Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015

1.2 Background to development

Page last updated: 15 July 2010

The Australian Health Ministers’ Conference agreed in March 2009 to collaborate on developing and implementing an Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy, led by the Australian Government, to provide a framework for priorities and action for all governments to address the protection, promotion, support and monitoring of breastfeeding in the community. The commitment to develop the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy was a key element of the Australian Government’s response to The Best Start: Report on the inquiry into the health benefits of breastfeeding from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing (HoR 2007, Australian Government 2008).

The development of the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy was coordinated by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing with the Child Health and Wellbeing Subcommittee of the Australian Population Health Development Principal Committee acting as the Reference Group for strategic direction. The Department of Health and Ageing commissioned the Allen Consulting Group Pty Ltd to facilitate the development of the Strategy including a review of the Australian and international context and evidence for the effectiveness of interventions designed to increase breastfeeding rates with a particular focus on priority population groups, and a consultation process that targeted key stakeholders during July and August 2009. A jurisdictional stocktake and service/activity mapping exercise was also conducted during this period to inform the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy.

The Australian Population Health Development Principal Committee, Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Committee and the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference have been involved in endorsing the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy.