Breastfeeding seminars

Mayor ‘delighted’ to support Derry Breastfeeding Festival on Saturday

The celebrations will begin at the Guildhall on Saturday, where Derry City and Strabane District Mayor Councilor Sandra Duffy will meet Dr Maria Herron, founder of the social good company iBreastfeed, as well as local breastfeeding families, advocates and community leaders. health practitioners. The group will then cross the Peace Bridge to St Columb’s Park, where The Big Latch On will take place as part of Breastival.

Maria said, “I recently coordinated a zero waste parenting program at St. Columb’s Park House, and at one of the workshops, which was on infant feeding, we discussed the zero waste aspects of parenting. breastfeeding which is low in carbon and water. footprint compared to formula feeding. A number of parents attending the workshop highlighted the need for more visibility and support for breastfeeding in Derry and Strabane which unfortunately have the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Parents’ ideas included asking the mayor for help and inviting Belfast-based Breastival to host an event in Derry during World Breastfeeding Week.

“I then contacted Mayor Sandra Duffy and was thrilled when she told me she would support this parent-led initiative. It was also fantastic to get a very positive response from Catherine Muldoon and Maria McDaid of Breastival who generously offered to host the celebration to be held at St. Columb’s Park on Saturday.

Fianna Eireann, 11 months old. Fianna’s mother, Yasmin, donates her breast milk to the Human Milk Bank in Fermanagh.

Among the group meeting the Mayor at the Guildhall will be parents Hollie Carroll, Jessica Clarke and Yasmin Simonne Doherty who are passionate about breastfeeding and the benefits of breast milk.

Hollie works for Derry City and Strabane District Council and is mother to two children, Aodhán, three, and Alannah, nine months. She said: “I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my babies, mainly to give them the best health outcomes. What I never considered, however, was how much joy breastfeeding would bring. For me, there’s a peaceful, emotional connection that’s hard to put into words. This special connection, along with the support of other breastfeeding moms, is what kept me breastfeeding for three and a half years…and counting! »

Jessica’s son Casey arrived 10 weeks early and spent seven weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, during which time Jessica exclusively pumped breast milk for him. After two months of supplemental feeding to help Casey gain weight, Jessica was then able to exclusively breastfeed him and she has recently started to introduce baby-led weaning as well.

Jessica said: “Breastfeeding hasn’t been easy, but it’s been so rewarding to know all the benefits it has for Casey and me. I’m also interested in zero/low waste living and plant-based eating, so the Zero Waste Parenting Program has been wonderful for meeting like-minded people. Breastfeeding education is so important and any mother who wants to breastfeed should have easy access to support.

Yasmin has two children, two-year-old Saoirse Rose and 11-month-old Fianna Eireann. Yasmin helped highlight the need for donor breast milk earlier this year after posting a picture on social media of her donation to the Human Milk Bank in Fermanagh. Through her social media posts, Yasmin has helped normalize the idea of ​​donating breast milk to help other sick or underweight babies.

She said: “We reached over 1000 social media accounts through this post alone which helped create a new normal for mums sharing their gifts and that’s what I’m proud of. I was by no means the first mum to donate, but knowing that photos of babies sharing their milk for the milk bank are now regularly posted on our Trust’s social media means that more mums have a platform to show their journey and their wonderful gifts.”

Hillary Cambell, Head of Public Health and Public Health Nursing; Bernie Webster, a retired health visitor who helped establish the first breastfeeding support group in Derry; Helen Hancock, a well-known local artist, advanced breastfeeding counselor and doula; and John McBride, head of policy and public affairs at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, will also accompany the mayor to Breastival.

Mayor Sandra Duffy said, “I am thrilled to be supporting this local event to mark World Breastfeeding Week and urge as many families as possible to attend Big Latch On as part of Breastival.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for parents to share their stories about the many health and environmental benefits of breastfeeding and the emotional bond it can help develop between mother and baby.

“As a council, we have been proactive in supporting and celebrating it by making many of our premises ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ sites where our staff support and welcome breastfeeding mothers wherever possible.”