Benefits outweigh opinions of others

Mowbray mother Cassy Carter with five-week-old son Jack Turner and Launceston General Hospital midwife Anna Pilkington. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

Mowbray mother Cassy Carter with five-week-old son Jack Turner and Launceston General Hospital midwife Anna Pilkington. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

CASSY Carter has no reservations about breastfeeding in public.

But she does worry about making other people uncomfortable.

The Mowbray mother of five-week-old Jack Turner does sometimes notice that when she feeds him in public, friends and strangers don’t know where to look.

‘‘You can tell they’re worried about looking at me because they don’t want me to think they’re looking at my boob,’’ Ms Carter said.

Her message? Breastfeeding is normal. Relax.

Ms Carter, with Launceston General Hospital midwife Anna Pilkington, shared her experiences yesterday as part of International Breastfeeding week.

She said it was important for mothers to know where they could go for information and support, and more work was needed to break down the stigma around breastfeeding.

Mrs Pilkington said the World Health Organisation recommended exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, but it wasn’t always easy, and only 15 per cent of Australian women reached that goal.

However, she said the Australian Breastfeeding Association was available for all mothers when things got tough.

Ms Carter said that while she understood and respected that not all women could or wanted to breastfeed, the potential benefits were enormous.

‘‘I just feel like I’m bonding with Jack in a different way, and there are nutritional benefits as well,’’ she said.

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