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Backing for breastfeeding: the areas of North Wales recognised for their support for mums and babies

August 4, 2023

Three areas of North Wales have been recognised for the welcome and encouragement they give to breastfeeding mums.

Abergele, Llanberis and Caia Park in Wrexham are the first parts the region to be named as Breastfeeding Welcome Communities because of the widespread support on offer for mothers, babies and their families.

The three locations all have effective peer and mutual support networks, dedicated community groups led by specially-trained health visitors, and strong backing for breastfeeding in the local business community. More than half of the independent businesses and venues in each area have signed up to the health board’s Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme – which encourages organisations to create a positive atmosphere for breastfeeding.

Families can now check our easy-to-use online map to find premises which are members of our the scheme, or look out for our logo in the window.

The health board worked with Dewis Cymru to create the interactive guide to businesses and other venues which have registered their support for breastfeeding. It is the first time breastfeeding-positive venues have been mapped in this way anywhere in Wales.

Breastfeeding has many long-lasting health and wellbeing benefits for mothers and their babies. It protects against common infections and helps to reduce the risk of some serious illnesses.

Betsi Cadwaladr Executive Director of Public Health Teresa Owen said: “We want to do all we can to encourage and support breastfeeding, and one of the ways we can help mums to continue breastfeeding is by making it as easy and comfortable as possible to feed while they are out and about.

“Our health visitors, infant feeding specialists and peer supporters offer lots of help for breastfeeding mothers in all areas of North Wales – but it is so heartening to see such strong support for breastfeeding in Abergele, Caia Park and Llanberis, and particularly such great support from the local business community in these areas.

“We would like to replicate the success of these areas across the whole region – and urge more businesses who are positive about supporting breastfeeding to put themselves on the map by signing up to our Breastfeeding Welcome scheme.”

🔵 More information about breastfeeding support near you is available from your health visitor or our Breastfeeding Friends groups.

🔵 View our easy-to-use online map to find all businesses and venues which are members of our Breastfeeding Welcome scheme. 


Abergele: “Groups like this are so important…”


Infant Feeding Health Visitor Sara Jones runs a weekly breastfeeding support group at Canolfan Dinorben in Abergele.

She said the town’s strong community spirit helps breastfeeding mums to help one another.

“Breastfeeding groups like this are so important,” she said. “They give new mums a really easy way to get support and information from a professional – it’s a drop-in so there’s no pressure, but we’re there to help if mums need it.

“It’s really relaxed, and mums who come along are meeting loads of others who are in a really similar situation.

“They often help one another out – there’s a lot of peer support, there’s a social element which is important too, and it’s also somewhere new mums can come and practice breastfeeding when they are out and about. That’s really important when building confidence, and we often talk about things like good feeding positions and what type of clothing works best for feeding in public.

“I love to see women coming back to the group and growing in confidence. Some mothers do face challenges with breastfeeding, but we want mums to know that friendly support is available – and that we can help them to feed their baby in the way they want.”


Caia Park: “People should know they don’t need to hide away…”


Apra Ames-Roberts and Dianne Hughes from The Happy Hedgehog Café and Delta Academy of Dance and Performing Arts believe welcoming and supporting breastfeeding mothers is just a natural part of the support they offer to the wider community in Caia Park.

“On any Saturday, we can have hundreds of children walk in here over a six hour period,” Apra said. “And lots of their parents bring smaller siblings with them in a car seat or in a sling.

“It’s about mothers knowing that no-one is going to judge them. There really shouldn’t be any problem or stigma with breastfeeding in public any more. People should know they don’t need to hide away to feed or express milk.

“We’re very pleased to welcome them. I find our breastfeeding mums tend to sit and meet together – I like to see them coming out, sitting with us and chatting amongst themselves about things. Most of the time, no one can tell they are breastfeeding!”

🔵"They really listened to me, and made breastfeeding work for us" – specialist support team helps hundreds of new mums and newborns


Llanberis: “Going somewhere you know is supportive makes you feel more confident…”


Owner of Sglein Salon in Llanberis, Sioned Cumberton, said she had been inspired to become a member of the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme by her own experience as a mum.

“I can remember feeling really uncomfortable if I was out and feeding my son,” she said. “I’d make sure I was facing the wall or had my mum with me to help cover me.

“As a mum you need to be going out – it helps to lift your mood and stops you feeling cut off. It makes a big difference if you know you’re going somewhere supportive, and it helps you feel more confident.”


Our easy-to-use online map

The online map of Breastfeeding Welcome venues includes a wide range of businesses, including ATS Euromaster at Maesgwyn Garage on Wrexham’s Mold Road. Like many business leaders across North Wales, manager Phil Jones has already proudly displayed our Breastfeeding Welcome sticker.

“Anything we can do to make women who are breastfeeding feel a little bit more comfortable has got to be welcome,” he said.

“We’re all parents here, and we’ve all been through these sorts of things. So it’s an easy thing for us – we want to encourage mums to be happy to feed here if they need to.”


Jodie Phillips, Corporate Manager at Dewis developer Data Cymru, said the service was pleased to have worked with the health board to create the Breastfeeding Welcome map, because helping people find the right information about services and support is key to helping people maintain and improve their wellbeing.

“Using the Dewis Cymru directory to provide parents with an up-to-date, online list of businesses and other venues in North Wales where they can feel safe and comfortable breastfeeding is really something to celebrate.”

The right to breastfeed is public places is protected by law under the Equality Act 2010. Our Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme is designed to offer more support and reassurance, and help mothers and babies continue breastfeeding while out and about.

All participating venues have signed up to our Breastfeeding Welcome policy, which encourages organisations and businesses to help breastfeeding mothers feel comfortable, and train staff to increase their awareness of breastfeeding and its benefits.

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