GREATER NUMBERS of mothers from eastern Europe and women having babies later are the main reasons for an increase in the percentage of women breastfeeding in Ireland, new research to be presented today shows.
Prof Richard Layte will tell the Dublin conference Breastfeeding in Ireland 2012: Consequences and Policy Responses that non-Irish women are much more likely to breastfeed, but the longer they are resident here, the lower the chances they would do so.
Women resident for less than five years are 10 times more likely to breastfeed than Irish women, but this falls to six times more likely after six to 10 years and 2.4 times more likely after 11 or more years.
“One of the most important determinants of how long a woman will breastfeed is the length of maternity leave. Returning to work part-time increases the risk of stopping breastfeeding by 150 per cent; returning full-time increases the risk by 230 per cent,” he said.
It is, of course, National Breastfeeding Week.
(Pic: Hilary Geelon and son Rhys protesting at Facebook’s Dublin HQ in February: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)