More than 30 local mothers with their babies attended a celebration to promote breast feeding in Portlaoise last week.
The Breastfeeding Support Group from Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise (MRHP), in association with La Leche League Ireland, hosted the event
The mums were offered the opportunity to meet with the midwives and lactation nurses who supported them during the early days of their breastfeeding experience. While the event was a celebration, it also served to showcase the long term importance of breastfeeding and to promote a greater uptake among new mums.
Susan Gunning gave birth to Freya in February.
“The early days were difficult and myself and Freya faced many obstacles. Freya was slow to put on weight and I was getting really worried. The support from the Lactation Nurse in Portlaoise Hospital definitely helped us to stay on our breastfeeding journey. It is vitally important to avail of any advice and expertise you can. This encouraged us to continue. Freya is thriving and I feel incredibly grateful for all the support we received” concluded Ms. Gunning.
Ms Maureen Revilles is Director of Midwifery.
“Our aim is to encourage new mums to breastfeed their infants and to support that choice in the community. As per the National Infant Feeding Policy we are endeavoring to increase our breastfeeding rates year on year. Breastfeeding is an important component of our maternity strategy in the enhancement of maternal and child health. That is why our event is so important. We want to let prospective mums know that help is on hand in MRHP to support breastfeeding. All of our midwives are trained in breastfeeding and lactation consultants are available where difficulties arise.”
Ms Mary Phelan, one of the lactation consultants at the hospital said it was good to see mums suceeding.
“The campaign message of this year’s National Breastfeeding Week was that ‘Every Breastfeed makes a Difference’ and the aim was to encourage and support mothers to start breastfeeding, and to breastfeed for longer. It was lovely to see so many of our new mums returning today, with their thriving, healthy babies, and to relax over a cup of coffee and chat about their breastfeeding experience” said Ms. Phelan.
Local La Leche Leader, Shirley Butler, said the event gave midwives an opportunity to see the results of their hard work in helping and encouraging newly mothers to breastfeed.
in the early days. These mothers can share with the midwives, and other staff, their stories and outline the supports which they valued the most. We are proud to have a strong group of mums in Portlaoise who support one another. We are delighted to be here today, working in association with MRHP, to celebrate with so many mums who are giving their babies the best start in life” said Ms. Butler.