Breastfeeding helps lay the foundations of a healthy life for a baby and makes a positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of mothers and their whānau/families. (Ministry of Health, MOH)

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global campaign of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The goal is to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

Being a BFHI accredited organization, Bay of Plenty (BOP) DHB is committed to helping mothers start breastfeeding well; having policies and practices in place to support breastfeeding mothers.

As a BFHI accredited facility, BOPDHB has adopted the following 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth. Place babies in skin to skin contact with their mothers following birth for at least an hour. Encourage mothers to recognise when their babies are ready to breastfeed, offering help if needed.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Give new-born infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practise rooming-in - allow mothers and infants to stay together - 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies and soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from hospital or clinic.

Exclusive breastfeeding

  • Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until your baby is around six months old - this means that since birth, your baby has only had breast milk (from the breast or expressed) and prescribed medicines.
  • If your baby is exclusively breastfed, then breast milk meets all their fluid requirements. They don't need water or any other drinks or food until they're around six months old.
  • After six months, babies need the addition of other foods for their growth and development. While introducing complementary foods (solids) continue breastfeeding until babies are at least one year of age or older.
  • With help and support you can continue to breastfeed, even if you need to be away from your baby for any length of time (e.g. returning to work).

The Breastfeeding Resource Book is available at all facilities in BOPDHB. For an electronic copy click here

For more information from the Ministry of Health on breastfeeding click here

BreastFedNZ appBreastFedNZ-app-icon

Download the BreastFedNZ app to find breastfeeding help, information and support.

Chapter contents:

  1. Pregnancy & Birth
  2. The First Few Days
  3. The Early Weeks
  4. Older Babies
  5. Early Babies & Twins
  6. This & That

Available to download from the App Store or Google Play.


For more info on the BreastFedNZ app visit their website.

Last updated: August 29, 2018