Support for new mums in Donegal is set to get a boost as 14 new Cuidiú Breastfeeding Counsellors qualified in the region this week.
The new Cuidiú Breastfeeding Counsellors (BFCs) have completed almost two years of study in Donegal Town. All experienced breastfeeding mothers themselves, they have undertaken a specially designed course which is recognised and funded by the HSE, and was delivered by the parent to parent support charity Cuidiú, which operated a branch in the North West.
Cuidiú Breastfeeding Counsellors provide free and confidential support services over the phone, in person at breastfeeding support groups and one-to-one support.
Hailing from all corners of the county, the BFCs will be providing support in Letterkenny, Inishowen, Gweedore and West Donegal, the Finn Valley region, Donegal Town and its surrounding areas, and South West Donegal. An additional four trainees will complete their studies and will join the team within the next 12 months.
Breastfeeding rates in Donegal are the lowest in Ireland, with 19.6 percent of babies breastfed in the county.
“Some mothers find it difficult to establish successful breastfeeding for a number of reasons but with additional help, support and encouragement most of these difficulties can be overcome,” says Eilis Quigley, Breastfeeding Counsellor and Chairperson of Cuidiú North West.
“Some of the main problems we see include concerns about milk supply, fatigue, pain and poor latch, and embarrassment as a result of negativity towards breastfeeding. We are confident that the newly qualified Breastfeeding Counsellors will help mothers throughout Donegal feel more assured in their efforts and choices.”
New Breastfeeding Support Groups
During the summer, a new monthly support group was established in Letterkenny. Hosted on the second Saturday of each month at the Medical Academy building situated in the Letterkenny University Hospital campus.
New groups are set to begin in Donegal Town and Kilcar in the coming weeks, with further groups around the county in the pipeline. Full details of these groups and any other new groups will be published on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/
Breastfeeding Support Phone Service
All the BFCs are available to take phone calls to provide support and information. The most up to date version of the list is available on the Cuidiú North West Facebook page and in the dedicated breastfeeding support Facebook group. As all BFCs are volunteers, they provide this service completely free of charge.
HSE Breastfeeding Week will take place nationwide from 1st – 7th October 2019. Cuidiú North West will be hosting special events around the county throughout that week. For more information, visit the national website: www.cuidiu.ie or join the community on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/