Sir, – A news story published on March 29th discussing the tragic case of Marie Downey and her infant son suggested that, “Stress and sleep deprivation, possibly caused by breastfeeding, are known triggers for seizures among lactating women”.

To attribute stress and sleep deprivation in new mothers to breastfeeding is the type of statement that contributes to Ireland having some the lowest breastfeeding rates in the developed world.

All mothers of new infants, regardless of how they choose to feed their babies, are tired and in a vulnerable state from the exertions of labour and the adjustments to the demands of caring for an entirely dependent baby.

Epilepsy alone is not a contra-indication to breastfeeding. If tiredness is a trigger for seizures, a new mother with the condition should surely be provided with additional support and monitoring, whether she is bottlefeeding or breastfeeding. – Yours, etc,




British Columbia,