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Sligo University Hospital breastfeeding initiative launched by Sabina Higgins

An initiative at Sligo University Hospital to help breastfeeding mothers get off to a better start was launched by Sabina Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin on 29 September.  

The antenatal education team in Sligo University Hospital are distributing Colostrum Harvesting Packs to pregnant women as a way to increase breastfeeding initiation rates. The packs which were launched by breastfeeding advocate Sabina Higgins, contain storage syringes, labels and an information leaflet with a link to an information video. The video instructs women on how to hand express, collect and store colostrum which is so beneficial for newborn health.

Women who can express and store colostrum before their baby is born will have the peace of mind of knowing that if they have to be separated from their baby immediately after the birth, their baby will still have a supply of breastmilk and the risk of supplementing with formula is reduced. Antenatal expressing of colostrum can assist in the promotion of successful, exclusive breastfeeding for women and their babies.

Colostrum is produced at around 20 weeks of gestation and it is generally safe for women express colostrum at either 38 weeks or two weeks from their expected delivery date. It is normal to express tiny amounts of colostrum but it has immense health benefits for women and their babies for the rest of their lives.

In launching the packs, Marla Kennedy CMM2 Antenatal Education, Sligo University Hospital said, “In our hospital we believe that empowering, enabling and protecting the breastfeeding journey is of the upmost importance. Breastfeeding comforts a new baby and also helps prevent against common infection and illness. We are delighted to make Colostrum Harvesting Packs available to women attending Sligo University Hospital and we encourage pregnant women to come to a breastfeeding preparation class where our midwifes and lactation specialists will answer any questions you have.”

There a number of activities underway in Sligo University Hospital to mark National Breastfeeding Week (01 to 07 October)

  • An information stand in the front hall of the hospital and at the antenatal clinic offering information for pregnant women and staff
  • Rolling information sessions on the maternity ward for the multidisciplinary team alongside a quiz for staff and all pregnant women with some fabulous prizes.
  • Aiming to achieve close to 100% skin to skin rate because skin to skin immediately after birth gets breastfeeding off to a good start

Photo Caption

Sabina Higgin; Marla Kennedy, CMM2 Antenatal Education, Sligo University Hospital; and Meena Purushothaman, HSE Assistant National Breastfeeding Coordinator.


The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
Sligo University Hospital (SUH)