World Breastfeeding Week takes place from August 1st to 7th 2016 and the HSE is celebrating their ongoing campaign ‘Every Breastfeed makes a Difference’. The HSE aims to support mothers when they need it, and encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies.
They have a resource on their website called Ask Our Expert, where mothers can find information and support regarding all aspects of breastfeeding. They also have a lactation consultant who provides answers to many of the common questions mothers have; whether they are considering breastfeeding, just getting started, or well on their way with a growing baby.
For mums with a specific query there is also an option to email their question to the lactation consultant. Over 57,000 users have availed of the Ask The Expert service since it was launched in May 2015. Over 1,250 mothers or mother-to-be have consulted with the lactation consultant directly. The breastfeeding expert providing the information to members of the public is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Health benefits of breastfeeding
Children who are not breastfed have an increased risk of developing:
> Diarrhoea and tummy upsets
> Ear infections
> Chest infections
> Breastfeeding protects Mums from breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
> Breastfeeding for at least 3 months significantly increases the health protection for mum and baby
> Risk of ear infections reduced to 50%, compared with 23% for shorter periods.
> 27% reduction in risk of developing Type 1 diabetes for children with a family history.
Siobhan Hourigan, HSE National Lead for Breastfeeding says; “Some mums needs support and reassurance that they are doing okay, other mums want information on what is normal and what to expect when they are breastfeeding, some mums need help to overcome some challenges they are experiencing. The Ask the Expert service answers mum’s breastfeeding queries, provides reassurance and assists mothers to continue breastfeeding, linking them with supports in their local community.”
“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 must work collectively to prioritise work to promote, support and protect breastfeeding. This will include training and enhancing the skills of our staff to support more mothers to start and continue to breastfeed; implementing evidence based breastfeeding policies and practices at hospital and CHO level; promoting breastfeeding; and providing breastfeeding supports that meet mother’s individual needs from the antenatal period throughout the postnatal period and beyond.”
Breastfeeding.ie also provides videos on breastfeeding techniques, information on common issues experiences by mums, and contact details for over 200 local breastfeeding support groups. They also have everything from tips for a healthy pregnancy to how to wean your baby on to solid food.Tags: