The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) is a coalition of 30 breastfeeding member organisations established in 1998 to promote breastfeeding in New Zealand.
Alliance members include hospital maternity managers, midwives, Māori organisations, Pasifika providers, medical groups, lactation consultants, dietitians, Plunket, Parent Centre and La Leche League.
NZBA works to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in New Zealand by managing the following Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) programmes:
- the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)
- the Baby-Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI)
The NZBA is funded by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
All hospitals and health care facilities - particularly maternity wards - are encouraged to become baby-friendly. The NZBA is responsible for the implementation of the BFHI and BFCI nationally, and for awarding certificates of accreditation to approved health facilities and community service providers.
International evidence confirms the successful implementation of the BFHI's 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding leads to an increase in breastfeeding rates. According to a survey by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), BFHI hospitals in the UK increased breastfeeding rates by more than 10 percent in four years after receiving a Baby-Friendly Award.
Other roles and responsibilities of the NZBA include but are not limited to:
- providing independent advice and being a forum for the coordination of breastfeeding strategies throughout New Zealand
- providing national advocacy for projects and initiatives that will support, promote and improve breastfeeding rates throughout New Zealand
- supporting the aim of the World Health Organisation International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions
- promoting the services of its member organisations that provide day-today advice on breastfeeding to the community
- linking people to information on infant feeding through the baby friendly website and Facebook page
NZBA recognises and respects the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi, by ensuring Māori representation and participation at all levels of decision-making and implementation. Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau is the NZBA Māori Advisory Group. It works to promote and protect breastfeeding for Māori through the provision of expert advice and support to NZBA Board in the delivery of the Baby Friendly Initiatives and its other roles.
The NZBA advocates for the implementation of the Innocenti Declaration 2005 On Infant and Young Child Feeding.