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Full Funding for ABA Breastfeeding Helpline 2023

Full funding for ABA's Breastfeeding Helpline and LiveChat services


Please support ABA's volunteer breastfeeding counsellors and educators who give around-the-clock care and support to mums and babies in their most vulnerable moments. 

Sending an email to your local MP is as simple as clicking a button!

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What services do ABA volunteers provide?

ABA’s 24/7 toll-free National Breastfeeding Helpline and web-based, real time LiveChat are essential services equitably supporting parents of infants and young children across Australia. These services are provided by trained ABA volunteer breastfeeding counsellors and educators.

ABA's Commonwealth Government funded National Breastfeeding Helpline and LiveChat services, are accessed by 73,000+ families each year, that's 1 in 4 of the 310,000 births in Australia in 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in increased demand for ABA’s Helpline Services. ABA volunteers proved resilient, continuing to provide high quality breastfeeding support services throughout the lockdown years.

ABA volunteers gave more than 25,000 hours to the National Breastfeeding Helpline and LiveChat services last year.


Why do we need your help?

Without continued funding from the Commonwealth Government, the future provision and delivery of ABA's Helpline Services is at risk. The funding also ensures the nationally accredited training of ABA's volunteer breastfeeding counsellors and educators who staff the services and allows ABA to provide world-class education to Health Professionals, enabling best-practice care of mums and babies.

ABA's current Commonwealth Government funding ceases on 30 June 2023. The Commonwealth Department of Health has not confirmed full nor ongoing funding for ABA to continue to deliver these services.

The level of funding offered to ABA since 2019 will not cover the increased costs of service delivery, impacted by the COVID19 pandemic and the current high rates of inflation. ABA is seeking a 40% increase in funding to support the service from 2023 to 2027. 

How you can help?

You are welcome to download this pdf poster and distribute it.

Breastfeeding matters

In Australia 96% of new mums want to breastfeed their baby because they know that breastfeeding is recognised as highly valuable to lifelong health and preventative health benefits for mothers and children, along with the importance to the economy and environment

The critical role of breastfeeding in the health and wellbeing of Australians is recognised in the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy: 2019 and beyond (ANBS), the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030, the National Preventative Health Strategy 2021-2030 and the National Obesity Strategy 2022-2032.

ABA has been a key implementation partner in progressing the objectives of the ANBS and the preventative health outcomes of these strategies. more

The need for ABA's Breastfeeding Helpline Services

Breastfeeding women routinely require support outside of normal business hours. The National Breastfeeding Helpline operates 7 days per week, 24 hours a day. The Breastfeeding Helpline has been staffed by a total of 689 trained peer breastfeeding counsellors over the past 3 years.

  • 22% of callers to ABA's Breastfeeding Helpline said they may have stopped breastfeeding if it wasn’t for their call. 
  • 42% of callers said that without Helpline they would have needed to access their local hospital or other medical services.

ABA’s LiveChat is an online, one-on-one secure chat service providing universal access to breastfeeding information and support in real-time, since 2018. Over the past 3 years, LiveChat has been staffed by 120 trained peer ABA counsellors and educators and is accessed via ABA’s website each weeknight 8 pm to 10 pm and each Monday and Friday 12 pm to 2 pm (AEST).

Our single-question exit surveys and annual online user surveys (over 1200 responses) provide robust evidence of the need, value and effectiveness of the ABA's Breastfeeding Helpline Services:

Over the past 3 years, between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2022:

  • 201,978 callers have contacted ABA’s National Breastfeeding Helpline.
  • LiveChat has received 18,134 chats from mums, their families and health professionals

The top reasons for contacting ABA Breastfeeding Helpline Services remain consistent and are:

  • Sore breasts or nipples
  • Information on feeding patterns
  • Reassurance
  • Concern with low milk supply
  • Baby refusing the breast
  • Positioning and attachment

Feedback from our 2020-21 online caller survey confirms the high standard and value of our Breastfeeding Helpline and trained volunteer peer counsellors with a 94% customer satisfaction rate. 97% of callers indicated they would recommend the service to others, 95% indicated the support and information assisted them in their needs:


"I was so impressed with the lady I spoke to. She was so reassuring and helpful. During our chat, we made a short-term plan to get me through the night and a longer-term plan to get ongoing help and assistance."



"LiveChat makes it super easy for people (like me) who really struggle with the right words to say when it’s about something that I’m totally stressing about. It’s SO accessible, I can msg while I’m boobing bub to sleep (and not risk waking her!)."


Essential healthcare services

Our volunteer peer support service model represents a high quality, cost-effective investment that cannot not be replicated by other health service providers. 

  • The Breastfeeding Helpline reduces the burden on primary health care providers and the health system as a whole.
  • 43% of those who contacted the Breastfeeding Helpline in the 2020-21 year noted that if the Breastfeeding Helpline was not available they would have needed to access their local hospital or other medical health care services.
  • 22% of callers to our Helpline said they may have stopped breastfeeding if it wasn’t for their call.

Exceptional value for money

  • ABA's Breastfeeding Helpline operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • ABA services are delivered by more than 750 volunteer breastfeeding counsellors and educators
  • ABA volunteers gave more than 25,000 hours to the National Breastfeeding Helpline and LiveChat services last year.

Highest quality service

  • ABA Helpline Services have a 95% satisfaction rate 
  • 22% of callers said they may have stopped breastfeeding if it wasn’t for their call. 
  • ABA volunteer breastfeeding counsellors and educators complete a Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education and participate in ongoing continuing education. 

How you can help?

Support ABA

A donation to ABA enables us to resource our members to campaign for Helpline funding

Campaign resources for ABA volunteers