Press Release

Ministers welcome launch of National Breastfeeding Week 2018

Monday 1st October 2018

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, and Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne TD today welcomed the launch of National Breastfeeding Week 2018.

“Breastfeeding is important for the health of mothers as well as babies and young children”, said Minister Harris.

“It is important that we protect, promote and support breastfeeding in Ireland. Our National Maternity Strategy says that in addition to practical supports provided to mothers, such as support to continue breastfeeding on return to the workplace, a broader societal change is required in order to promote a more positive culture around breastfeeding. This should support women to feel confident about their choice to breastfeed. In essence this means that all mothers should be supported to breastfeed at anytime and anywhere.”

The National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020 re-affirmed the commitment to advance public support of breastfeeding, and includes an action to extend provision for breastfeeding breaks under employment legislation (currently available to mothers of children under 6 months).

“Breastfeeding is a priority for good health and implementation of the HSE National Breastfeeding Action Plan 2016-2020 is currently underway. I commend the resources available for breastfeeding such as the Breastfeeding.ie website”, the Minister said.

Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne said: “We want businesses, organisations and communities to encourage breastfeeding. Last week Limerick City and County Council, with the support of Healthy Ireland, launched its campaign We’re Breastfeeding Friendly for businesses, organisations and communities. I commend Limerick on taking this initiative and look forward to other cities throughout the country doing the same – thereby supporting a culture of connectedness between communities on the one hand and mother, family and baby on the other. It emphasises the importance of breastfeeding.”

ENDS