Archive for March, 2009

Irish mothers ‘embarrassed to breast-feed’

March 28th, 2009


Irish women are failing to breast-feed their babies for the recommended six months because they lack encouragement and, in many cases, find it too embarrassing, according to a new study.

Only one of the 401 Irish women tracked at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital exclusively breast-fed her baby for six months, as recommended by the World Health Organisation and the Department of Health.

The study, which also examined the practices of 49 foreign mothers at the hospital, is the biggest ever conducted on the feeding of infants in Ireland, said Roslyn Tarrant, the paediatric dietician who carried out the research. Tarrant said her findings, to be published in Public Health Nutrition later this year, show breast-feeding rates have improved little in Ireland over the last decade.

She examined the feeding practices of the 450 women between 2004 and 2006 and discovered that while 47% of Irish women began breast-feeding their babies after birth, just 28% were doing so four weeks later. By the time the babies were six months old, just 9.6% of the Irish women were breast-feeding partially, and only one woman was feeding her baby entirely with breastmilk.

By contrast, 79.6% of the foreign women who gave birth at the hospital began nursing their child straight away. That rate slipped to 75% after four weeks but by six months after birth, half of the foreign mothers were still breast-feeding.

The rate of breast-feeding in Norway is 99%, in Denmark 98% and in Sweden 97%, aided by greater cultural acceptance for nursing mothers and hospital support. The greatest barriers to Irish mothers was embarrassment about breast-feeding in a bottle-feeding culture and a lack of encouragement from families, the study said. Also, mothers had too little time to breast-feed when they returned to work. “There are lots of campaigns out there to raise awareness about the benefits of breast-feeding but the mothers we talked to said they felt they couldn’t do it in public because restaurants were not supportive of it and neither were employers,” Tarrant said.

“Back in the 1950s, we had one of the lowest breast-feeding rates in Europe and it doesn’t look like it’s improved.” Last October, the Department of Social and Family Affairs had to apologise to a woman who was told to stop breastfeeding in a social-welfare office, after she filed a complaint with the Equality Tribunal.

“If there was more breastfeeding the government would save money because there would be fewer hospital admissions and fewer visits to GPs because the babies would be less sick,” Tarrant said.

“Formula will never be an exact copy of breast milk and doesn’t have the antibodies to protect the immune system that breast milk has. Leptin in breast milk modifies the baby’s appetite and that is linked to decreased obesity levels in later life.”

Breastfeeding In the news

We’re just back from the La Leche League Conference

March 8th, 2009

We are just home from the La Leche League Conference in Maynooth where we had a stand. It went well and the conference seemed to be a real success. I only went to one talk which was the keynote address from David Coleman on connecting to your children’s emotional world, which was very interesting. David Coleman is a very impressive!

Here is a picture of my three girls at the stand:

Once Born Ladies at LLL Conference

Once Born Ladies at LLL Conference


Boob Spring/Summer Nursing Collection now in Store!

March 5th, 2009

Spring has finally arrived and what an arrival! Boob Design’s spring/summer nursing collection is now available to order from our online shop. Here is a shortcut link:

Here are some tasters of what is in the collection:

Boob Nursing Summer Dress

Boob Nursing Summer Dress

Boob Nursing Smock Camisole

Boob Nursing Smock Camisole

New Products