Sabina Higgins criticises maternity hospitals for 'throwing out' mothers too soon after giving birth

Sabina Higgins criticises maternity hospitals for 'throwing out' mothers too soon after giving birth

Sabina Higgins speaking at the Latching On event at Áras an Uachtaráin as part of National Breastfeeding Week. Picture: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Sabina Higgins has criticised maternity hospitals for 'throwing out' mothers too soon after giving birth.

Ms Higgins has also condemned the widespread advertising of baby formula in Ireland, instead of promoting breastfeeding.

The President's wife also believes that more community-based care needs to be made available for new mothers.

The comments were made during Ms Higgin's annual Latching On event in Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday which marked the start of National Breastfeeding Week.

Former master of the National Maternity Hospital, Peter Boylan, agrees that longer stays in hospital would better support new mothers.

He said: "Women are having to leave hospital too soon, particularly first time mothers — they usually would need a lot more help in establishing breastfeeding.

We have very very low rates in Ireland, among the lowest in Europe and in the developed world.

"And the reasons for that are probably a combination of things, but partly not enough time being given after a first time mother has had a baby."

While Mr Boylan agrees with Ms Higgins, he says he "wouldn't have used the same phrase".

He said: "I think being discharged too soon might be a more diplomatic way of saying it but she is correct, absolutely."

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