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October 21 , 2007

Nursing Mums

A history of the Australian Breastfeeding Association 19642014


In 1964 six Melbourne mothers began a quiet revolution. Frustrated at the invisibility of breastfeeding advice in a society where artificial feeding of infants was increasingly accepted as the norm, they formed an association to assist mothers like themselves to breastfeed. Nursing Mums tells the story of how a grass-roots association grew to national proportions as the Nursing Mothers Association of Australia (later known as the Australian Breastfeeding Association). Establishing a model of mother-to-mother support that equipped women to offer breastfeeding assistance to other women, it developed a network of local groups that stretched throughout Australia, and played an important role in transforming community attitudes to breastfeeding. Drawing upon rich documentary, photographic and oral history sources, Nursing Mums also explores the friendship, camaraderie and personal growth of members through their involvement in the Association and the myriad ways in which those members passions and concerns shaped the Association over its first five decades. The book relates the historical narrative of the ABA to broader social changes which both enabled and shaped the changes which it was able to bring about. It should find an audience not only amongst members and former members of the ABA, but also amongst scholars interested in the history of mothering in Australia. Professor Shurlee Swain, School of Arts and Sciences (Vic), Australian Catholic University. About the Authors: Graduates of the University of Melbourne and of the Master of Arts in Public History at Monash University and members of the Living Histories team, Jill Barnard and Karen Twigg have worked as professional historians for over twenty years. Their research has led them into varied areas of Australias history. Jills published works include Welcome and Farewell: the Story of Station Pier, with Sonia Jennings and From Humble Beginnings: The Story of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart in Victoria, 18902009. Karens work includes A Vision Shared: The Maud Gibson Trust, 194595 and Shelter for the Children: A History of St Vincent de Paul Child and Family Service, 18541997. In 2004 they co-authored, Holding on to Hope: A History of the Founding Agencies of MacKillop Family Services, 1854-1997. This is their second collaborative work.
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