E-NEWSLETTER: 6th Edition
Kia Ora and welcome to the 6th edition of the Breastfeeding Support Otago & Southland e-newsletter. There have been some exciting developments to the Breastfeeding Support Otago & Southland programme. Read on to find out more!

In this issue:

  • BFSOS Website Launch
  • World Breastfeeding Week Activities
  • The Big Latch On
  • BURP update
  • Annual Accreditation Process Change
  • Gold Conference
  • New funding for Wanaka Breastfeeding Support


BFSOS Website Launch


The website is nearly ready to go! In June we will be asking you all to start loading your profiles onto the website (for those who are interested).

​The website will make it easier for women in the community to find you, and will also be a good reference point for health care professionals.

A section on other useful resources about breastfeeding will also be included on the website. 

The website will be launched the week prior to World Breastfeeding Week. WellSouth will send out a media release and we have bibs featuring the BFSOS logo and website to give out to families to help promote the programme. 

World Breastfeeding Week

​World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is coming up on the 1st-7th of August.  The 2015 theme on working women and breastfeeding revisits the 1993 WBW campaign on the Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative.

As part of this initiative, the Otago Breastfeeding Network will be contacting local workplaces and unions to encourage employers to take positive action in the creation of breastfeeding friendly workplace environments.

The Otago Breastfeeding Network will also host something special for the wee ones: a colouring in competition of a mother breastfeeding in a workplace (picture below). One of the Dunedin-based Peer Supporters, Kari Clifford, kindly drew it for the network. It will be printed in a community newspaper and available in libraries during the school holidays.

WBW is a great opportunity to promote the services Peer Supporters provide! Here are some ideas:
  • Give out a breastfeeding policy template to local employers (ask your local Administrator about a policy template).
  • Give out a flyer to local businesses which highlights the benefits of supporting breastfeeding in workplaces. Contact: sophie.carty@wellsout.org.nz if you would like a copy.
  • Approach local employers offering your service to mothers and fathers who are going on parental leave.
  • Create and distribute a ‘coffee table quiz’ to local businesses.

For more information on this global initiative, visit: http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/ 


The Big Latch On


The Big Latch On is happening around the world and is a great opportunity to celebrate and normalise breastfeeding in the local community.  

Big Latch On events will be held across the Otago Southland region at 10.30am on the 31st of July.  If you are interested in hosting a Big Latch On in your local community please visit: 

It would be greatly appreciated if you could all support The Big Latch On by promoting it through your networks, attending, and encouraging others to attend. It would be great to see whole coffee groups to attend BLO events, even if not everyone breastfeeds.

In Dunedin, the BLO will be hosted in the lower level of the Meridian Mall. The Meridian Mall is also a BURP venue.   Arthur Barnett's has kindly agreed to provide $5 special of coffee, muffin and fluffy for all enthusiastic mums, family and whanau that make it out on the day.  VeggieBoys will be supplying free fruit. 

In Invercargil, the BLO will be hosted at 
the Lindisfarne Community Centre.

In Central Otagothere will also be BLO events taking place in Wanaka and Queenstown. Check out the website for more details. 

If you can't make it on the day, you can still participate!  Last year a selfie initiative was started, where breastfeeding women who could not attend a Big Latch On event in person could participate online and connect with other breastfeeding mums via social media sites such as Facebook.

Selfies can be uploaded to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If uploading to Facebook, the selfie can either be shared on your own Facebook page, or to the Big Latch On Facebook page (or both).

For Facebook visit: https://www.facebook.com/BigLatchOnNZ

For Twitter make sure you write the words ‘#BigLatchOnNZ’ in the caption for your picture to connect it to the ‘I Latched On’ selfie campaign. 

PLEASE NOTE: The Big Latch On NZ Facebook page is a PUBLIC PAGE and Women’s Health Action cannot be responsible for the privacy of photos uploaded onto our page.

