The beginning of August marks the start of World Breastfeeding Week and two mums are spreading the word of just how important it can be, for both mother and baby.
World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from 1 to 7 August, aims to educate mums, as well as mums-to-be, on the numerous health benefits of breastfeeding and to encourage women to choose it as their preferred method of feeding their baby.
Nurturing and promoting the parent-infant relationship is at the heart of the recently launched Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Infant Feeding Strategic Plan that encourages parents to feel empowered and to enable breastfeeding.
Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth can support early bonding between parents and children and is an important aspect of the plan.
New mum, Alice Horwood, from Pwllheli, delivered now eight month old Loli Mair via emergency c-section at Ysbyty Gwynedd, and received support from midwives and health visitors to start breast feeding.
She said: “I remember having lots of skin to skin time with my baby after she was born. I wasn’t able to do much following surgery, and a student midwife helped my baby latch and breastfeed.
“It was quite difficult to begin with because it hurts. My daughter wasn’t latching properly on one side but when the health visitor came round she helped me improve the latch on that side and it was much better.
“I’d made the decision to breastfeed early on in my pregnancy, it was always the only option that crossed my mind and after having a c-section it became almost more important for me to breastfeed.
“I have been very lucky, I had friends who had been very supportive and I also made contact with people who had been breastfeeding mentors who provided me with advice.
“Breastfeeding has really worked for me and I’m pleased that I persevered even though it was difficult in the first few weeks.
“You do get used to each other and know what works for you and your baby.”
Mold based Consultant in Public Health, Rebecca Masters, who has a five-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son, said she always wanted to breastfeed her children.
She said: “My friends had all breastfed their babies and had been really positive about their experience, so it felt like an easy choice to make.
“I wanted to give my children the best start in life, and knew breastfeeding was part of that.
“I wasn’t sure how long I would breastfeed for at first. I didn’t put any pressure on myself to work to a specific time frame. By the time I’d done a few months I figured that I may as well get to six months. Then when six months came and went, I aimed for 12. I fed my daughter until she self-weaned at 12 months. My son is showing no signs of stopping at 13 months.
“My advice to other families would be to go for it 100 per cent. It can be hard at the beginning to know if you’re doing it right, but there is a huge amount of support out there for new parents. It is well worth the discomfort in the early days and is definitely easier and making up bottles.
“It has given them the best possible start in life, and has meant I’ve been able to shift the amount of weight I put on with each pregnancy!”
Teresa Owen Executive Director of Public Health for BCUHB added: “Creating supportive and welcoming environments is important for breastfeeding mothers of North Wales.
“We would welcome more supportive premises to join and acknowledge our Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme. This highlights premises that actively support women to breastfeed, which will help us as a society to develop a culture of positive support for women”.
To view the BCUHB Infant Feeding Strategic Plan, please visit:
Welsh version: https://bit.ly/2W0yFPJ
English version: https://bit.ly/2u8SKr1
The Breast-feeding Welcome Scheme has been established to identify premises to support the needs of breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The scheme is open to local businesses to register
The Breasfeeding Peer Support Groups are also available across North Wales to provide advice, support and helpful information: