New parents are being "thrown out" of hospital far too early
Sabina Higgins says she's "embarrassed" by Ireland's breastfeeding rate.
Sabina Higgins has called on the HSE to make changes to their post-natal care programme.
She says new parents are being thrown out of hospital far too soon after giving birth.
She believes new parents should spend more time in hospital rather than being "thrown out" days after birth.
Higgins claims that the HSE isn't giving new parents enough time to learn about things like breastfeeding. If given more time and support, more parents would be likely to breastfeed their children.
Higgins made the remarks at the 'Latching On' event at Áras an Uachtaráin. The event was held to mark National Breastfeeding Week.
Higgins said breastfeeding groups should call on the Government to make immediate changes. She also claims corporations are pushing formulas onto new parents.
Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in all of Europe. It is understood that less than 10% of new parents breastfeed their children after the 6-month mark.
Only 40% of new mums breastfeed their babies after being discharged from hospital.
According to The Independent, Higgins told her guests that she was "embarrassed" by Ireland's breastfeeding rate.
She said major changes need to be introduced in Ireland to help increase the breastfeeding rate.
Higgins called for maternity hospitals to receive more funding. She also said midwives deserve more training.
"Every midwife should be a trained lactation expert that can help with the latching on, with establishing breastfeeding."
The average first-time mum spends between 1 and 4 days in hospital after a vaginal birth.
However, the average hospital stay is just 2 days.