North-South gap in breastfeeding rates must be tackled
Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has called for a concerted effort to encourage breastfeeding in the north of Ireland, following a report showing a rising gap in rates between the north and south of the country.
The Fermanagh South Tyrone MP said:
“This all-island report, published by the Institute of Public Health (IPH), shows a rising rate of breastfeeding in both parts of the island, but this is marred by a growing discrepancy between north and south.
“Breastfeeding has been shown by numerous studies to be the healthier option for both mother and baby.
“Breastfeeding protects babies and their mothers against a wide range of illnesses including respiratory and urinary tract infections, allergies, sudden infant death syndrome and childhood leukaemia.
“Much more must be done in the north to encourage breastfeeding and promote it as a normal and healthy practice.”