Seanad debates

Thursday, 28 September 2023

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Healthcare Policy

9:30 am

Photo of Martin HeydonMartin Heydon (Kildare South, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I again thank the Senator. He articulated the impediment and the societal challenges really well. I take his points of view on board and will bring them back to the Minister. We know the importance of ensuring breastfeeding mothers can breastfeed freely and comfortably in the workplace and the wider community. Research indicates breastfeeding gives a child an optimum start in life. Increasing our breastfeeding rates will contribute to the improvement in child and maternal health and also contribute to the reduction of childhood obesity and chronic diseases. The Senator's question has highlighted the need for broader societal change to promote a more positive culture around breastfeeding in the workplace and wider community. The HSE plan out to 2025 involves working closely with the Department of Health to deliver the five-point action plan. The vision of Healthy Ireland is that everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and well-being to their full potential. The Government remains committed to improving breastfeeding rates and moving forward on normalising breastfeeding within the community and workplace. Promoting breastfeeding as part of healthy lifestyle choices will remain a priority under new policy development over the coming years. I will be sure to relay the points the Senator raised to the Minister for Health.


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