More than 230 local Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) groups operate throughout Australia! The ABA was founded by a group of mothers with the aim of helping other mothers and this 'mother-to-mother' support is the keystone of our local groups. You can come along and meet new friends, chat to and get hints and tips from other mothers who've 'been there' and talk to a trained, volunteer breastfeeding counsellor if needed.
A local group is looked after by trained, volunteer breastfeeding counsellors or educators who live in the area. Most groups get together once or twice a month for a variety of activities such as:
- Discussions on breastfeeding and parenting topics
- A talk from a guest speaker
- A lunch, morning or afternoon tea and chat
- A play in the park, a walk or visit to a local attraction
- A special event such as a movie afternoon or dinner out
What happens at an ABA group?
All groups offer mothers information and problem-solving support and a program of activities. Programs are put together by the local members and reflect the needs of the community they serve, so can vary from area to area. Topics discussed might cover such things as basic breastfeeding tips, expressing and storing breastmilk, supply issues, returning to work, weaning, introducing solids, nighttime parenting and much more.
All get-togethers have at least one trained breastfeeding counsellor present to answer questions and/or discuss any problems you may be having. And of course, as well as being informative, they are great fun!
Where are they held?
Some groups get together in a local venue such as a community centre meeting room, while others meet in each other's homes. Sometimes groups will meet at a special venue, such as a local park or place of interest.
Who can attend?
Everyone is welcome to attend their local group. Whether you are pregnant, fully breastfeeding, partially breastfeeding, expressing or bottle-feeding you will be welcomed. Partners, friends and grandparents are also welcome to come along.
ABA members can attend unlimited get-togethers anywhere in Australia. Non-members are more than welcome and encouraged to attend as a visitor. If you enjoy attending your local group, please consider becoming a member of ABA as it is only through membership that ABA has the funds to continue to provide its services.
What mums say about their local group
- I have been a member of the ABA for 18 months now, and I attended my first group get-together when Hayley was 3 weeks old (I just needed to get out of the house and meet other mums with babies!). I am not able to attend as many get-togethers as I did when I was on maternity leave, but Hayley and I try to make as many as work allows. ABA is not just for women who have breastfeeding queries. Hayley and I enjoyed a relatively easy breastfeeding relationship. But what I value most about the get-togethers is seeing other mums, with older and younger children, and getting advice and ideas on where other children are at, ideas for food for Hayley, adjusting to child care, and anything that is relevant to being a mum. Meetings are really just an opportunity for a coffee and a chat. I encourage everyone to come along and see what they are like. It's just a chance to get out, relax and have fun! Katrina, mum of Hayley, 19 months.
We've been coming to group meetings since Michael was four months old. I was so pleased to find a group of women and children where I felt comfortable enough to open up and share my experiences. I have learnt so much from the women in this group. I also enjoy being able to take Michael out. He usually enjoys being with the other children so much that I get a good break from him! I enjoy meetings so much that I've chosen to train as a counsellor and get involved on a deeper level. I feel that the support new mothers can offer each other, simply by getting together, sharing ideas and being honest about the joys and challenges of parenting and breastfeeding is amazing! Cheryl, mum of Michael, 18 months.
Other group services
Other services offered by your local ABA group could include a library of breastfeeding and parenting books that can be borrowed free of charge by ABA members. Some groups will have instructional DVDs available for you to view.
ABA members receive a local group newsletter with upcoming activities and local group news.
Special events, including breastfeeding classes, are often held by groups. Check out our breastfeeding classes page to see what is planned in your area.
** Any ABA group wishing to update contact details in the search option above should contact Group Administration at Head Office.