Breastfeeding: educating pupils recommendation

Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Karen Mullan.
Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Karen Mullan.

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has welcomed new recommendations that pupils should be taught about breast-feeding.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has made the recommendation that pupils should be taught about the natural process.

The teaching would take place during personal, social and health education (PSHE) classes.

Speaking after the recommendation was issued by the college, Ms Mullan said: Teaching children and young people about the benefit of breastfeeding is an important step in normalising it as a natural and healthy thing to do.

“I welcome the RCPCH recommendation, which aims to tackle the social stigma that is attached to breastfeeding which is discouraging to mothers.”

Ms. Mullan said that the message was particularly important given the low rates of babies being breastfed here.

“The North has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the EU. It is important, particularly around World Breastfeeding Week, not only to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding but to promote actions that actively support mothers who want to breastfeed.

“Breastfeeding legislation which my colleague, former Health Minister Michelle O’Neill, tasked the health department to develop is needed to ensure mothers have the right to breastfeed their children with confidence and without interruption in a public place,” she added.