A renewed focus on supporting breastfeeding mums and bubs

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

After years of falling levels, breastfeeding is on the up. New HSE figures for 2022 show that 62% of babies were breastfed when the public health nurse made their first visit after birth. The figure was 59% in 2021 and in 2017 it was just 55%.

A 2019 study found that the World Health Organisation European Region has the lowest rates of exclusive breastfeeding at the age of six months with approximately 25% of babies still at the breast. Ireland was at the bottom of the table – with only 15% of children exclusively breastfed for the first six months compared with the global average of 38%.

To mark National Breastfeeding Week this week, three new breastfeeding support groups were launched at an event in the Connacht Hotel on Monday, bringing to 17 the number currently running across Galway City and County.

Groups in Doughiska and Tuam have been set up, with a virtual support group set up by the Public Health Nurse Department, led by community lactation consultant Frances Burke.

Hildegarde Naughton, Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, told the launch that improving Ireland’s breastfeeding rates will help to improve long term population health.

“Breastfeeding supports your child’s health now and over the long term. It’s also important for mothers too, supporting their recovery after birth and reducing their risk of breast cancer and diabetes.

“We must continue our efforts to support parents who want to breastfeed their children, from early days to going back to work and beyond. We all have a role to play, in the health service, in the community and in the workplace in making this happen.”

Pictured: Cora O’Donoghue, lactation consultant, UHG, Gemma Healy, lactation consultant, UHG and Claire Cellarius, breastfeeding and lactation specialist midwife, UHG with Nicola Kyne and Baby Mollie Kenny from Loughrea marking National Breastfeeding Week.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up