We are excited to announce the launch of LLLGB breastfeeding web-posts and three information sheets in Welsh. Resources in the Welsh language are the culmination of the Welsh New Groups Project, which began in 2012. The project has led to the accreditation of new Leaders and the creation of LLL groups in Monmouth, Caerphilly, Swansea Valley and Aberystwyth, greatly swelling support for breastfeeding mothers in Wales and adding to the impact of groups in Newport and Cardiff as well as the Vale of Glamorgan and Llandudno.
With one-fifth of people in Wales speaking Welsh, it is high time we provide resources in the mother tongue of many mothers in Wales. For this we have to thank the Oak Foundation, who offered us funding to train mothers to provide LLL mother-to-mother breastfeeding support in Wales. We also have to thank Elin Davies, who translated the information sheets, and Enid Gruffudd, our newly accredited Leader in Aberystwyth who has helped with editing and proofreading the material.
Three information sheets have been used as the basis for the Welsh webposts, they will also be available from the LLLGB SHOP in the near future:
• Breastfeeding/ Bwydo ar y Fron https://www.laleche.org.uk/bwydo-ar-y-fron/
• Breastfeeding Basics/ Hanfodion Bywdo ar y Fron https://www.laleche.org.uk/hanfodion-bwydo-ar-y-fron/
• Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?/ A Yw Fy Mabi’n Cael Digon o Laeth https://www.laleche.org.uk/yw-fy-mabin-cael-digon-o-laeth/
The LLLGB Welsh New Groups Project
The project began in 2012 by identifying areas where LLL support did not exist and where breastfeeding rates were low. Statistics from a 2012 Welsh Government survey show that in 2010, 36% of all mothers in Wales were breastfeeding exclusively at one week, while 17% were at six weeks. This compared to 46% of all mothers in the UK breastfeeding exclusively at one week, and 23% at six weeks. Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding was lower in Wales and Northern Ireland than in England and Scotland. Clearly there is a huge need for breastfeeding information and support throughout Wales.
The mountainous geography and transport systems in Wales were also factors in determining where LLLGB could realistically support the project. As a result the three project areas were based in Swansea, Monmouth and North Wales; a team of Leaders delivered LLL Awareness Days and four workshops to Leader Applicants in each of the project areas.
Leader Applicants who took part in the Welsh New Groups Project gave us this feedback:
• I enjoyed meeting the Leaders and the other mothers who are as passionate about mothering through breastfeeding as I am!
• The workshop refreshed my enthusiasm and confidence.
• I found the group dynamics exercise the most enjoyable/helpful part of the workshop as I learned so much from it.
• The workshop reminded me that my leadership preparation is a learning process.
• The workshop renewed my energy and focus.
Evaluation of the project highlighted the need for quality LLL breastfeeding information in Welsh as well as English. We are delighted that project funding was able to stretch to meet this need.
It is wonderful to share LLL mother-to-mother breastfeeding support across the breadth as well as length of Great Britain. We wish to thank the Oak Foundation as well as the Leaders involved in this project for helping to make a significant contribution to the provision of mother-to-mother breastfeeding support in Wales.
Future challenges in Wales
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) reported that data collected in 2015 shows a fall in breastfeeding rates among younger mothers, and large variations in breastfeeding rates across Wales. in August 2016, Vicky Richards, RCM National Officer for Wales, stated that there is a clear need for more breastfeeding support, especially for young mothers and to tackle geographical disparity. She said, “Breastfeeding lays the foundations for an individual’s future health and wellbeing. It brings great benefits for society as a whole in terms of reduced spending on ill health.” So the challenge to support breastfeeding mothers in Wales continues.
Find LLL breastfeeding support in Wales here
Director, LLLGB Education and Development Department