Ireland scores low on World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative Report

Ireland scores low on World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative Report

For some of you experienced breastfeeding mums you won't be surprised that Ireland has scored low on this World Report. 

For many others they won't even be interested.

But for health professionals working with breastfeeding mums every day I feel it must be like a kick in the teeth for them. They are trying their best every day with the resources they have and sometimes that is just not enough for the demand on their services.

We have to ask ourselves is the Irish culture open to breastfeeding, we just don't have a history of it. I asked my followers on social media about this a few months ago, and many mums were the first in their family to breastfeed, meaning either their mother or grandmother never fed either. 

So if we have all this lost knowledge on breastfeeding, how are we meant to be able support breastfeeding mothers when they need help.

For a start most GP's don't know how to help a breastfeeding mother if she has issues or illness whilst breastfeeding and many more don't even know the services that mums can be referred into. There is a lot of support in the HSE, it's how it all ties together and how mums access it is another huge part of the problem.

We don't even see breastfeeding women feeding openly in public that much. In fact most times when I feed in a cafe or restaurant even if it's busy, I am still likely the only one to be doing it. Until breastfeeding becomes part of normal society, are we ever likely to increase our rates?

We need a real shift in our perception of breastfeeding mums, and accept the way they have chosen to feed their baby. So many times I hear from mums that they are afraid to breastfeed because of negative opinions of others. Unfortunately a lot of that is down to poor education of breastfeeding in this country and being constantly heavily marketed to by formula companies. 

I was lucky to join a conversation on Newstalk this week to discuss this more and you can listen back to it here.

If you want to read more about the report, you can visit this link. 


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