Dublin-Rathdown TD and Minister, Josepha Madigan, has today (Monday) received confirmation from the HSE Dublin South-East Local Health Office that first-time mothers and parents within the local area will still be able to access a lactation consultant and other breastfeeding support services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Local Health Office in Dublin South-East contacted my office today following a number of representations I had submitted on foot of recent reports which suggested that the much-needed and local HSE breastfeeding-supports service was to be cut.
“I am pleased to confirm that the HSE has no plans to remove this essential service.
“The Local Health Office explained to me that a number of their public health nurses and staff members have been temporarily redeployed to vaccination centres, COVID assessment hubs and other COVID-related projects. As a result, a number of caseloads are vacant around the catchment area of the local health office.
“In order to ensure that sufficient cover is provided to all groupings in the local area, the current lactation consultant will be temporarily redeployed for a period of three months. I am pleased to say that her duties will be covered by another lactation consultant in the Local Health Office for the entirety of this temporary redeployment and further details will be provided.
“The HSE have also informed me that every public health nurse is qualified to give advice to first-time mothers. Many of these are midwifes and have received specialist training during their education.
“In addition, the Local Health Office wishes to reassure local residents that at least five other public health nurses in the area are already qualified to be lactation consultants.
“This news will come as a great relief to the many young mothers and campaigners who have contacted me about this issue in recent days.”