How we're supporting LGBTQIA+ families to feed and nourish their children
by Jessica Leonard
For any new or expectant parent, feeding their new baby can be an exciting and daunting process. But for parents from the LGBTQIA+ community, there can be extra factors to consider.
Bridget Muir is a Volunteer Welfare and Education Committee Member with Rainbow Families NSW, the peak charity in NSW that supports, empowers and celebrates LGBTQ+ Rainbow families. They have been working with ABA on a new project that supports that LGBTQIA+ community.
‘Three years ago Rainbow Families NSW recognised a major gap in support for families within the lactation and human milk feeding field’, says Bridget.
‘Rainbow Families NSW found that there were no classes specifically for LGBTQIA+ parents about infant feeding and human milk in Australia. Although breastfeeding education classes are available, many LGBTQIA+ parents don’t feel comfortable attending these classes and asking questions specific to their situation and their communities.’
‘Rainbow Families NSW obtained funding from LUSH! and the Vasudhara Foundation, and partnered with the Australian Breastfeeding Association to develop and produce a resource and classes specifically for LGBTQIA+ parents.’
The project consists of two parts. The first is a book called Breastfeeding, chest feeding and human milk feeding: Supporting LGBTQIA+ Families.
‘The book is a wonderful resource that offers a lot of information and support about human milk, co-feeding, chest feeding, inducing lactation and more. It also includes photographs from the Rainbow Families NSW and Rainbow Families Queensland communities, as well as personal stories. The book has been made by the community for the community and is specifically tailored to resonate with LGBTQIA+ parents and expecting parents’, Bridget says.
The second part of the project is Breastfeeding, chest feeding and human milk feeding online classes.
‘These classes are held quarterly and run for 90 minutes online. They’re facilitated by Australian Breastfeeding Association volunteers and a Rainbow Families NSW representative. These classes share general information about feeding and what to expect from your baby in the first weeks. Best of all, these classes also invite a parent from the community to join for a Q&A and share their own experience’, Bridget added.
For more information on Rainbow Families NSW please visit: www.rainbowfamilies.com.au
Jessica Leonard is a breastfeeding counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association, and mother to two children. She is passionate about providing families with evidence-based information to support them to meet their breastfeeding goals.
Nicole talks with Bridget from Rainbow Families NSW about information and support available to LGBTQIA+ families, including an exciting new collaboration with Rainbow Families NSW and the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Elke and Andrea also share their experience of feeding their babies.
Access our free info kit.
Download our mum2mum app via the App store or Google Play.
Call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 686 268, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Chat with a volunteer via LiveChat on our website.
Sign up for an interactive and informative local breastfeeding class or online breastfeeding workshop.
Get books and resources on general and specialist breastfeeding topics.
Join ABA as a member to get your free copy of our best-selling book Breastfeeding … naturally + free access to all premium content on the mum2mum app + discounted breastfeeding classes + half-price breast pump hire + unlimited access to ABA events + more!
Read more about supporting LGBTQIA+ families
Supporting LGBTQIA+ Families
Tailored and practical information on infant human milk feeding for parents and caregivers within the LGBTQIA+ community. It is a collaboration between Rainbow Families NSW and ABA.