Yabilinya miya (learn together): First Nations led program to support Koori women’s breastfeeding journey

Originally published by Lowitja Institute.

Yalbilinya miya (learn together) breastfeeding program is designed by Aboriginal women for Aboriginal women. We will gather perspectives and experiences of breastfeeding among Koori women living on Wiradjuri lands (Wagga Wagga), and recommendations for supports. This knowledge will inform the development of a holistic breastfeeding program led by RivMed, which will support Koori mums through their breastfeeding journey.

The Wiradjuri midwife, Aboriginal Health Worker (AHW) and antenatal GP leading the program will receive lactation training and use this knowledge to support mums who participate in the project. A tailored breastfeeding education program run by our Wiradjuri midwife and antenatal team will develop relevant information and resources around the key themes found in the initial research stage of the program. Including a weekly breastfeeding program with new mums, breastfeeding mentors and Elders, dedicated breastfeeding support phone line to call or text to speak with someone in the team, designated breastfeeding appointments through the RivMed clinic, a breastfeeding pack including an electric breast pump, a Wiradjuri designed cover-up, nipple shields, storage backs and information about the benefits of pumping, and lastly, RivMed will design a Koori women’s breastfeeding space at the clinic.

‘Our women have been nurturing our babies through breastfeeding for over 65,000 years, and this program of work will empower our women to continue these breastfeeding practices for the next generation’ – Simone Sherriff

‘Breastfeeding is the most beautiful and natural way of feeding our babies. Breast is best, anytime and anywhere, and this program will help to ensure all of our women have the tools and supports available to guide them through their breastfeeding journeys’ – Aunty Donna Kirby

‘As a Wiradjuri woman, mother and midwife, this program means so much to me, to be able to be part of a piece of work that is First Nations led and to be able to develop a breastfeeding program that is created by our women, for our women’ – Kristy Williams

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We respectfully acknowledge that the lands and waterways on which the Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Corporation operates, and the communities we serve are the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri people. We pay our respects to our elders past and present and we will continue to fulfill our cultural obligations as a First Nations organisation operating on Wiradjuri country.

Always Was. Always Will Be.