Calling on the Minister for Health to implement the Breastfeeding Action Plan, Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore said:

“As my party’s spokesperson for Children, getting the necessary breastfeeding supports for women in this country is a key priority of mine. To achieve this, we need to see the full implementation of the National Maternity Strategy and the HSE Breastfeeding Action Plan, with the necessary associated funding and resources to support this.

“Unfortunately, this has not been a priority to date for the Government and it is being felt by many women that I meet in my role as TD for Wicklow.

“One such group who have contacted me on the issue is Bainne Beatha, who recently published a report titled ‘Breastfeeding Experiences in Maternity Hospital in Ireland’. Since launching the report and petition, they have experienced increased public support on this issue, receiving over 2,500 signatures.

“I have written to the Minister for Health seeking a guarantee that the National Maternity Strategy and the HSE Breastfeeding Action Plan will be fully implemented in Ireland. Furthermore, I have requested an implementation report of the HSE Breastfeeding Action Plan 2016-2021, and have sought clarification on the plans in place for a new Breastfeeding Action Plan.

“The Minister must also ensure that the HSE and Hospital Masters engage with mothers and breastfeeding groups to discuss how breastfeeding services can be improved from a service user perspective.”

March 2, 2021

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