University of Limerick
Dunne_2022_Repeated.pdf (1.48 MB)

A repeated cross‐sectional analysis of breastfeeding initiation rates in Ireland for two decades and 10 recommended priorities for improvement

Download (1.48 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-25, 08:49 authored by Roy K. Philip, Aubree Worobetz, Helen Byrt, Irene Beirne, Raeghnya Zutshi, Tanya Cassidy, COLUM DUNNECOLUM DUNNE

Despite a number of public health and policy‐based initiatives, Ireland's national breastfeeding rates are among the lowest globally. Regionally, the Mid‐West of Ireland has historically had low breastfeeding initiation rates, and parts of its major urban area such as Limerick City suffer the highest levels of economic deprivation in the country. In that context, this repeated cross‐sectional study analysed breastfeeding initiation trends in the Mid‐West of Ireland for two decades, from 2001 to 2020 inclusively. Statistical analysis revealed persistently low percentages of women initiating breastfeeding in the region. Time series analyses of the data demonstrated that overall breastfeeding rates are increasing, but continue to be lower than Irish national averages. From these findings and a narrative review of published research, we determined 10 plausible reasons for these consistently low breastfeeding rates. Arising from these, we propose ‘10 Priorities’ to increase the breastfeeding initiation rates in Ireland. 





Maternal & Child Nutrition 19 (1), e13424



Also affiliated with

  • 4i - Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation & Immunity

Department or School

  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • School of Medicine

Usage metrics

    University of Limerick