Fianna Fáil criticises proposed funding cut for breastfeeding campaign

Fianna Fáil says a proposed funding cut to maternity hospitals to promote breastfeeding for new mothers is short sighted and should be reversed.

The HSE is set to withdraw €50,000 per year, under the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative, to maternity hospitals that are taking part in a programme to promote breastfeeding.

Waterford TD Mary Butler says Ireland has exceptionally low levels of breastfeeding mothers, and this programme was designed to help new mothers make an informed decision.

The party's health promotion spokesperson says just 35% of Irish maternity hospitals are recognised as being baby-friendly, and freezing funding is not going to help.

"Every mother deserves the opportunity to find out what's involved, whether she wants to breastfeed her child or not," she said.

"This programme promotes breastfeeding among new mothers. Now obviously breastfeeding doesn't suit every new mum, but I still think it's very important that the necessary information to inform them to make that informed decision is available to them."

According to the World Health Organisation, children who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese, perform better on intelligence tests and have higher school attendance. It is also "associated with higher income in adult life".

Longer durations of breastfeeding also reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer for the mother.

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Three women dead in early morning crash in Co Louth

Man, 29, due in court over the murder of Dermot Byrne last weekend

Fianna Fáil: Construct more social housing to help homelessness

Crane operators to hold demonstration in Dublin today


Today's Stories

Accused said he only meant to frighten people

Elderly to be urged to downsize homes

Opening arguments in Martens trial due

Teen in wheelchair was denied a haircut by barber

Lifestyle

Let’s be more like Queen Beyoncé online - and keep the rest for ourselves

Ask Audrey: The new girlfriend is mad for us to try make-up sex. Where is a good place to buy make-up?

In the name of love ... Is this U2s biggest fan?

GentleBirth method already helping mums 'wired for fear' before childbirth

More From The Irish Examiner