To mark National Breastfeeding Week, Green Party Councillor and Cathaoirleach of Greystones MD, Lourda Scott has been speaking with community members that provide support and education to Mothers and new parents with their feeding journey.
Speaking on the matter Scott says: “I met with local volunteers from Cuidiú and La Leche League along with Doulas to talk about breastfeeding supports that are available in the community. It was widely acknowledged that the pandemic was extremely challenging and everyone is looking forward to meeting parents and babies in person again. However the question of where to meet was raised again and again to me.”
Sandy Connolly, community volunteer with Cuidiú and postpartum centric Doula says: “We need to talk about the lack of community spaces where we can meet without having to pay money to be there. Even the price of a cup of coffee can be out of the reach of a lot of people. We have to ask the question how we open up breastfeeding supports so that groups are not reliant on private business spaces or religious premises. Breastfeeding support is not just about feeding, but is also about parenting and peer to peer support allowing open and honest conversations in a non-judgemental environment. Having access to a community space that facilitates this is vital.”
The problem of lack of community facilities despite a rapidly growing population is one that has been raised previously by Cllr Scott.
“I was glad to see the commission of a social audit following questions I raised at a Council meeting earlier this year. I also welcome the news that construction of a new community centre in Greystones is shortly about to start. However with the increase of families moving to the area it is critical that the numbers of community spaces are also increasing to meet the needs of everyone. Family supports, such as provided by breastfeeding groups, play an important part in a new parent’s wellbeing and we should be making this as easy as possible.” Scott concludes.