Press Release

Breastfeeding protects against obesity and high blood pressure

National Breastfeeding Week 1st -7th October 2002

Did you know that breastfeeding protects against obesity and high blood pressure?

“Yes! There are numerous research studies showing that breastfeeding in infancy protects against obesity in childhood and in later life. Also there is research evidence showing that babies who were fed breast milk have lower blood pressures in adolescence and early adulthood,” says Maureen Fallon, National Breastfeeding Coordinator.

Being overweight and having high blood pressure can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Therefore breastfeeding in infancy leads to healthier children and healthier adults too!.

National Breastfeeding week is celebrated every year during the first week in October. The significance of this week is that it follows 9 completed months of the year. It therefore represents the end of a pregnancy and the beginning of breastfeeding. This progression from birth to breastfeeding should happen normally and naturally, but for the majority of Irish infants this does not occur and they are therefore deprived of the major nutritional, immunological and psychological benefits which breastfeeding confers.

To celebrate National Breastfeeding week the Health Promotion Unit are hosting a National Conference on Breastfeeding on Friday 4th October in Dublin Castle. At the Conference research evidence will be presented which shows that the many health advantages of breastfeeding last throughout childhood and into adulthood.