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Portlaoise Hospital marks national breastfeeding awareness week

Portlaoise Maternity Services Mark National Breastfeeding Week

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Portlaoise Maternity Services and La Leche League hosted a tea party to celebrate National Breastfeeding Week, the theme of which is ‘Every Breastfeed Makes a Difference’. 

Portlaoise Maternity Services would like to let mothers and mothers-to-be, and their families, know about the benefits of breastfeeding, how important it is for good health of baby and mother, and what supports that are available for breastfeeding mothers and their families.

At the HSE’s dedicated website - Breastfeeding.ie - there is a range of supports available for breastfeeding mums and their families, including the free Ask our Expert service and live Web Chat provided by Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). 

According to Claire Fitzpatrick, Clinical Midwife Specialist in Lactation, “Breastfeeding is a natural process, however mothers may require support, knowledge and education.  Research tells us tells us that when support is offered to breastfeeding mothers with healthy term babies, it increases the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding. We want to inform our expectant mothers that our staff are here to support you and provide advice and guidance in those early days of parenting.

The HSE are promoting Breastfeeding.ie to help answer all your questions at this time. The breastfeeding videos at the site 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 and there are 290 breastfeeding support groups around the country, details of which are on 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.  

Maureen Revilles, Director of Midwifery at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise said, “We are delighted to partner with La Lech League today in hosting the tea party to celebrate World Breastfeeding Day. There is doubt that bringing a new life into the world is a very daunting and stressful period and in many cases making a decision to breastfeed can be difficult. We know there are real benefits of breastfeeding, how important it is for good health of baby and mother, and what supports that are available for breastfeeding mothers and their families and we will continue to advocate for the needs of the mums and their babies.

Linda Sampey attended the tea party with her son Liam who is just over 2, she said “I don’t think I would have continued breastfeeding if it wasn’t for the midwifes in Portlaoise Hospital. I always intended on breastfeeding but after the first couple of hours Liam’s blood sugars had dropped so it was necessary to give him a bottle. On day two, the midwife on duty worked with me to reintroduce the breast to Liam and showed me the various positions to ensure it was comfortable for him and me. Only for that midwife and the time she gave me that day I wouldn’t have been able to breastfeed. I will forever be grateful. After I left Hospital I began attending the La Lech Group and got great support. When going back to work they helped me to continue to breastfeed and when I was confused about weaning, that’s when I found the support most helpful.”

See Breastfeeding.ie or like us on Facebook/HSEBreastfeeding to find out all you need to know about breastfeeding supports in your area or online.