Recent Breastfeeding Research in Ireland - Gallagher et al 2015

Research has just been published by researchers at Trinity College Dublin from a study done in 2008 with 2572 women in all maternity hospitals in Ireland.

Gallagher L., Begley C. & Clarke M. (2015) Determinants of breastfeeding initiation in Ireland. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 1-6.

This is the first nationally representative study to measure breastfeeding prospectively following hospital discharge.  While 2527 women were initially recruited, 1826 were still participating at 3-4 months (Phase 2).  The main findings from Phase 2 were that the majority of mothers had: private health insurance (66%); were married (76%); employed (77%); aged 30-34 years (39%): mean age 31 years. 

56% mothers initiated breastfeeding at birth; 42% exclusively breastfeeding at 48 hours;  2.4% mothers exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months

Irish women less likely to initiate breastfeeding (52.6%).  Women not born in Ireland more likely to initiate: Polish 82.2%; Other nationalities 74.6%; British women 64.5%

Professional, managerial, and technical workers more likely to breastfeed (70% and 69%)

35% of mothers who discontinued in Phase 2 (up to 3-4 months) did so in first 2 weeks

55% of mothers in Phase 2 fully formula feeding by 1 month