Western Health is committed to promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding. Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s is an accredited Baby Friendly Health Initiative facility and follows the World Health Organisation’s "10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding".
In 2023, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) recognised Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s for excellence in lactation care and the facility was awarded the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC®) Care Award. Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s is the only Victorian hospital to receive this award and one of only four in Australia.
Western Health Breastfeeding Summary – English
Western Health Breastfeeding Summary – Vietnamese
Western Health Breastfeeding Summary – Arabic
Western Health Breastfeeding Summary - Hindi
You can read about Western Health’s commitment in our breastfeeding policy.
Western Health developed a Vietnamese breastfeeding resource you can find here.
You can prepare for breastfeeding by reading the handout ‘Learning about breastfeeding during pregnancy’. Please share this with the support people in your life so they can learn about how to support you in your breastfeeding journey.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association’s ‘Breastfeeding Confidence’ booklet is a quick guide on the essentials of breastfeeding that you will be provided with during pregnancy. It is also available to download in the following languages
Western Health offers Lactation Support for Women who have birthed at either Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital or Bacchus Marsh Hospital. The service is staffed by qualified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) and a Breastfeeding Support Enrolled Nurse. The service also provides support in Newborn Services, Children’s ward and anywhere else a breastfeeding parent or child is receiving care. Bacchus Marsh Hospital offers Lactation support to mothers up to six weeks after giving birth.
During pregnancy, you will be provided with breastfeeding information by the midwives at your antenatal clinic appointments. If you have had difficulties with breastfeeding in the past, or you think you may have challenges after your baby is born, the midwife can refer you to the Lactation Consultants.
Once you and your baby have been discharged from hospital there are breastfeeding supports available in the community. The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) runs the National Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 686 268. The Breastfeeding Helpline is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can find out more about the local community breastfeeding supports available in the handout Breastfeeding support and information – available in English, Vietnamese, Hindi and Arabic.