Time flies. It seems like only yesterday that our twins were tiny and that Amelda and I were learning about the First 1000 Days. We had always been very conscious of good nutritious food for our children but we had no idea just how important it is at this early stage of a child’s life. I have really enjoyed my time so far working as an ambassador with the First 1000 Days team and I have learned a lot about how important nutrition is during this time of life.
This year the First 1000 Days is focusing on breastfeeding and as a restaurateur I know how important it is for the whole hospitality industry to encourage a positive attitude to breastfeeding among our staff and to provide the best environment for breastfeeding moms to feel comfortable.
Breastfeeding is normal. It is as simple as that.
The new ‘breastfeeding welcome here’ initiative is one I am fully behind. The mark will be available for organisations to display so that breastfeeding mothers can be re-assured of their legal right to breastfeed. And if we all get behind it we can help to ensure that breastfeeding becomes a more accepted and common activity in all public spaces and across all parts of society.
Lots of organisations have come on board including the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, the Irish Paediatric Association, Irish Practice Nurses Association and already Arnotts, Boots, Insomnia, and Blanchardstown Centre have signed up. This is great news.
You can find out more about breastfeeding by going to www.breastfeeding.ie run by the HSE. The aims are simple — to promote a more positive culture around breastfeeding and also to reach the World Health Organisation’s goal of increasing exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months to at least 50% by 2025.
I am proud to display the Breastfeeding Mark at MacNean House.