APPLECROSS resident Kirsten Tannenbaum has dedicated more than three decades to women who want to breastfeed.
She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia on Australia Day.
Mrs Tannenbaum started out as a meeting co-ordinator in 1984 and is now the public relations officer for the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s WA branch.
“When I fed my first child, I was able to get help and support from the association when it was under a different name,” she said. “I felt I wanted to give back to them.”
She was at one point the branch president and said when she had children, there was not enough good and accurate information about how breastfeeding worked, a problem that she said continues today.
“I think there’s a lot of work to be done in accepting breastfeeding as a norm,” she added.
Mrs Tannenbaum said more workplaces were allowing lactation breaks and providing convenient places to |express and store breast milk. The association provides Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace accreditation.
“It’s a matter of education,” she said. “Women can still breastfeed and go back to a paid environment.”
Mrs Tannenbaum has a social work background and has held various roles with the association over the years, including Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Accreditation Representative and leader of the Applecross support group.
She has also been the board secretary of ConnectGroups – Support Groups Association of Western Australia Incorporated since 2011 and is a member of the WA branch of the Australian Association of Social Workers.