Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

Ensuring best practice standards of care

Breastfeeding lays a foundation for good health in infancy, childhood and into adult life and Maternity Hospitals have a special role in supporting mothers with the establishment of breastfeeding.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a World Health Organisation and United Nations Childrens Fund initiative established to raise the standard of care for mothers and babies and child health has improved as a result.

Te Whatu Ora Lakes is a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative accredited hospital and is committed to adopting practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding while treating every mother with respect and supporting her with factual information.

As part of the accreditation process Te Whatu Ora Lakes agrees to adopt the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding:


1a. Comply fully with the International Code of marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly resolutions.

1b. Have a written infant feeding policy that is routinely communicated to staff and parents.

1c. Establish ongoing monitoring and data-management systems.

2. Ensure that staff have sufficient knowledge, competence and skills to support breastfeeding.


3. Discuss the importance and management of breastfeeding with pregnant women and their families.

4. Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth.

5. Support mothers to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and manage common difficulties.

6. Do not provide breastfed newborns any food or fluids other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.

7. Enable mothers and their infants to remain together and to practice rooming-in 24 hours a day.

8. Support mother to recognise and respond to their infants’ cues for feeding.

9. Counsel mothers on the use and risks of feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers.

10.Coordinate discharge so that parents and their infants have timely access to ongoing support and care.


The Te Whatu Ora Lakes Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative co-ordinator is Lactation Consultant Sue Wells, (07) 348 1199 ext 8429.