Minister Donnelly meets with Blackrock Breastfeeding Group to mark National Breastfeeding Week
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD today met with the Blackrock Primary Care Centre breastfeeding group to mark National Breastfeeding Week 2021.
Minister Donnelly said: “It is fantastic to see the support groups across the country, such as the one I visited in Blackrock, providing women with advice and practical assistance as they start on their breastfeeding journeys.
“The theme for this year is ‘Feeding the future: Supporting breastfeeding through a pandemic and beyond’, and it is great for the new mums and babies to be able to experience the return to these in-person meetings, though I was heartened to hear how the virtual experience had been crucial for this service throughout the pandemic.
Earlier this year, as part of the implementation of the National Breastfeeding Action Plan, additional funding to the HSE of €1.58 million was announced to fund 24 additional lactation consultants thereby providing support to every maternity unit in the country.
Minister Donnelly said: “Ireland has a culture of bottle feeding and it is important we improve our breastfeeding rates to improve child and maternal health. Providing mothers with support is key to this.
“It is important that women are provided with support and knowledge and have access to expertise before and after they begin breastfeeding, enabling children to get the best possible start in life.
“I am glad that the new lactation consultants will mean we have full national coverage as up to 70% of the country was not in a position to offer this support in either our maternity units or the community.”