BREASTFEEDING ON THE INCREASE
Breastfeeding rates in New Zealand are increasing slowly, according to Plunket data released during World Breastfeeding Week. In 2015 and in 2016 87.5 per cent of babies aged between two and six weeks received breast milk, 1.5 per cent more than in 2013 and 2014. However, the statistics also showed the rate of breastfeeding at 12 weeks was consistently about 10 per cent lower than the rate at six weeks. The health benefits of breastfeeding are significant and greater investment in support services to help mums breastfeed would improve children’s health outcomes. There is support available for mums, such as the 24 hour PlunketLine, La Leche and Plunket nurses and family centres.