Press Release

National Breastfeeding Week 1st – 7th October 2002

Breastfeeding Protects Women Against Breast Cancer

Did you know that the number of women getting breast cancer in Ireland could be significantly reduced if more Irish women breastfed their babies?

“Breastfeeding is not just great for babies, it is good for their mothers too! There is a growing body of research evidence clearly showing that breastfeeding protects women against breast cancer,” says Maureen Fallon, National Breastfeeding Coordinator.

This is good news for all Irish women especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breastfeeding offers some protection against ovarian cancers 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.