I recently read an article that highlighted Ireland has the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe. Considering the level of support I have seen women receive here, I am not particularly surprised. Maybe instead of questioning why women don’t breastfeed more we should question why our health system and government don’t offer the support that is needed.
Instead of showing beautiful looking mothers in ads by formula companies making breastfeeding look so easy, we should instead show reality.
Its full of sore nipples, mastitis, long feeds at the start, plenty of people questioning your decision to breastfeed. Don’t get me started on the leakage, getting my boobs out in public and generally feeling you have failed if your baby won’t latch! But for me all of this was still worth it and I would 100% do it again if I get the chance. But I was living in London at the time and without the support I got from public services and other great breastfeeding women, I doubt I would have kept going. I didnt really feel confident about breastfeeding until Isobel was about 5 months.
So what current supports are out there:
There are also many private breastfeeding consultants working in Ireland, with some links available through the HSE website.
The best support for me was defintely other mother and my mums NCT group was invaluable. So if you are thinking of breastfeeding try seeking out other mums when you have your antenatal appointments or join any local antenatal groups you can. Good luck, take it one day at a time and before you know it you will be weaning and start to really miss it.