Breastfeeding / Lactation Support
The Rotunda Hospital recommends breastfeeding because it is the best start in life for babies. We are accredited as a ‘baby friendly’ hospital, which means that we provide a high standard of care so that pregnant women and new mothers receive the support they need to breastfeed successfully.
The Rotunda hospital promotes breastfeeding as the healthy way a woman can feed her baby. Research shows that breastfeeding can really help to start your baby off on the road to good health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for infants and recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.
There is, however, more to breastfeeding than simply providing food. The very intimate relationship that develops between a breastfeeding mother and her baby can also help the behavioural and emotional development of the baby. During the antenatal period, the doctors and midwives will discuss breastfeeding with you and answer any questions you may have.
Importance of breastfeeding for mothers
Research shows that breastfeeding has significant health benefits for mothers. These include:
- assisting the uterus (womb) return to its pre-pregnant state faster
- helping women to lose weight after the baby’s birth
- reducing the risk of ovarian and pre-menopausal breast cancer
- reducing the risk of osteoporosis
- reducing the risk of mothers with gestational diabetes developing type 2 diabetes
- postponing the resumption of ovulation and menstruation during exclusive breastfeeding
Importance of breastfeeding for babies
Less illness and hospitalisations – babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing some illnesses including:
- stomach upsets and infections
- respiratory and ear infections
- urinary tract infections
Perfect food – breast milk has all the important ingredients to build the baby’s immune system. Breast milk changes from feed to feed to suit each baby’s unique needs, making it the perfect food to promote healthy growth and development.
Breast milk is easily digested and allergies to breast milk are rare.
Environmentally, breast milk has no waste products and leaves no carbon footprint.
Breast milk is FREE, convenient, clean and safe – always available at the right temperature anytime.
We hold antenatal breastfeeding workshops on Tuesday evening from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm and Thursday evening from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm. All women are encouraged to attend this workshop once during pregnancy from 28 weeks onwards. This session is in additional to the parent education classes, which all women are encouraged to attend. Early booking is advisable as these sessions are very popular.
Please phone 01 8730596 or 8730632 to book your place.
Breastfeeding support groups
In the Rotunda we have a breastfeeding support group, which usually meets every Thursday morning at 11.30 am but please ring to confirm that the session is going ahead. If you have any problems with feeding at home the lactation midwife in the hospital is only a phone call away at 01 8171700, Monday to Friday. There are community support groups in your area and meetings are usually held in the local health centre. Your public health nurse will tell you the date and time.
For further information and support, please contact:
Baby friendly health initiative www.babyfriendly.ie
Cuidiú – Irish childbirth trust www.cuidiu-ict.ie
HSE breastfeeding support www.breastfeeding.ie
La leche league Ireland www.lalecheleagueireland.com
The breast way www.thebreastway.ie