Australian Breastfeeding Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) is an Australian organisation of people interested in the promotion and protection of breastfeeding. Amongst these are breastfeeding women and their partners and health professionals such as doctors, lactation consultants and midwives.

ABA was founded in Melbourne, Victoria in 1964 as the Nursing Mothers' Association, with the aim of giving mother-to-mother support to breastfeeding women. It is Australia's leading source of breastfeeding information and support[citation needed].

The association is supported by health authorities and specialists in infant and child health and nutrition, including a panel of honorary advisers[citation needed].


Mary Paton founded the Nursing Mothers' Association with five other mothers in Melbourne after having difficulty breastfeeding her first child. Doctors and nurses at the time were not trained to handle breastfeeding problems and with the modern nuclear family there were few older women to turn to for advice, so the founding members supported each other, thus creating the model for mother-to-mother support than continues today. The other founders were Glenise Francis, Pat Patterson, Jan Barry (a member of the Coles family), Pauline Pick and Sue Woods.

In 1981 she received an Advance Australia Award and in 1993 was Family Circle magazine's 'Woman of the Year.' She was awarded an Order of the General Division of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1978.

In 2001, NMAA changed its name to Australian Breastfeeding Association and Paton was included in the Victorian Honour Roll of Women as part of the Centenary of Federation's Ordinary Woman: Extraordinary lives.

In March 2004 Paton became an Australian Living Treasure. On the 2006 Australia Day Honours list Mary Paton OAM, was awarded the higher honour of Member (AM) in the general division - 'for service to the community as the founder of the Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia, and to the development of policies, protocols, management, support and training methods to assist nursing mothers and their babies.'


The ABA has groups across Australia which hold discussion meetings for mothers. Breastfeeding education seminars are run for expectant parents; community education continues through all levels of education from pre-school to tertiary and members visits mothers in hospital to introduce the association and its services. ABA holds seminars and conferences for health professionals.

On 20 March 2009, a national breastfeeding helpline was launched to improve on the previous state-level helplines.

Healthcare applications[edit]

Baby Eve with Georgia for the Breastfeeding Support Project

In Australia, during January 2014, Melbourne tech startup Small World Social collaborated with the Australian Breastfeeding Association to create the first hands-free breastfeeding Google Glass application for new mothers.[1] The application, named Google Glass Breastfeeding app trial, allows mothers to nurse their baby while viewing instructions about common breastfeeding issues (latching on, posture etc.) or call a lactation consultant via a secure Google Hangout, who can view the issue through the mother's Google Glass camera.[2] The trial was successfully concluded in Melbourne in April 2014, and 100% of participants were breastfeeding confidently.[3][4] Small World Social Breasfteeding Support Project


A Sunday Mail news story in August 2012 reported that during an Australian Breastfeeding Association class the undercover reporter was told a baby died "every 30 seconds" from formula and "Formula is a little bit like AIDS,".[5] The association launched an internal investigation soon afterwards and in a media statement on 29 August 2012 said the "comments reported in the media are not the view of the association and the counsellor involved has been stood down from all duties".[6]


  1. ^ "". Inquisitr. Inquisitr. Retrieved 12 June 2014.  External link in |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Exclusive Clips Google glasses help breastfeeding mums". Jumpin Today Show. Mi9 Pty. Ltd. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Breastfeeding mothers get help from Google Glass and Small World". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  4. ^ "Turns Out Google Glass Is Good for Breastfeeding". Motherboard Vice Media Inc. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Australian Breastfeeding Association class told baby formula 'was like AIDS". The Sunday Mail (Qld). 26 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Media Release" (PDF). Retrieved 18 October 2012. 

External links[edit]