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Baby Friend Hospital Initiative

National Women’s Health is an Accredited Baby Friendly Hospital (BFH) which means we have adopted the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and support and uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes now called THE CODE.

We need to maintain an exclusive breastfeeding rate on discharge of 75% to be a BFHI Accredited hospital. 

We promote, protect and support breastfeeding as well as supporting the non-breastfeeding mother.

New staff training

For new staff, the initial BFHI education requirement is 21 hours, including Māori breastfeeding education (1 hour).

During your orientation period you will have some orientation time and education with the team as well as clinical time on the wards when you start.  The hours for orientation/clinical time will add to your overall education total.  All new staff will receive an orientation to the lactation service regardless of where you start work e.g.WAU, Labour & Birthing Suite or in the Community. 

The initial 21 hours of education will include:

  • Orientation to the Breastfeeding Policy - including review and revisions
  • The importance of breastfeeding
  • Acceptable sound clinical reasons for supplementation
  • The implications of unnecessary supplementation
  • The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
  • The protection of breastfeeding including the CODE and subsequent WHA resolutions
  • The Artificial Feeding Policy for the Non Breastfeeding Mother and Infant
  • The effect of medications administered during labour and birth, on the infant and the initiation of breastfeeding
  • Safe and unsafe sleep practice
  • One hour breastfeeding for Māori women which incorporates the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Three hours of supervised clinical education as stipulated below

The supervised one-on-one clinical tuition includes: on the ward in your orientation period

  • All practical aspects of positioning, aligning and latching of infant for breastfeeding
  • Teaching of hand expressing
  • Cup feeding technique
  • Safe and hygienic preparation, feeding and storage of breastmilk substitutes

We offer two study days of 8 hours- Breastfeeding Study Day 1 and 2, or paid by you online education with Step 2 ESO1. 


Ongoing education

Compulsory Ongoing BFHI Education of 4 hours annually offered at Breastfeeding Update. We run 10 sessions per year.

Level Three specialist staff education

On-going breastfeeding education for level three specialist staff will equate to:

  • a minimum of four hours annually,
  • one hour of supervised clinical tuition annually over the previous three to four years -  this education is provided at BF Update.

Evidence of your education hours will be recorded on the BFHI data base and certificates will be issued to you for your portfolio of education we provide.  Please keep your certificates as you may be asked to produce evidence of your education hours when we go through our BFHI Accreditation Audit.