7th October 2022
Galway mum Lynn Molloy, whose twins were born at 26 weeks has described how by breastfeeding both, she was “doing the most I could, providing breastmilk for them when they were at their sickest.” With her twins now thriving, Lynn reflects back on those early weeks, encouraging all new mothers to breastfeed. With National Breastfeeding Week celebrated in recent days Lynn spoke of her experience:
“Evie and MJ were born at 26 weeks. They came into this world quite a surprise. I had considered breastfeeding prior to them being born but when they were born so prematurely, there was no question, I was definitely going to do it. The first milk especially that they received – I was very aware how important that was in avoiding infections. The bond that linked me directly to Evie and MJ was through the breastmilk which I was producing when they were at their sickest. I definitely felt I was doing the most I could. What they were getting was helping them thrive and grow and develop. It’ great to see the development and the growth and how much they are thriving now at 39 weeks.”
National Breastfeeding Week
According to Claire Cellarius, Lactation Specialist Midwife, University Hospital Galway, National Breastfeeding Week “provides us with an opportunity to highlight the importance of breastfeeding and the many benefits breastmilk provides – all the nutrients your baby needs for the first six months of life. The components of breastmilk are exclusive – they contain many antibodies that will provide natural immunity that will protect your baby from illnesses and infections. It is particularly important for vulnerable and pre-term infants. It will decrease the incidence and severity of respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and middle ear infections as well as diabetes later in childhood. For mothers, it can protect against ovarian and breast cancers. The evidence is stronger that every breastfeed is important for the health of both the mother and the baby.
Expert help available
Explaining that breastfeeding is the optimal source of nutrition for newborn infants, Olivia Somers, Lactation Consultant, Portiuncula University Hospital, outlines how it is a “learned skill acquired through education, observation, and experience. It requires practice and patience. Expert help is available every step of the way. Mychild.ie is a fantastic resource that provides breastfeeding information for pregnant women, mothers, their partners, and families. The website provides information on local breastfeeding support groups provided by maternity hospitals, public health nurses, and voluntary support groups.”