Findings from the Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly process in Wales reveal a strong commitment to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding, including investment in Baby Friendly
The report Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly in Wales: Recommendations for scaling up breastfeeding support (April 2022) explores existing breastfeeding policies in Wales and opportunities for improvement.
Recommended interventions include an evidence-based strategic action plan, robust monitoring, adherence to the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, and sustainable political, positional and operational buy-in across government, health and social services which work to meet the needs of the diverse Welsh population.
Key highlights from the report include:
- Wales is a small nation with devolved health legislation that should take advantage of its power to enact countrywide, universal breastfeeding policy and strategy.
- Policy, promotion and support should be nuanced and cocreated by communities to meet the needs of the diverse Welsh population.
- Policy must be supported by sustainable investment and political, positional and operational buy-in across government, health and social services.
- Strategy must be evidence-based with an emphasis on women’s experiences and voices. Robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms must be put in place so that data are up to date and meaningful.
It is positive to note that findings from the Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly (BBF) process in Wales support implementation of the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, sharing:
Infant feeding in WalesLearn more
Discussions were central at BBF meetings in relation to supporting the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative across Wales. Programmes such as this unite professionals across maternity, neonatal and health visiting services alongside university settings where future professionals are trained. This connection between hospital and community-based services is a core part of breastfeeding support. Given the evidence of the benefit of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative status upon breastfeeding initiation and continuation, it is important to embed further accreditation and its underpinning evidence to breastfeeding support across Wales.
To read more on the outcomes of this review, access the full report here.