Giving your baby the best start in life

The World Health Organization recommends that babies are only fed breastmilk for their first six months of life. Many studies have shown that breastmilk promotes brain development and protects the infant against diseases.

Breastfeeding is a skill that needs to be learned - by you and your baby. Some women experience no problems at all; others need advice and support to get started and continue feeding. Certain things can help get you off to a great start, such as a drug-free birth and skin-to-skin contact for at least 60 minutes immediately after your baby arrives (your first breastfeed happens during this time). 

Breastfeeding classes

If you are over 28 weeks pregnant, you can get the best headstart by learning about breastfeeding before your baby arrives.

We are now offering free breastfeeding classes - check out our poster for more information about where and when.

Support people are welcome, bookings essential. To book, check out the antenatal class booking page ()and scroll down to the Community Breastfeeding section.

To find out more, email

Support in hospital: Lactation Consultants

While in our care, breastfeeding is encouraged and fully supported on the wards. We have lactation consultants available to help you with any complex issues. Having the practical and emotional support of your partner, whānau (family) and friends is also important.

How will I be supported at home?

Once you are back home, you'll receive continued support from your visiting midwife. If or when you return to work, you are entitled by law to a safe place in your workplace to breastfeed or express milk.

If you find yourself experiencing any breastfeeding issues or difficulties, speak to your lead maternity carer (LMC). If necessary, they can refer you to the community lactation consultant who deals with complex cases.

If you need more support for breastfeeding, take a look at these support service directories:


National Women's Health is BFHI Accredited

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is an international accreditation process monitored by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF.



Have questions when it comes to breastfeeding?

Visit our breastfeeding page for a list of frequently asked questions, useful websites, and helplines.