A hospital in Swansea has become the first in Wales to be recognised for almost doubling breastfeeding rates.

Breastfeeding rates in the area are amongst the lowest in the UK, but Singleton Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit have seen the number of babies discharged receiving breast milk rise to 70%. Four years ago the number was just 40%.


Babies discharged from hospital receiving breast milk.

The rise in breastfeeding rates has led to the unit becoming only one to gain Baby Friendly accreditation from UNICEF and the World Health organisation.

Breast milk protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later life.

Infant feeding co-ordinator Gaynor Jones said officials from UNICEF UK interviewed around 40 families whose babies had been cared for in the unitas part of the accreditation process.

"The feedback we get from parents is incredible," she said.

"We are empowering them to care for their babies in this intense and very stressful environment.''

Rhiannon's daughter was born at 25 weeks old Credit: Family photo

Rhiannon Purchase's daughter Luna was born at 25 weeks and is being cared for at the unit.

The support has been fantastic, It really has. The whole team actively encourage and support parents to be involved in every aspect of their baby's care. This was huge in terms of me bonding with my daughter

Rhiannon Purchase