BURP Update


BURP is shaping up to be a great success!

e are getting lots of hits and downloads!!  Through the website and app there are 1600 users, and in total there has been 3465 sessions. We are looking at developing an iPhone app due to the websites popularity.

We now have 192 breastfeeding and child friendly venues on the website and app, with more to come soon for the North Otago Region.  

Please promote the BURP app, and encourage your favourite local cafes and restaurants to sign up.  Direct them to: www.burpapp.co.nz  

Queenstown Launch:
To celebrate the recent launch of BURP in Central Otago, Queenstown mums and their children joined Sarah Berger, WellSouth Health Promotion Coordinator, at The Exchange Café (pictured above).

Agencies for Nutrition Action Conference:

On the 6th of May, Kathleen Eade, Health Promoter from the Southern District Health Board (and a BFSOS Peer Supporter), and Sophie Carty, Health Promoter at WellSouth, gave a presentation about BURP to the national Agencies for Nutrition Action Conference in Auckland. 

The presentation went really well and we received interest from Hawkes Bay and Palmerston North about starting BURP in their regions.  

Annual Accreditation Process Change


From the 1st of July 2015 the BFSOS programme will be using a slightly different annual accreditation process. 

The new annual accreditation is designed to align with the educational requirements of the Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI). Therefore, if a Peer Supporter is interested they can become accredited with NZ Breastfeeding Authority’s BFCI for three years at a cost of $250, giving further validity and acknowledgment to their work in the community (which is often extensive). However you can still become accredited on an annual basis if you do not wish to do this.

The new process will also help the BFSOS programme fulfill it's obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi).  Māori women are under represented in breastfeeding rate statistics, and the new accreditation process will give Peer Supporters the opportunity to learn more about breastfeeding from a Māori perspective.

It will not involve any extra time and will be able to be incorporated into the existing education you take part in. For example, a case study on a M
āori family in a Peer Supporter meeting, or workshop you attend may incorporate some information about Maori and breastfeeding. You could also invite a Māori friend along to a hui to talk to your fellow Peer Supporters about their breastfeeding experience. 

​Please contact your Peer Support Administrator if you have any questions about the new accreditation process. 

Congratulations to, Cara Morton, Kathleen Eade, Vanessa Herbert, Catkin Bartlett, Katya Blair, Bushie Calvert, Elwyn Clements, Catherine Rice, Grace Wang, Natasha Kozik, Sarah Berger and Louise Thompson for recently completing an online BreastEd Course.

BreastEd courses are a great way to increase your knowledge and reach annual accreditation requirements. 

Gold Conference


Recently, Peer Supporter's from Wakatipu, Dunedin and Invercargill were supported by WellSouth to attend the Gold Lactation Online Conference. Below is an article written by one of our Dunedin-based Peer Supporters sharing some of her learning's and insights from the conference to share with you all. Enjoy!

As a breastfeeding peer counsellor, it’s fair to say I’m a fan of breastfeeding.  I understand its many benefits for both mum and baby. But I was blown away by the evidence presented in a lecture by Dr Kathleen Kendall-Tackett at the 2015 Gold Lactation conference which suggests breastfeeding helps women overcome childhood adversity, and may even put a stop to the abuse cycle. After listening to her lecture I had never felt more convinced of the need for widely available and accessible breastfeeding support.

