Supporting midwives to empower and educate mothers on breastfeeding: Trinity conference

Posted on: 04 October 2022

A two-day conference begins today at Trinity, celebrating the normality of breastfeeding and the vital role of midwives in supporting new mothers to initiate and maintain breastfeeding.

Supporting midwives to empower and educate mothers on breastfeeding: Trinity conference

Mrs Sabina Higgins will open the two-day conference, organised by the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, which runs on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th October 2022.  Organisers believe that breastfeeding is not visible enough in public and that very limited awareness and adequate education exists for women and their families.

Nationally, 62.3% of women initiate breastfeeding soon after delivery, compared to 81% in the UK and 90% in Australia. Breastfeeding rates at discharge in Ireland is 36.7% and 15% at six months post-partum compared to a global average of 38%.

The conference will explore ways in which women can be supported on their breastfeeding journey by their midwives, from pregnancy to birth and into the postnatal period.

Healthcare professionals play a key role in encouraging new mothers to breast feed, by teaching mothers the techniques to breastfeed, giving them the time and the opportunity to get to know their babies by preventing separation and empowering them with the knowledge to understand the physiology of breastfeeding and make them confident in their ability to breastfeed and care for their baby.

Through keynote speeches, panel discussions and workshops, the conference, ‘Innovations for Successful Breastfeeding’ will educate and enable midwives to:

· Identify how to support healthy mothers and babies to breastfeed with minimal issues.

· Empower mothers with knowledge and skills for successful breastfeeding.

· Identify how to support mothers to make breastfeeding decisions based on evidence.

· Outline contemporary issues in breastfeeding practice, education and research.

Opening the conference, Mrs Sabina Higgins said:

“Breastfeeding is so important in assisting with children’s health, nutrition and development. It is vital that we promote, care and support breastfeeding, with support of midwives in particular, right through the mother’s journey – though pregnancy, in hospital and afterwards in her home, for as long as is necessary for breastfeeding to be successfully established and supported. I am delighted to be opening this valuable conference which will help midwives in this very important work.” 

Ashamole Clive, Clinical Midwifery tutor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery and breastfeeding advocate, said:

“Breastfeeding is a cost-effective measure to improve the health of women, babies, families, society and country and prevents non communicable diseases in the long term. It is the only health promotion initiative that does not have a carbon footprint and enables achieving sustainability and contributes towards the reduction of global warming. This conference enables clinicians, staff and students to take home key messages and techniques that will help them to assist mothers to establish breastfeeding routines in an easy manner.”

Organisers are especially pleased to welcome Nancy Mohrbacher as a keynote speaker. Nancy is a world-renowned lactation consultant and Fellow of International Lactation Consultant’s Association. Nancy said:

“To meet their breastfeeding goals, families need a network of support that includes healthcare providers, as well as family and friends. One of the best ways to be create a breastfeeding-friendly culture is for providers to learn how breastfeeding norms differ from formula-feeding norms to reduce the all-too-common conflicting advice that instills doubts in new families.”


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Ciara O’Shea | Media Relations | | +353 1 896 4204