The National Breastfeeding Helpline Evaluation report

D.2 Professional association discussion

Page last updated: 13 February 2013

Discussion guide – professional associations

Project to evaluate the National Breastfeeding Helpline

The Allen Consulting Group has been commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing to conduct an evaluation of the National Breastfeeding Helpline. The evaluation is considering the effectiveness of the Helpline in meeting its objectives of providing information and support to mothers and their families. The evaluation is being conducted in consultation with the Department of Health and Ageing and the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

An important part of the evaluation is obtaining the perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders to provide insights into the needs of mothers and their families, and the current policy and service environment in which the Helpline operates. To this end, the evaluation is being conducted in consultation with the Department of Health and Ageing and the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

The National Breastfeeding Helpline

The Helpline is a toll free 24-hour, 7-day a week, telephone helpline run by the Australian Breastfeeding Association, and staffed by volunteer counsellors. It commenced operation in October 2008 and aims to:
    • Support breastfeeding initiation and duration;
    • Improve national access and equity of access to quality breastfeeding information and support with a particular focus on priority population groups; and
    • Provide a nationally accessible source of information for women, partners and families to support decision making in relation to breastfeeding.
The 24-hour Helpline is part of the implementation of the Australian Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015, with particular relevance to the area of ‘continuity of care, referral pathways and support networks’.

Discussion questions

The following questions provide a guide for discussion.

Do you have any interaction with, or knowledge of, the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s National Breastfeeding Helpline?

Do you think the National Breastfeeding Helpline has a role in meeting the needs of mothers and their families for information and support? What is that role?

In your view, is the National Breastfeeding Helpline accessible to priority population groups, such as young mothers, Indigenous Australian mothers, mothers with a disability and mothers with a culturally and linguistically diverse background?

Is the National Breastfeeding Helpline included in the efforts of your organisation to foster an integrated service system and workforce for maternal and child health? If so, how does this occur?

What does your organisation see as the strengths and weaknesses of the National Breastfeeding Helpline?

Does your organisation promote the breastfeeding training for health professionals provided by the Australian Breastfeeding Association?

Are there any other comments you would like to make about the National Breastfeeding Helpline?

The views of your organisation are important to this evaluation and we welcome your contribution.


If you have any queries about the consultation purpose or process, please contact Karen Roger (Kroger at Allen Consulting Group) or David Griffith (dgriffith at Allen Consulting Group) on (03) 8650 6000.