Last week to collect Echo Wish Tokens for Full Circle

Flag of Wales

Flag of Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the last week you can collect tokens for WISH ’12! Thank you to everyone who has been collecting them for Full Circle.  It means we will get a share of the £25,000 good causes pot and enable us to buy some much needed new toys and foam squares for the little ones to play with.  I just had this reminder email from Victoria at the Echo…

In tomorrows Echo (Wednesday 14th November) we will be printing our final round of BONUS TOKENS!!
This is the last time there will be an extra 20 tokens up for grabs so don’t miss it!
The very last Wish tokens will be printed in Saturdays Echo. You then need to collect all your token booklets and sheets together, whether full or partially complete, ready for counting.
Once you have collated all your tokens, complete the final entry form, indicating the total number of tokens you have collected and submit to us by 5pm on Monday 7 January 2013. You will then be allocated your share of the Wish prize pot, according to the number of tokens you have submitted. The higher percentage of tokens you have, the higher percentage of the prize pot your group will receive. The results will be announced in a special supplement in the South Wales Echo in January 2013. You will then be sent a cheque for the final amount.
Good luck!

Caterpillar Music fun in Full Circle

Change of venue for 30th October – please spread the word

A shot of a pumpkin, focused on its stem.

CHANGE OF VENUE for Tuesday 30th October!!!

The Community Centre has an art exhibition all week during half term so we are moving to Rascals Club House in Bedwas.  They have said we can have one of the party rooms for free which is great but there may be an entry fee (depending on age of your baby) It will be the half-term holiday, so the prices would be:-

Grown-Ups – FREE,
0 – 11 Months – FREE,
12 – 18 Months – £2.95,
19 Months – 2 Years – £3.95, and
3 Years and Over – £4.95.

They have plenty of equipment and toys for all ages. This was going to be our Halloween week so do feel free to dress up your little pumpkin (or not) if you like.  We won’t be doing any craft as we’ll be in Rascals but hopefully the play equipment will make up for it.  Breastfeeding support will be available as always in the party room and we will be meeting at the same times (1-3pm).  Hope to see you there!!

Please help us collect tokens for the Echo’s Wish Campaign

Who gets the Echo?  Or knows someone who gets the Echo?  Or runs a shop or business/ knows someone who runs a shop or business or similar where people may come who get the Echo?  Ok, you get the idea.


Full Circle has been chosen as one of the community groups to take part in the Echo’s Wish Campaign – all getting a share of £25,000.  All we need to do is collect as many tokens as possible to raise funds for the group….


Tokens will be in the paper from Weds 3rd October to 17th Nov.  All you need to do is collect them while the campaign runs and then at the end either drop them in to group or we will collect them from you.  Email us if you can help.  It would be great for the group to get some extra money in to help pay for our running costs and hopefully get some new foam squares for the children.  Even if it’s just one token we would love to have it!!


We have a supply of posters and collection books.  If you can display a poster or are a regular Echo reader and could fill a collection book please please please do it!!!




For more about the Wish Campaign visit


Big Latch On Done!

The Big Latch On

The Big Latch On happened today with Full Circle and Latch On joining forces to host the event (from more please see our previous post).

We had a great turnout (especially considering the minimal notice and chickenpox epidemic) with 9 latches recorded for the record and almost 30 people coming along to enjoy lots of homemade cake and a cuppa.  Result!!!  Next year will be even bigger and better – and more organised 😀

I was too busy timing the latch to film while we were latched so to speak so the video is from just after.  We had some lovely people taking photos of the latch itself so more of these to follow later.  I should have taken a photo of our cake table because that was an amazing display. Oops!

A massive thank-you to everyone who came, including our independent witnesses and everyone who helped spread the word.

The Big Latch On Comes to South Wales

The Big Latch OnOn the 1 – 7th of August every year, to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organises World Breastfeeding Week. World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, is celebrated in 120 countries and marks the signing of the WHO/UNICEF document Innocenti Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals.

To mark this occasion on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th August 2012 at 10:30am thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies/children across the world will gather in their own communities to take part in the Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations.

This year the Big latch On is going international.  Full Circle and Latch On Breastfeeding Support Groups are joining forces to host our local Big Latch On, which will take place Friday 3rd August 10am-11.30am at the Twyn Community Centre, Caerphilly, CF83 1JL.

What is the Big Latch On?

Groups of breastfeeding women coming together at registered locations around the world to all latch on their child at a set time. All the breastfeeding women and children are latched on for one minute at the set time and are counted by the witnesses. The numbers are added up and we see if we can beat previous Big Latch On records or maybe even the world record!

The Big Latch On supports communities with identifying and growing opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion.

The key to the Big Latch On’s success is allowing communities to hold their Big Latch On events, empowering them to create an event that relates to the people of their community, while still taking part in a worldwide event.

While Women’s Health Action/Big Latch On provides the concept, key resources and overarching co-ordination, communities hold their own Big Latch On events. One of the biggest delights of co-ordinating the Big Latch On each year is the feedback we get about the amazing diversity of ways in which the Big Latch On is celebrated and the follow on activities such as friendships formed and breastfeeding support groups established.

Aims of the Big Latch On

  • Support for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion.
  • Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available in communities.
  • Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
  • Make breastfeeding a normal part of the day-to-day life at a local community level.
  • Increase support for women who breastfeed – women are supported by their partners, family and the breastfeeding knowledge that is embedded in their communities.
  • Communitiies have the resources to advocate for coordinated appropriate and accessible breastfeeding support services.

History of the Big Latch On

The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand. It was started by Women’s Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year, they have seen a growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public. The Big Latch On was introduced to Portland, Oregon, in 2010 by Joanne Edwards as a celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. In 2011, Joanne worked with Annie Brown and members of La Leche League USA to grow the Big Latch On across the USA.

