TODAY marks 40 years since the first woman in Wagga qualified as a breastfeeding counsellor with the then Nursing Mothers Association of Australia.
Now known at the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), the local group is marked the special anniversary with a special morning tea at the Glenfield Community Centre this morning.
All Wagga mothers, their supporters and, of course, their children were invited to help celebrate the occasion.
Since the humble beginnings, the Wagga group is pleased to have been able to provide a continuous presence in the local community, providing support, information and guidance to many mothers.
The city’s newest breastfeeding counsellor and mother of two, Wendy Harper, completed her qualification in September, bringing the number of counsellors in Wagga and its surrounds to five.
“The role of a breastfeeding counsellor is to provide non-judgmental support to mothers and assist them to find solutions to difficulties with breastfeeding,” Mrs Harper said.
“All counsellors need to have completed a Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education, before embarking on a supported practicum on the 24-hr Breastfeeding Helpline 1800mum2mum (1800686268).
“I’m finding my new role as counsellor very rewarding.
“Mothers are usually happy to have someone to listen to them, offer them some suggestions, and give them a safe space to make the decisions that work for them and their family.”
Mrs Harper is enjoying the chance to be a part of such a helpful and positive organisation while supporting women in the community.
“I’m also pleased to be a part of this local community supporting mothers for 40 years,” she said.
“Some of our newer members even say that their mothers were supported by the organisation when they embarked on motherhood.”
The Wagga group of the Australian Breastfeeding Association meets fortnightly, on varying days.
For more information, please contact 0427 278 261, or email