An Infant Feeding Room, for use by patients, staff, visitors and members of the public, has been unveiled in St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny writes Sean Keane.
The room, which is part of the new hospital development, is a dedicated space to support mums to feed their babies and infants. The room is located at the entrance to the Paediatric Waiting Room in the Emergency Department, close to the main amenities in the hospital.
The room was unveiled ahead of National Breastfeeding Week, which runs from October 1 to 7. The theme of this year’s awareness week is that every breastfeed makes a difference, encouraging mums to start breastfeeding and to breastfeed for longer. Breastfeeding is important for the health of children and mothers and the international evidence is now stronger than ever – it is now proven to benefit the long term health of infants into adulthood, and a significant factor in reducing obesity in children. Breastfeeding is also known to protect against asthma, allergy, ear infections, respiratory infections, high blood pressure and heart disease in adulthood, some childhood cancers, digestive problems and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
All Obstetric staff (doctors, midwives and care assistants) at the St Luke’s General Hospital Maternity Unit promote and support breastfeeding through their various roles. Breastfeeding is promoted in St Luke’s from the very first point of contact with the expectant parents, grandparents and family. Midwives and doctors in the ante-natal clinics provide sources of information to make a fully-informed decision on feeding choice. Support is provided through the ante-natal classes before delivery and practical help is provided once the baby is born.
Public health nurses and the voluntary organisations play a vital role in supporting women to continue breastfeeding once they go home. There are two support voluntary organisations – Ciudiú and La Leche League - in the area who play a wonderful role to new mothers and babies in providing breastfeeding support through their groups.
Ciudiú (www.ciudiu.ie or Ciudiu Kilkenny Facebook) hold their coffee mornings every Wednesday from 10.30am to noon in Kilkenny Tennis Club. All mothers and babies welcome. Contact Lucy Glendinning on 056-7772961. La Leche League meet on the second Monday of every month at 8 pm in the Occupational Health Building at the hold entrance to St Luke’s General Hospital; on the third Wednesday of every month in Jellytots Play Centre Kilkenny from 10.30 am and the first Wednesday of the month in a coffee shop or mum’s home. Contact La Leche League Kilkenny Facebook page or Linda on 087-6474132.
Pictured at the unveiling of the new Infant Feeding Room at St Luke’s General Hospital are, back row, left to right: Lucy Glendinning, Ciudiú leader; Ann McKinley, Midwife; Anabella Almedia , Midwife ; Anne Slattery, General Manager; Marie Woodcock, Lactation Consultant; Kay Browne, La Leche League leader; Connie McDonagh, Clinical Midwifery Manager 3. Front row, Collette McGuinness, Joddy Crosby and Julie Thomas with their babies.