Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

‘Breastival’ Celebration At Proserpine Hospital Maternity Unit

Proserpine Hospital has celebrated World Breastfeeding Week in style, with their own ‘Breastival’ to celebrate all things breastfeeding.

With a team of 19 midwifes, the Proserpine Hospital delivers about 265 babies a year, with 97 per cent of mothers deciding to breastfeed their baby.

“We are pro breastfeeding, that’s what we promote, but we support all women with what they choose to do,” explains Donna Martin, the Midwifery Unit Manager.

Ms Martin and her team take their mothers on the full birth and care journey, making sure all mothers are well-informed of their options, and support all decisions.

“Breastfeeding is going to provide the baby with antibodies for a lot of different infections.

“Breastfed babies also get less gastro type infections, ear infections, there is reduced incidences of childhood diabetes, childhood cancers, childhood obesity. It’s obviously free, it’s there, it’s perfect for baby.

“For mum, there’s reduced incidences of certain types of cancers, less incidences of osteoporosis, and they get back to their pre-pregnant weight quicker.”

Proserpine Hospital is Baby Friendly Health Initiative accredited and have been holding the accreditation for 18 years now.

“We were the first rural hospital on the east coast of Australia to implement skin to skin in theatre, and the first rural hospital to achieve Baby Friendly Health accreditation in Queensland,” Ms Martin said.

Over the last few years, the Proserpine Hospital has introduced antenatal breastfeeding class, which was delivered over Zoom over COVID.

On the staff is Lactation Consultants, who support women on their feeding journey.

“We just supporting mums to feed their babies, however they wish to feed.”

The midwifery unit also encourages women to begin expressing their breasts around week 37 of their pregnancy.

“They usually have some milk in their breasts by that stage, so we get them to express and freeze that milk, so they have extra for when baby is hungry, or if the baby needs additional milk.”

The Breastival was hosted by the Maternity Unit and welcomed 50 attendees, including mums with their bubs.

With a raffle, with prizes donated from the community, and fun games, the event raised $1500, which will go towards items on the unit’s wish list.

With the success of this inaugural Breastival, the Maternity Unit is looking to make it an annual celebration.

Wearing their specially made scrubs, the Maternity and Midwifery Team at Proserpine Hospital celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Photo credit: Bronte Hodge

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