ABA stands for the Australian Breastfeeding Association and is the equivalent of La Leche League in other parts of the world. There are local groups, scattered all across Australia, who meet once a fortnight and it has been one of the things that I have been looking forward to.
I have been active on the ABA forums online but today was my first 'live' meeting. The people were definitely friendly and Aaron had a fabulous time socialising! Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The only thing I had on my mind was 'Possum Droppings'.
I think they usually hold the meetings indoors but it was a beautiful day and there were a few too many moms and babies so they moved the meeting to the courtyard. It was great for all the moms with non-mobile babies but what about the those with toddlers and crawlers? Some of the other toddler moms were content to stand over and watch that their babies did not topple over but I was much more worried about the possum droppings. They were everywhere! Didn't the moms see them? The babies were squishing them with their hands, knees and feet. And some of them were chewing the toys that were dragged along the same paths that the possums used. I couldn't understand it but I didn't say anything because the mothers were obviously quite comfortable with it. I spent half the time helping Aaron walk so that he didn't need to have his hands on the ground and the remainder of the time carrying him around. Luckily he did fall asleep for the last 30 mins.
Anyway, here are 5 things that I do remember from the meeting (apart from the possum droppings).
- Breastfeeding for 2 years halves a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
- It is true that calcium levels are reduced during lactation. However, after weaning, the body will rebuild these levels to higher than what the woman had originally.
- Breastfed babies have higher bone densities.
- Breastfeeding reduces a woman's chances of breaking her hip.
- Breastfed babies generally have a more effective response to childhood immunisations.