Breastfeeding support group honours all mothers

This week marks National Mothering Week in the lead-up to Mother's Day this Sunday.

As part of National Mothering Week the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) is recognising mothers of all ages and those that help them.

One such person that falls under both categories is breastfeeding counsellor Tanya Taylor who has been in the role with the Whyalla ABA for 15 years.

Tanya is a mother of five who knows all to well the trials and tribulations of raising children starting with the very first steps taken as mother and child, that of feeding.

When Tanya had her first child she had some problems establishing breastfeeding.

A girlfriend who was a breastfeeding counsellor at the time with the Nursing Mothers Association introduced her to the group which she became a part of initially in Adelaide.

Moving to Whyalla a few years later with three children, she was familiar with the group and looked it up here upon arrival.

Having two more children after that, and maintaining her position in the association, Tanya is somewhat of an expert on the subject matter of being a mum.

"I decided to give back to the association because I'd had such great support from them," Tanya said.

"When I got to Whyalla it was an immediate support system.

"Some of those women I'm still friends with all those years later."

She is particularly passionate about helping mothers who are having feeding problems with their babies.

Tanya said the group is open to all mums whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding.

"It's just about having that support for mums," she said.

Given that Tanya has had this role for 15 years, Tanya has seen the philosophy on feeding babies come and go in waves.

"As the education increases the knowledge base is huge now," Tanya said.

"The knowledge base that is building up from over the years from women's experiences plus the medical profession is what we can now educate new mums with."

Tanya insists that feeding your baby is a matter of choice and that there is no right or wrong answer.

"But if they can make an informed decision and have the accurate information, hopefully that will help them," she said.

In her many years on the job, Tanya has found that mothers tend to stress over the same issues when becoming mums, and feeding is high on the list.

Not being able to get their children to sleep is also another one.

Her number one advice to mothers is not to panic and bring on unnecessary stress and always know that there is help with any problem they may have.

ABA now has a hotline for mothers to call any time of the day or night.

Tanya has spent countless nights volunteering at the hotline and has helped many mothers through some sleepless nights with crying babies in the background.

"People think I can't ring because it's a dumb question to ask, don't ever think that, just ring," Tanya said.

"Because the stress can be induced by feeling unsure."

The ABA also does a session at the antenatal classes at the Whyalla Hospital for expecting mothers.

The Whyalla ABA meet the first Tuesday of every month and the third Sunday of each month at Kafe Laguna, Essington Lewis Avenue at 11am.

For more information on the group, contact Kellie Sarret on 8644 0843 or Tanya Taylor on 8645 2748.

For help with any mothering questions, you can contact the ABA on 1800 MUM 2 MUM.

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