Visibility and support crucial for increasing breastfeeding rates, says Nicholl, marking World Breastfeeding Week

Marking the start of World Breastfeeding Week, Alliance South Belfast MLA Kate Nicholl was delighted to sponsor Breastival’s #MoreThanMilk photo exhibition at Stormont earlier today (Monday 31 July).

Kate Nicholl

Through talks, workshops, panel discussions, webinars, and a host of other activities, Breastival seeks to normalise breastfeeding and support families on their breastfeeding journey from pregnancy to birth, early days and beyond.


“Northern Ireland has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in western Europe and those who choose to breastfeed can at times feel isolated and unsupported,” said Ms Nicholl.


“Breastival is a wonderful organisation which aims to support, normalise and celebrate breastfeeding as part of everyday life. I was proud to sponsor the launch of their photo exhibition in the Long Gallery today, where there is actually a photo of me feeding my son from a few years ago. Seeing such empowered images of mothers breastfeeding on the walls of Parliament Buildings was really inspiring.


“Visibility is so important if we are to improve our breastfeeding rates. I brought my daughter Étaín - the first baby to have been breastfed in the chamber – here and I'm struck by how supported I was by colleagues across the political spectrum.


“We are getting there, but we have a long way to go. We need to see the Assembly restored and the development of a new breastfeeding strategy and legislation to promote and support breastfeeding even more widely.”