A study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies has
found that breastfeeding rates among Australian women are still below the
levels recommended by the World Health Organisation.
The study of 5,000 children found that just 14% were
breastfed at six months down from 80% at birth and 56% at three months old.
"Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby and
by not breastfeeding there are risks to a baby's health, there are lots of
studies that document that," Australian Breastfeeding Association national
president Margaret Grove said. "I think women are made to feel embarrassed
by breastfeeding and people sometimes feel a bit squeamish about it."
The study also found
that rates of breastfeeding dropped if women returned to work within three
months of delivery.