What We Did

Breastfeeding Challenge

Thanks to The Echo for their great great coverage of the Breastfeeding Challenge in City West Dublin

As of the end of Friday 7th October, National Breastfeeding Week is over for another year and here at Friends of Breastfeeding, we’re delighted with our contribution to proceedings. There was so much going on, I wouldn’t be surprised if you missed something, so here’s a summary:

 To kick off National Breastfeeding Week, we co-ordinated the Irish leg of the International Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge to have as many babies latched on simultaneously  as possible, across eight venues. Individual tallies were:

– Citywest with 146 babies
– Mahon Point with 145 babies
– Tullamore with 45 babies
– Limerick with 17 babies
– Galway with 12 babies
– Ballina with 6 babies
– Cuidiu in Kilkenny with 17 babies
– Babywearing Ireland in Dublin International Hotel with 4 babies

This gives us a grand total of 392 babies participating for Ireland and puts us in first and second place in Citywest and Mahon Point for biggest venues. We also ranked second in the World, for most mothers participating in the country, woohooo! Go us!

At the Challenge, we launched our breastfeeding video “Diary of an Infant” which tells the story of a breastfed child and their family, from birth to toddler and childhood.  You can check it out here.

We also initiated our campaign to have the current law, which gives working mothers an entitlement to breastfeeding breaks up to six months, extended until their child is two years old, to bring the policy in line with the current recommendations by the HSE and WHO to breastfeeding to age two and beyond.  Mothers signed postcards for the campaign which will be sent to James Reilly, Minister for Health and other relevant departments.

Many Maternity hospitals around the country had information stands to mark National Breastfeeding Week. Friends of Breastfeeding provided breastfeeding information packs and posters to the following hospitals:  Our Lady of Lourdes, The Coombe, The Rotunda, Holles St, Tallaght Hospital, Waterford Regional Hospital, Portlaoise Hospital, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Limerick Regional Hospital and Galway University Hospital. Our information packs were also provided to many Public Health Nurses around the country.

Our blog hosted a new guest post each day, proving hugely popular with contributions from writer and poet Nikki Magennis, writer Orla Shanaghy, dad of a breastfed baby Sean, writer Padraig O’Morain,  author Victoria White and former Friends of Breastfeeding council member, Jo Murphy.

We’d really like to thank lots of people who made all of this possible. There were lots of people involved, too many to name! We’d particularly like to thank the co-ordinators for each venue: Jolene Keating in Dublin, Annette Walsh and Maria Moulton in Cork, Sarah Sherlock in Tullamore, Laura Griffin in Limerick, Claire Kelly in Galway, Sinead Hanley in Ballina, Sue Jameson in Kilkenny and Tania Lawlor  for Babywearing Ireland. We’d like to thank Dr. Jack Newman and David Coleman for their video messages of support and Siobhan Hourigan, Angie Benhaffaf, Mary Bird, Vicky Mooney and Caitriona Jones, Mayor of South County Dublin for speaking at the Challenge venues and supporting the events.

A massive thank you goes to all of the people who took part in and supported all of these activities, the mums, dads, babies, toddlers, older children and extended family. With everyone doing a little bit, we can achieve so much.

For Friends of Breastfeeding, it’s onwards and upwards! We have lots more we hope to achieve by the end of this year, and even bigger plans for next year, so watch this space. J

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