Safefood is urging parents are being urged to make practical changes to everyday lifestyle habits such as portion sizes, drinks and screen time to make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of children and combat the island’s high levels of childhood overweight and obesity.
What does research tell us?
It is important that mothers are supported to continue to breastfeed when they go back to work. The WHO, Department of Health and HSE recommend that children are exclusively breastfed for 6 months.
September 30 2011
HSE Promotes National Breastfeeding Week 1st – 7th October 2011
First time mum Pamela Flood supports National Breastfeeding Week
HSE National Breastfeeding Week was officially launched today (Friday, 30th September 2011) by TV personality and new mum Pamela Flood with a group of breastfeeding mothers and their babies in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.
HSE National Breastfeeding Week runs from Saturday 1st October to Friday 7th October. The theme this year is ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’, which aims >to portray breastfeeding when out and about as a normal, natural part of daily life.
Speaking about her experience of breastfeeding, Pamela Flood said, ‘Breastfeeding has been brilliant for both me and my little boy. Not only has it been the best for him nutritionally, it is so handy and easy to do anywhere. It’s an incredibly bonding thing to do with your baby.’
The HSE will lead the Breastfeeding Friendly initiative by supporting breastfeeding in HSE premises. HSE centres and hospitals will display Breastfeeding Friendly posters and other promotional materials demonstrating that they support breastfeeding and provide a welcoming atmosphere for breastfeeding mums.
The Breastfeeding Friendly campaign seeks to highlight that:
According to Siobhan Hourigan, National Breastfeeding Coordinator, HSE, ‘>Approximately half of all babies are breastfeed on leaving hospital which is an improvement on the one in three rate recorded in 2000. Rates are still low when compared to other countries. We must continue our efforts to encourage women to breastfeed and to highlight the positive benefits for them and their baby.
‘The number of mothers breastfeeding at three months reduces often because mothers feel there is a lack of support particularly when they want to breastfeed their baby outside the home.
‘We, as health service providers, want to ensure that mothers are welcomed and helped to feel comfortable to breastfeed their children when and where the need arises. Breastfeeding is perfectly natural and is so convenient when you are out and about with your child.
‘Breastmilk is the perfect food for infants and young children. It’s convenient, free and environmentally friendly. Breastfeeding ensures optimal growth, development and health, not just while breastfeeding continues but throughout life. The longer a mother breastfeeds the greater the health protection for her and her baby.’
The World Health Organisation, Department of Health and the HSE recommend that babies are exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months of life and from 6 months on continue to be breastfed and receive nourishing foods up to 2 years old or beyond.
To mark National Breastfeeding Week there are events taking place across the country. For example
All events are open to parents and babies, and expectant families. A full list of events around the country is available on www.breastfeeding.ie.
National Breastfeeding Week also highlights the support that is available throughout the country for expectant and breastfeeding mothers.
Siobhan Hourigan continued, ‘>We encourage women who are considering breastfeeding to attend a breastfeeding support group and seek information during their pregnancy. This helps you to feel more confident and well prepared. >So what we’re saying to women who want to breastfeed, don’t feel like you’re on your own and please don’t give up. We’re here to help so give us the chance to do that.’
Breastfeeding support groups are provided by HSE Public Health Nurses, La Leche League and Cuidiu – Irish Childbirth Trust around the country. Women can attend for support and the opportunity to meet other mothers. Other health professionals including Midwives, GPs, Practice Nurses and Dieticians also provide one-to-one information and support. For details of support in your county log on to www.breastfeeding.ie
Expert breastfeeding support is also provided by voluntary organisations such as La Leche League www.lalecheleagueireland.com, Cuidiú - Irish Childbirth Trust www.cuidiu-ict.ie and Friends of Breastfeeding www.friendsofbreastfeeding.ie.
>ENDS> For further information, please contact: HSE National Press Office t: 01 6352840 e:
For further information, please contact:
HSE National Press Office
t: 01 6352840
Notes to editors: