HSE launch further online supports on www.breastfeeding.ie

National Breastfeeding Week takes place from the 1st to the 7th of October 2016. The campaign message from the HSE is ‘Every Breastfeed makes a Difference’. As part of National Breastfeeding Week we are expanding the on-line breastfeeding supports on our website www.breastfeeding.ie to assist mothers and mothers-to-be. The new supports include an extended Ask our Expert service and Webchat provided by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), a new HSE Breastfeeding Facebook page, and Irish breastfeeding videos.

www.breastfeeding.ie provides answers to many of the common questions Mums have, whether they are thinking about breastfeeding, just getting started or are well on their way with a growing baby. For those Mums who have a specific query, there is also the option to email your question to a Lactation Consultant via the Ask our Expert service or through Webchat. The new HSE Breastfeeding Facebook page provides a community of support for mothers to join where they can receive information and tips from the Ask our Expert Lactation Consultants. The new Irish breastfeeding videos on www.breastfeeding.ie provide guidance for mothers on topics such as positioning and attaching baby; expressing milk and what to expect in the early days.  The focus is on assisting mothers with information and enabling them to overcome challenges they may be experiencing. The on-line support is non-judgemental, respecting mother’s decisions and encouraging and supporting them. The website directs mothers to local health services and breastfeeding support groups, of which there are over 260 across the country. All contact details and times are on www.breastfeeding.ie/Support-search/.  Some of these groups are organised by Public Health Nurses, while others are organised by trained breastfeeding support volunteers all who are, or have being, breastfeeding Mums.  They are a great source of information, support and friendships.  The HSE’s aim is that the new supports will reach more mothers and improve access to user friendly breastfeeding help and information.

In Ireland 57% of mothers are breastfeeding their babies on discharge from maternity hospital (HSE, 2016). In the first few days and weeks at home, mothers may experience challenges which often prompt them to stop breastfeeding sooner than they planned.  Breastfeeding support is provided by maternity services and by public health nurses and voluntary breastfeeding organisations in the community.

Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy speaking at the launch of National Breastfeeding Week, said: ‘I breastfed my own children, and I know that there can be challenges in the early days. Having somewhere to go for practical information and support is important for helping all mothers. As time went on, I found breastfeeding very rewarding and so convenient. It is important that we all support breastfeeding as the normal and healthy way to feed babies, whether through giving practical support to mothers or ensuring that mothers are welcome to breastfeed whenever and wherever they and their babies need.’

Dr. Stephanie O’Keeffe, Director of Health and Wellbeing says that ‘The evidence in relation to breastfeeding and health is now stronger than ever and the potential for improved health outcomes for women and children in Ireland is substantial. We are working to promote, support and protect breastfeeding. We want to encourage more mothers to start breastfeeding, and to breastfeed for longer. The on-line service on www.breastfeeding.ie is part of the range of the supports available to provide practical information and support to help mothers to breastfeed their babies’.

‘The HSE website www.breastfeeding.ie provides answers to the common questions Mums have whether they are thinking about breastfeeding, just getting started or well on their way with a growing baby’ says Siobhan Hourigan, National Breastfeeding Co-ordinator’.  For those Mums who have a specific query, there is also the option to email your question to a Lactation Consultant via the Ask our Expert service or through Webchat. The new HSE Breastfeeding Facebook page provides a community of support for mothers to join with input and information from the Ask our Expert Lactation Consultants. The new Irish breastfeeding videos on breastfeeding.ie provide guidance for mothers on topics like positioning and attaching baby; expressing milk and what to expect in the early days.

Events for National Breastfeeding Week

Last updated on: 28 / 09 / 2016