummy bugs, infections and allergies.

It also helps to protect your baby from dying suddenly in their sleep.