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Posts Tagged ‘ Dublin Housewives ’

TV Stars Keep Breastfeeding In Focus

This week saw two Irish TV shows highlighting the attitudes of many Irish people towards breastfeeding in Ireland.  After the recent debates following from a very controversial Time Magazine cover, our low breastfeeding rates in Ireland have come to the forefront.  It would seem that the opinions of Irish people surrounding breastfeeding, our reluctance to openly discuss breastfeeding, and our attitudes towards when it is deemed appropriate to wean a child off the breast, all contribute to our poor success rates in breastfeeding.

On discharge from hospital, less than half of all Irish babies are exclusively breastfed, and this rate drops to only 3% by the time a child is six months.  Considering that the World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, following by continued breastfeeding to a minimum of two, why is it that rates in Ireland are so low? As we live in a developed and well educated country, where access to information about breastfeeding is readily available, and the health benefits are so well known, could it be that we don’t consider breastfeeding socially acceptable, and could this be lending itself to low success rates?

The current series of “Come Dine with Me Ireland” aired this week and was set in County Cavan.  On the fourth night, land lady and fussy eater Lorraine brought up the fact that she breastfed her two children, the first for five years and the second for four and a half years.  She was open in her admissions that she would have fed her children anywhere, including restaurants and at mass.  This declaration led to a heated debate about whether breastfeeding in public was acceptable, and a fellow contestant even went so far as to advise that the children should have been fed in the car rather than in public view in a restaurant.

In the private interviews later, Lorraine’s peers labelled her extended breastfeeding as “strange” and “not normal”.  As the average weaning age worldwide is four, it is fair to say that Lorraine is closer to the global norm than 97% of the Irish populace, and hence is more “normal” than most.  The reaction of the contestants towards public breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding are representative of the attitudes of Irish people and testimony to the fact that it is the mind-set of our citizens that is negatively affecting our breastfeeding rates.

On the new series, “Dublin Housewives”, we saw Virginia Macari welcome her son, Troy Sebastian into the world.  He was a gorgeous healthy baby, whom Virginia successfully and openly breastfed.  She discussed her desire to breastfeed even before Troy was born, and when later out for a girls’ lunch with her six week old son in tow, she continued to discuss the fact that she was breastfeeding.  Her co-star from the show, clinician Danielle Meagher, was animated in her attempts to get the ladies to cease their discussions around breastfeeding, and even went so far as to say that she was cringing as it was the discussion was turning into “My Big Fat Gypsy Breastfeeding Wedding” or “expressyourbreastmilk.com”.

Whilst Virginia was showing herself to be a great role model for breastfeeding, discussing how she expressed and proving that it doesn’t have to impact on your social life, Danielle was representing the other portion of the population who have overly sexualised the breast and refuse to discuss what is the most normal and beneficial activity a new mother can engage in.

Both of these programmes are continuing to keep breastfeeding in focus and this can only be seen as a good thing in a country where we so desperately need to improve our breastfeeding rates.  The downside to this, however, is that any susceptible or naïve people may take on board the negative attitudes that have been represented.  The ill-treatment which both starring breastfeeding women were subjected to is unjust and shameful and the reactions of the characters are indicative of the attitudes of many Irish people today.  Let the breastfeeding exposure continue and hopefully a sizeable shift in our breastfeeding culture will follow.

Come Dine with Me Ireland and Dublin Housewives may be viewed on www.tv3.ie/3player.

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News In Brief:Bruton Backtracks on Treaty Mishap, Dublin Housewives Set To Air

We’ve all had those nights. When you promise yourself you’ll be good and only take a certain amount of cash with you. Then after a few shandy’s out comes the bank card and all your well spurned over-spending firmly in the shade? Well the government are suffering that over indulged hangover right now as they re-hire dozens of civil servants that took early retirement to avail of cash pay-outs earlier this year.

In one case an assistant secretary re-hired by the Department of Agriculture will cost €120,860 on top of his pension.
It’s like the spending that can’t be stopped as these retired staff are now welcomed back on a weekly pay rate for positions that could otherwise ‘not be filled’. That’s odd, I’m almost sure I saw a queue outside the welfare office . . ?
In fact dozens of lawyers, private bankers and accountants are working for free in the Department of Finance to “boost the expertise” of the current work force.
So we’ve had to rehire the retired to re-replace the existing workers who are incapable? Has the world gone mad or have we all been drinking too much?!
 

Perhaps Jobs Minister Richard Bruton had been drinking when on Today FM he suggested a ‘no’ vote in the fiscal treaty could lead to the vote being held again. Bruton quickly backtracked on his statement and Fine Gael’s Simon Coveney has since assured voters this is not Nice or Lisbon; “This government will have to respect that [no] and deal with the consequences.” Coveney was quoted. A government that listens to and implements the needs of the nation? I’ll drink to that!

Last year Irish author Julian Gough, took umbrage with the organisers of the eponymous Wodehouse literary prize after discovering their winner was secured before the short list was drawn up. The well sought prize for the winner of the Wodehouse award? Well the top author has the honour of bestowing their name on a pig.
Gough offended by the fix in the competition stole the prize pig from its home in Wales threatening to return the animal “sausage by sausage” until the competition was made fair.
In a twist to the tale, and despite Gough’s criminal activity, this year the writer has once again been short listed for the award and could yet be bringing home the bacon.
 
Another work of fiction in the news this week are the further revelations concerning Louis Walsh and his not so likely lover boy. It now seems Leonard Watters was in fact paid by a journalist from The Sun to come forward with his nightclub naughties incriminating Walsh and earning himself six months in prison. The story was reported this week by the Independent who had discovered the female journalist met with Watters on a number of occasions even accompanying him to Pearse Street Garda Station to make his claims as well as promising €700 for his exclusive.
 
TV3 have unleashed the latest “celebrity” monster since ‘Tallafornia’. ‘Dublin Housewives’, is set to send the careers of a few skyrocketing . . . or not. Yet another “reality” programme ‘Dublin Housewives’ follows the trials and tribulations of the not so rich and famous. Watch if you like trash TV and want to escape the depressing day to day, not if you’re looking for original opinion and intellectual insight.
 
A new atlas of Ireland has been launched giving detailed locations of some of Ireland’s famous and historical land marks. Included are the world’s oldest fossilised footprints in Kerry, and Broome Bridge in Dublin, where Sir William Rowan Hamilton invented a new type of algebra in 1843. Some sites not listed on the atlas include; Father Ted’s house, Bono’s sunglasses storage facility, Bertie Ahern’s private bank (reportedly viewable from space) and the strange location from whence Jedward came.
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