Archive for April, 2010

Male boost for breastfeeding

April 20th, 2010

THE HSE in the northwest is enlisting the help of fathers in a bid to boost breastfeeding rates in the region.

Health promotion development officer Liz Martin said fathers played a key and positive role in encouraging breastfeeding and yet there was a dearth of national and international research in this area.

A study she conducted among 13 breastfeeding mothers in the region found that their partners had a big influence in their decision to breastfeed.

The HSE now wants fathers whose children were breastfed to share their experiences and help design information leaflets aimed at encouraging new fathers.

Studies have shown that only 47 per cent of Irish women are breastfeeding when they leave maternity hospital compared with 80 per cent in Britain and nearly 100 per cent in Scandinavian countries.

Eamon Lawless, who is organising meetings for fathers in Mohill, Tubbercurry and Sligo, said the instinctive reaction of most people was to ask what role fathers could possibly have.

“The research that Liz did shows that if men play a supporting role it can make it easier for women and that they tend to breastfeed for longer,” he explained.

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