Twelve months on from the first meeting, the Longford branch of Cuidiú is thriving. Cuidiú is a national voluntary organisation that provides support and education to parents through all stages of parenthood. Offaly native, Ciara Reilly, a trainee breastfeeding counsellor, started a breastfeeding support group in February 2018 which now meets twice monthly. She says that she started the breastfeeding group to help other mothers. Speaking of what motivated her to establish the group, Ms Reilly said: “A number of my friends had difficulty on their breastfeeding journey, so much so that some reluctantly gave up much earlier than they wanted to. We need more supports in place to help women who make the choice to breastfeed”.
As the babies have grown, so too has Ciara’s vision for the branch and plans are afoot to reach out into the neighbouring county of Roscommon. Joined by Strokestown woman, Denise Kelly, who has attended the Longford meetings from the start, the branch will soon become ‘Cuidiú Longford-Roscommon’.
“Roscommon needs Cuidiú too,” said Ms Kelly, but she is reluctant to split from the Longford group to set up a Roscommon branch, saying: “I’ve met such a great bunch of like-minded women over in Longford that I don’t want to leave! So, I’m delighted to join forces with Ciara to service both counties.”
The new organization will broaden their remit, as Ciara explained: “We will continue to provide breastfeeding support, we have another breastfeeding counsellor in training,” continuing to say: “but we also want to welcome members, non-members, parents, grandparents, carers, children, and bumps no matter how they’re fed.”
The branch will be organizing morning walks, coffee mornings, and kinder bush walks as well as getting involved with ‘Cuidiu Rocks’ to give parents/carers an excuse to get out and about. There are also some educational evening meetings in the pipeline. Details of all activities will be announced on the ‘Cuidiú Longford-Roscommon’ Facebook Page.
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