If you’re thinking of breastfeeding, there’s plenty of information and support available to get you through the early days and weeks. Online, your first port of call should be www.breastfeeding.ie, the HSE’s redesigned breastfeeding website. Packed full of tips and advice on getting started, the website also features downloadable factsheets, an ‘Ask the Expert’ section, interesting articles on breastfeeding and details of support groups around the country.
The HSE also offers a range of breastfeeding support materials, including a newly designed pregnancy calendar, a ‘Feeding Your Baby’ leaflet, and the Breastfeeding Support Network Card – a wallet-friendly card providing details of help and support for breastfeeding mothers. You can find these resources in your maternity hospital or local health centre or through www.breastfeeding.ie or the HSE Infoline on 1850 24 1850.
HSE public health nurses run regular breastfeeding groups around the country. As well as being a valuable source of information, these groups are a great opportunity to meet other mums and babies. In addition, other health professionals including midwives, GPs, practice nurses and dietitians provide one-to-one information and support for expectant and breastfeeding mothers.
Expert breastfeeding support is also provided by voluntary organisations such as La Leche League of Ireland and Cuidiú-Irish Childbirth Trust which hold regular mother-to-mother support group meetings, as well as providing telephone support and one to one information on request.