Kendall-Tackett (PhD, IBCLC, FAPA) begins by examining the impact of childhood adversity, which encompasses sexual, physical or emotional abuse and neglect, parental impairment (e.g. depression or substance abuse), parental loss through death or divorce and/or low socioeconomic status. In essence what she said was early life adversity can literally rewire the brain, causing sufferers to become more sensitive to stress in later life. So by age 15 they are more likely to show signs of stress; by age 20 they are more likely to be depressed and as adults they are more likely to experience increased physical health problems. Having a “hyperactive stress response”, as Kendall-Tackett puts it, often leads to a host of adult diseases.
But mothers who are breastfeeding, and presumably having no breastfeeding difficulties, experience a “dialling down” of this hyperactive stress response – during the act of feeding and for a short time afterwards. Kendall-Tackett refers to a study in Germany (Heinrichs et al, 2001) that showed breastfeeding was a much better stress-reducer for mothers than simply holding their baby. While breastfeeding, the stress hormones cortisol and ACTH were instantly reduced in these mothers. And when the researchers tried to induce stress in these mothers immediately after breastfeeding they found that they couldn’t, for about thirty minutes afterwards. So breastfeeding tones down a mother’s stress receptor, providing a  “lovely cloud” for the mother, as Kendall-Tackett puts it. It’s not hard to see the health benefits for a mother who is breastfeeding regularly every day, day after day.
Kendall-Tackett makes a link between this regular, “dialling down” of the stress receptor in breastfeeding mothers and the fact that women who have breastfed for 12 months or longer are less likely to suffer hypertension and cardiovascular disease later on in life (Schwartz et al, 2009). She argues that breastfeeding provides lifetime protection for mothers from some of the deadliest diseases that kill women around the world.
For women who have experienced adversity in childhood, this ability to “dial down” or “turn off” their stress receptor through breastfeeding, according to Kendall-Tackett, makes them less susceptible to depression than mothers who have abusive backgrounds and bottle-feed. She refers to her own study that compared rates of fatigue, irritability and depression in breastfeeding mothers who had been sexually assaulted with non-assaulted bottle-feeding mums. The results showed the breastfeeding mothers were getting more sleep and were less irritable than the non-assaulted bottle-feeding mums. The assaulted breastfeeding mothers showed only slightly higher levels of depression compared with the non-assaulted bottle-feeding mothers.  The most tired, irritable and depressed mothers were those who had been assaulted and were bottle-feeding.

Kendall-Tackett’s sleep studies have shown that breastfeeding mothers get more sleep than mothers who are bottle-feeding. While exclusively breastfed babies don’t sleep for such long stretches at night as bottle-fed babies, their mothers go back to sleep more quickly after a feed. This is important, notes Kendall-Tackett, because poor sleep is closely linked with depression. Women with a history of adversity generally take longer to go to sleep, which can impair overall mental health. But the women in her study who had been sexually-assaulted and were breastfeeding were taking less time to get back to sleep than the non-assaulted bottle-feeding mothers, and were getting more sleep overall.
Breastfeeding not only helps women overcome the legacy of childhood adversity, Kendall-Tackett argues, it also lowers the risk of intergenerational abuse and trauma. An Australian study that followed mother-infant pairs for 15 years found that mothers who breastfed for at least 4 months were 3.8 times less likely to neglect their children, and 2.6 times less likely to physically abuse their children. (Strathearn et al, 2009).
Kendall-Tackett is quick to point out that most women who are abused do not become abusive towards their own children, but they may pass on the abuse in other ways – by being in an abusive relationship or depressed, for example. But breastfeeding has been found to protect babies from maternal depression (Jones et al, 2004). It is difficult for a mother to disengage from her baby when she’s breastfeeding, says Kendall-Tackett. Even if she’s feeling very low she’s more likely to touch, stroke and make eye contact with her baby while breastfeeding, compared with mothers who bottle-feed. Breastfeeding is nature’s way of promoting a secure attachment between mother and child. This strong attachment, according to Kendall-Tackett, helps babies develop into adults who are more resilient to life’s challenges, and this in turn helps protect the next generation from experiencing adversity.
Rachel Fahey - Dunedin Breastfeeding Peer Supporter

Success in Funding!

Wanaka Breastfeeding Support have just heard that they have received some funding from the Graham & Olive West Charitable Trust.

Congratulations to them!  

Have you ever considered applying for local funding for your group? 

Here are some useful links for funding opportunities:


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