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An event celebrating good practice in infant feeding calls for a whole system approach in Wales

Published: 27 December 2023

The Wales National Lead for Breastfeeding brought together key stakeholders, including the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, to share examples of good practice and promote a whole system approach to infant feeding. Encouraging best practice in infant feeding can help give children in Wales the best start in life, and the event highlighted that there is a role for many health services and settings to encourage parents and caregivers to make informed choices.

The “Bright Spots” event brought members of the Welsh Infant Feeding Network and local public health teams together to celebrate innovation and good practice in infant feeding, with speakers from a range of organisations presenting.

The event made reference to the strategic vision set out in the All Wales Breastfeeding Five Year Action Plan. Public health researchers have highlighted that breast feeding is important for the health and development of infants and is an accessible and cost-effective approach to preventing a range of infectious and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Increasing breastfeeding rates also contributes to the Welsh Government’s Healthy Weight, Healthy Wales strategy.

Speakers from a range of organisations including health boards presented at the event. Topics included partnership working with Dewis Cymru to promote and improve the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme in north Wales; the achievement of Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation in Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board neonatal services and an introduction to the JIGSO intervention for vulnerable and young mothers in Swansea Bay University Health Board.

Rachel Evans, National Breastfeeding Lead Midwife at Public Health Wales, said:

“After several years of being unable to meet face-to-face, the event was a great opportunity to share and learn about some of the work happening across Wales to promote optimal infant feeding.

We are delighted that 90 per cent of attendees heard about work that they planned to replicate in their local area, and 100 per cent would recommend the event to a colleague.”

Details of the presentations given at the event can be found on the Public Health Wales website