National Breastfeeding Week is taking place this week. The campaign message from the HSE is ‘Every Breastfeed makes a Difference’.
The HSE would like to let Tipperary mothers and mothers-to-be, and their families, know about the breastfeeding supports that are available. These include the free Ask our Expert service and live Web Chat provided by Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) at www.breastfeeding.ie.
They provide answers to all your questions, support and information to help you and your baby. The breastfeeding videos on www.breastfeeding.ie provide guidance on positioning and attaching baby; expressing milk; what to expect in the early days; and tips from other mothers.
There is also a HSE Breastfeeding Facebook page, which provides a community support for mothers. There are over 300 breastfeeding support groups around the country and details and times are onwww.breastfeeding.ie. Some of these groups are organised by Public Health Nurses (PHNs), while others are organised by Lactation Consultants in the hospitals or trained breastfeeding support volunteers all who are, or have been, breastfeeding mothers. They are a great source of information, support and friendship.
In Tipperary the Friends of Breastfeeding group meets at Premier Physio, Clonmel, on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, run by Louise Murphy. There is also the Cuidiu group in Kilfeackle.
Events and coffee mornings have been taking place around Ireland to mark National Breastfeeding Week to give information to families on local supports. Details of events taking place from Carrickmacross to Bantry and Ennis to Swords are listed on the HSE website www.breastfeeding.ie.
In Ireland, 58% of mothers are breastfeeding their babies on discharge from maternity hospital (HSE, 2017). In the first few days and weeks at home, mothers may experience challenges which often prompt them to stop breastfeeding sooner than they planned.
“The Institute of Public Health in Ireland is this week publishing a report on breastfeeding on the island of Ireland, which will show that that many breastfeeding mothers would like to have breastfed for longer. We want to support mothers in Ireland to breastfeed and to continue to breastfeed for longer” said Siobhan Hourigan, HSE National Breastfeeding Co-ordinator.
“The HSE website www.breastfeeding.ie provides answers to the questions mothers may have. The practical information and support provided by our Lactation Consultants at Breastfeeding.ie is a great source of help for mothers and the feedback is very positive from those we have helped along the way. Being able to chat to one of our experts online, as well as finding out about local breastfeeding groups, is what new mothers want, and we’re here to support them.
“A revised model of the Baby Friendly Initiative is being developed currently, and we will start implementing it next year. The Baby Friendly Initiative, and the WHO/UNICEF '10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding' which underpins it, is an important element in how we deliver a consistent positive experience to all mothers. Our goal is to ensure that best quality breastfeeding practices and supports are in place across all 19 maternity hospitals in order to achieve the desired increase in breastfeeding rates”.
See Breastfeeding.ie or like Facebook/HSEBreastfeeding to find out all you need to know about breastfeeding supports in your area or online.