In an effort to further strengthen the Big Latch On’s mission to protect, promote and support breastfeeding women and in recognition of increasing global participation in the Big Latch On, Women’s Health Action and the Big Latch On Global Coordinator Joanne Edwards have joined forces for 2012.

For more information about The Big Latch On in Caerphilly please get in touch via this webpage or on our facebook page (to the right of this post).  For more information about the Big Latch On generally and to find an event near you please visit

Come and join us for a cuppa cake and to break some records while raising awareness of breastfeeding in the community.  Let’s make this year’s Big latch On bigger than ever before!!!!

National Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2012

Breastfeeding symbol

Every year in the UK we have National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, generally held in the last week of June (this year it is 24th-30th).  The government withdrew funding for this event a couple of years ago but many breastfeeding support groups and other public health and breastfeeding organisations still put on events.  The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers have a page where people can post things that are happening in their local area.

Full Circle Breastfeeding Support are collaborating with Latch On and other mum-to-mum support groups in the South Wales area to create breastfeeding walls of love featuring contributions from people who love breastfeeding and their reason/s why.  These displays are then going to be taken around prominent venues in the local community raising awareness and spreading the love.  We think it’s a lovely idea but to make it really effective we want as many contributions as possible.

All you have to do to take part is complete this sentence “I ❤ (I mean heart but I can’t do it properly on here sorry) breastfeeding … “

We have already received some gorgeous ones including one from a dad of a breastfed baby who wasn’t keen on breastfeeding at first and one from a mum whose premature baby was seriously ill and donated breastmilk saved his life.  We have also had pictures and other innovative responses.  Please feel free to be as creative or as straight-to-the point as you like.  All submissions will be gratefully received.

I will post photographs of the walls of love during BAW.

All you need to do it post your responses in the comments section below or via twitter @patchwork_mama.

Thank you!!!!!!!

* ALSO for all of you breastfeeding lovers in the South Wales area (or further afield if you fancy a road trip) there is going to be a breastfeeding morning picnic and mass feed (babies permitting) in RoathPark, Cardiff (by the rose garden or in the cafe if it rains) at 10am on Sunday 24th of June.  Look for the Full Circle and Latch On banners (and hopefully the hoardes of people). The walls of love will be on display too and you can add to them in person.  It would be great to get as many people as possible there so feel free to spread the word.

Baby Led Weaning – Ideas for First Foods


IMG_6768.jpg (Photo credit: SlugsOnTheRefrigerator)

Baby-led weaning, sounds intriguing (and a lot less hassle) but where do you start?

In our group today lots of mums shared their ideas for good first foods (as this seems to be the most scary part).  Here are all the ones I could remember – should have written them down oops!  Please feel free to add to this list.

Full Circle’s guide to Baby Led Weaning First Foods

  • toast soldiers
  • rice cakes
  • crackers
  • all/any of the above spread with humous, or mashed avacado, apple, philadelphia (equally good with other brands of spreadable cheese) etc. In fact any sort of thickish dips with any sort of dippers really work well.  Runnier things like yoghurt are better introduced a bit once they have the hang of dipping (not necessarily with a spoon – fruit or breadsticks – or fingers – make good dippers) though this totally depends on the consistency.
  • potato (or other veg) wedges
  • filled pasta (tortelini?)
  • pasta coated with sauce (warning: very messy and can be a little difficult to pick up at first.  Ella preferred penne as she could pop her finger into it and pick it up that way)
  • pretty much all fruits – particularly things that are easy to hold like strawberries, melon and bananas (smaller things like berries and peas should only be used once your baby has enough co-ordination to pick them up themselves.  Nature’s amazing way of ensuring they don’t choke).
  • vegetables, particularly roots like carrot, swede, parsnip – lightly cooked are easier for them to deal with, particularly if they don’t have many (any!) teeth yet.  Roasted veg works well too.
  • Meats can be a bit more tricky but anything they can manage to bite and move around themselves will be ok e.g. thinly sliced meats or chunks of fish (de-boned).  Mincemeat is a good option (though you’ll need to be patient as they usually pick it up one piece at a time) and can be used to make meatballs, lasagne etc.

For all foods keep the size quite chunky and let the baby handle them themselves.  They will not choke if they have control over what goes in and out of their mouths.  Don’t be tempted to pop something in (or fish something out) for them as this can be dangerous.

Some good ideas (and gorgeous pictures) of BLW in practice here

A more dry but informative take here

The site that links to the now famous book (with loads of info) is here

I hope that’s helpful.  Please do add to this list (I’m sure I’ve forgotten loads).

Weaning your breastfed baby

Pancake race London

Image via Wikipedia

Good morning all!

It’s pancake day today and, as our little ones are a bit small to be tossing pancakes, I thought we would do the next best thing (!?) and talk about weaning in today’s meeting.  We will be asking (and hopefully answering):

  • What does it mean?
  • What are the current guidelines (and why do we have them)?
  • Traditional or Baby-led?

There will be chance to ask questions and share our own experiences, as always.  See you there!

Love is in the air…

Author: Bagande

Image via Wikipedia

Ok, so it’s Valentine’s day tomorrow and whether you love it (wonderful opportunity to shower your nearest and dearest with gifts and words of love) or hate it (thinly disguised ploy to exploit the loved up and gullible, and make people not in a relationship feel crap) this year we will be celebrating it full circle style.

Annie has crafty stuff for the smalls (and the bigs if they wish) to make Valentine cards for their significant others (dads, friends, whoever).

We will be talking about what we luuuurrrvvee about breastfeeding (and we may also be mentioning some things which we don’t love about it – like your boobs no longer being your own).

There will also be chocolate, cake and the usual tea, coffee and fruit.

Come and celebrate with us!