NSW mums who cannot breastfeed will have the option of giving their babies milk from donor mothers if a community milk bank is funded by the state government.
The Mothers Milk Bank operates in Queensland and relies on donations to provide breast milk to women who cannot express it themselves.
AdvertisementNationals MP Geoff Provest (Tweed) is lobbying the government to stump up the necessary 600,000 dollars a year in funding to bring the service to NSW.
"If they did, it would dramatically decrease illnesses in children. It is commonsense," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.
Marea Ryan, of the Mothers Milk Bank said premature babies in particular needed breast milk to protect them against disease.
"Babies' lives would be lost without [the bank]; it reduces infection rates and it is a better health outcome for the state," she said.
Carmel Tebbutt, a spokeswoman for NSW Health Minister said the state and federal governments were still discussing how to implement a "national breastfeeding strategy".
"A number of regulatory and quality-control issues need to be considered as part of discussions about further support for milk banks," said the spokeswoman.
Midwife Annie Dawson, also from Brisbane, relied on donations milk to feed her newborn twins, Nina and Miles.
"I had supply issues, and I wanted to keep them on breast milk. As a midwife I know it is so beneficial [to] help develop their immune system," said Dawson.
"In the first month it was so beneficial for my stress levels, because I could give them what they needed.
"The Australian government does need to give [community milk banks] the importance they deserve," she said.