Australian Breastfeeding Association celebrates 60 years

The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) is poised to mark a significant milestone in 2024.

It is celebrating 60 years of dedicated support for breastfeeding mothers and families across the nation.

Ms Marshall-Cerins, the Executive Officer of ABA, emphasized the importance of reflecting on the evolving societal landscape that has shaped the organization’s journey. For over six decades, ABA has remained steadfast in its commitment to providing invaluable mother-to-mother peer support and evidence-based information, catering to the needs of mothers, parents, and families.

The roots of ABA trace back to the visionary efforts of Dr. Mary Paton AM, who, grappling with breastfeeding challenges during the 1960s, envisioned a platform to offer support to new mothers. Dr. Paton founded the Nursing Mothers’ Association (NMA) in Melbourne in 1964, laying the foundation for peer support and community education on breastfeeding.

The early years saw NMA’s grassroots growth through word-of-mouth referrals and strategic outreach efforts, including engagements with healthcare professionals and publications in medical journals. Ms. Marshall-Cerins highlighted the pivotal role of Dr. Paton and the founding members in establishing ABA’s ethical framework and credibility within the medical community, essential elements that have sustained the organization’s impact over six decades.

Today, ABA’s reach extends farther than ever before, with a dedicated team of volunteers offering support through various channels, including the National Breastfeeding Helpline and online resources.

The organization’s commitment to innovation is evident through initiatives such as the Newborn Virtual Village program and the mum2mum app, which provide tailored support to families in the digital age.

Despite evolving to meet the changing needs of communities, ABA remains rooted in its core principles. The transition from the Nursing Mothers’ Association of Australia to the Australian Breastfeeding Association in 2001 underscored its unwavering dedication to breastfeeding advocacy and support.

As ABA commemorates its 60th anniversary, it stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Dr. Paton’s vision and the countless volunteers who have contributed to its success. With a rich history of empowerment and support, ABA continues to be the beacon of guidance for breastfeeding mothers across Australia, embodying Dr. Paton’s belief that every new mother deserves the nurturing guidance of an experienced mentor.

Breastfeeding Helpline: 1800 mum 2 mum | 1800 686 268