Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey.
Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey. Max Fleet

Jack's door open to breastfeeders

MEMBER for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey's latest cause is one close to the heart.

Mr Dempsey has offered his office as a safe, suitable environment for breastfeeding mothers in the CBD, following a push from the Wide Bay Breastfeeding Promotion Initiative and the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA).

The father-of-five, who is the first Queensland MP to offer a breastfeeding-friendly room, said he wanted to lead by example.

“Families have so many pressures these days, and mothers on the go need a place of sanctuary,” Mr Dempsey said.

Mr Dempsey said he had written to the clerk of Parliament to see if they would like to take it up as an initiative throughout Queensland's 89 electoral offices.

First-time mother Carmen Wyatt appreciated the “really good” idea.

“It's especially good for young mums,” Mrs Wyatt said.

“When you're starting out it can be quite difficult, but this makes it much easier.

“It's hard, with summer coming up, to try and feed the bub and keep yourself covered.”

Community nutritionist Christine Sorbello has spent much of the past year trying to raise interest on the topic and find a suitable breastfeeding room in the CBD.

“It's about showing the community supports breastfeeding,” Mrs Sorbello said.

“And it will encourage mothers to breast-feed for longer.”

Mrs Sorbello said about 80% of mothers started breastfeeding in hospital, but that rate tended to quickly drop off.

“It's important for mothers to be aware that it is recommended for 12 months,” she said.

Tami Boas, project officer for the Wide Bay Breastfeeding Promotion Initiative, and ABA counsellor, took it upon herself to canvass the CBD with information packs and “Breastfeeding welcome here” stickers for businesses to display this week.

To find out how to offer this community service, or for more information, go to www.breastfeeding.asn.au.

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