Our Vision is for breastfeeding to become the cultural norm.
The New Zealand Breastfeeding Authority (NZBA) works to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in New Zealand and manages the following programmes:
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), an international programme, launched in 1991, is an effort by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to ensure that all maternity services become centers of breastfeeding support. The WHO have stated that the "Baby Friendly Initiative is the primary intervention strategy for improvement in infant and young child health". BFHI aims to improve exclusive breastfeeding rates and ensure evidenced-based best practice standards of care in maternity services. Baby Friendly facilities work to see that all women receive appropriate advice and support. For the women who choose not to breastfeed BFHI requires that they are provided with unbiased information and advice and are supported in their decision.
BFHI is a quality tool which establishes standards of care and then services are audited on these for accreditation. Accreditation is for three years.
In New Zealand all maternity services are required to achieve and maintain Baby Friendly Hospital accreditation. Nearly all services have achieved accreditation and 99.85% of infants born in maternity services are delivered in BFHI accredited facilities.
BFHI has had a positive impact in New Zealand maternity services and the NZBA believe that establishing similar standards for care in community services will also help improve the breastfeeding rates.
The Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) establishes standards, on infant and young child feeding, for service provision by a wide range of "community services" which are measurable and can be monitored, and evaluated. The standards are based on current scientific evidence and set guidelines for best practice and aim to increase exclusive breastfeeding as well as increase breastfeeding duration. These may be services that provide care for antenatal, birthing, postnatal or mothers with infants /or young children.
BFCI has a broader focus with support for initiation of breastfeeding as well as sustaining breastfeeding alongside the appropriate introduction of complementary foods (i.e. Infant and Young Child Feeding).
The NZBA advocates for implementation in NZ of all of the goals of the Innocenti Declaration