Breastfeeding Friendly Project
Why is being breastfeeding friendly important?
The Ministry of Health recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed until their babies are around six months old, and then continue breastfeeding with the introduction of solid foods. In New Zealand, only 25% of mothers continued to breastfeed exclusively for six months (MOH, 2012). Research has highlighted several reasons for mothers not breastfeeding at all, or for stopping breastfeeding early. These include mothers returning to work, the social perception of breastfeeding, and the lack of knowledge around expressing and storing breast milk.
Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces aims to create and sustain breastfeeding friendly environments with the goal of increasing breastfeeding rates and duration. Normalising breastfeeding in public helps mothers to feel more comfortable and supported to breastfeed.
What are Breastfeeding Friendly accredited spaces?
Breastfeeding Friendly spaces is an initiative that creates and sustains breastfeeding friendly environments with the aim of normalising breastfeeding within our communities. Toi Te Ora’s breastfeeding friendly team work in a number of settings including cafes, libraries, early childhood education services (ECE's) and health providers to help develop breastfeeding policies, encourage staff training, show breastfeeding signage and provide comfortable spaces for mothers to breastfeed. The hope is that both customers and staff of a Breastfeeding Friendly accredited space can be reassured to know they will be supported to breastfeed. Just look out for the Breastfeeding Friendly signs in your community.
Toi Te Ora’s Breastfeeding Friendly Project launched the accreditation process in July 2011. Since then over 200 ECE's, businesses, cafes, restaurants, retailers and libraries throughout the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts have created breastfeeding friendly environments, and achieved Breastfeeding Friendly accreditation. Overall, feedback shows the project is sustaining supportive environments for mothers and their families. View the most recent (2015) project evaluation here.
Breastfeeding Friendly accredited spaces in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes regions:
If your business, early childhood centre, kōhanga reo, cafe, restaurant, mall or organisation would like to become Breastfeeding Friendly accreditated, please call Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service on 0800 221 555.
Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Update Newsletter
Read the latest information and updates about local Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces here:
How can your workplace become Breastfeeding Friendly accredited?
Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly accredited is simple, all you need is the following:
- Breastfeeding friendly policy (example available from Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service)
- Comfortable space for breastfeeding mums (e.g. a couch)
- Support in place for breastfeeding staff (e.g. flexible break times, private area for breastfeeding or expressing)
- Milk storage (e.g. a fridge) and heating facilities (e.g access to hot water)
- Staff are made aware of key breastfeeding messages
- Breastfeeding Friendly signage displayed (available for free from Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service)
A Breastfeeding Friendly advisor from Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service will be able to assist you with all of the requirements.
What are the benefits of Breastfeeding Friendly accreditation to your workplace?
- Free promotion of your business as a Breastfeeding Friendly Space on the Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service website and Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Update newsletter
- Access to free breastfeeding information, resources and advisor support
- Potential increase in customer base and the workplace will be known as being family friendly and supportive
- Higher staff retention as mothers are more likely to return to the same employer
- Increased productivity and decreased absenteeism as babies are less likely to get sick
- Staff are upskilled in the benefits of breastfeeding and creating support environments for mothers.
If your business, early childhood education service, kōhanga reo, cafe, restaurant, mall or organisation would like to become Breastfeeding Friendly accredited, please call Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service on 0800 221 555.