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NUI Galway to Host Webinar in Support of National Breastfeeding Week 2020

The webinar will be opened by Ms Sabina Higgins, a strong advocate for breastfeeding and breastfeeding mothers

The College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway and the Health Service Executive (HSE), will host an online webinar in celebration of National Breastfeeding Week 2020 on Thursday, 7 October at 2pm.

The theme of the online event is ‘Diverse global perspectives on breastfeeding and breastfeeding support’ and will be opened by Ms Sabina Higgins, and closed by the National Breastfeeding Co-ordinator Ireland, Laura McHugh.

Dr Sarah Brennan, a GP and lecturer at the NUI Galway’s Donegal Medical Academy in Letterkenny, and one of the event organisers, said: “We are conscious that this time is especially difficult for new mothers. We are delighted that so many acclaimed international speakers are able to link in virtually and share with us their diverse wisdom around breastfeeding and breastfeeding support. We are also delighted that this online webinar is supported by several parties including the National Lead and Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, Ms Sabina Higgins and the HSE Breastfeeding Committees of Community Healthcare Organisation 1 (CHO1).”

The webinar will consist of three sections, each with short 15-minute presentations, with opportunities for questions and answers at the end of each section:

  • The opening section will explore Human Milk, Sustainability, and Micro-biology with Dr Natalie Shenker, Imperial College London, of Hearts Milk Bank, London; Professor Julie Smith, a global expert in Health Economics, from the Australian National University, Canberra; and Dr Simon Cameron, Vice Chancellor’s Fellow with Queen’s University Belfast.
  • The second section will look at Breastfeeding Support and society during a pandemic and includes Dr Nigel Rollins, Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health at the World Health Organization (WHO); Professor Amy Brown, Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences at Swansea University; and Dr Elizabeth McCarthy, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and School of Psychology at NUI Galway.
  • The third section will explore Culture and breastfeeding/physiology with James Akre, Freelance author who formerly worked with the WHO and UNICEF; Professor Sue Carter, Distinguished Research Scientist at Indiana University who discovered the relationship between social behaviour and oxytocin; and Dr Wendy Jones, MBE, pharmacist and founding member of The Breastfeeding Network.

Co-organiser Dr Elizabeth McCarthy, NUI Galway, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has motivated us to arrange this virtual conference so that we could bring together mothers, fathers, breastfeeding supporters, health care professionals, and policy makers to share and learn from our local and global experts.”

The full programme for the event is available at www.nuigalway.ie/breastfeedingconference2020.

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