The Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for healthy mothers and babies. The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) is contracted by the Ministry of Health to facilitate the implementation of BFCI in community-based health services.
A BFCI accredited service has practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding to enable mothers to initiate and sustain breastfeeding of their babies. When babies are fed a breastmilk substitute, their mothers will be provided with unbiased information, advice and ongoing support.
New Zealand's Seven Point Plan is based on the principles of The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for a Baby Friendly Hospital, and is applied to all BFCI health services. In an effort to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates in New Zealand, the BFCI encourages and supports health services in the community to implement The Seven Point Plan.
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that routinely is communicated to all staff and volunteers.
- Train all health care providers in the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the breastfeeding policy.
- Inform pregnant women and their families about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Support mothers to establish and maintain exclusive breastfeeding to six months.
- Encourage sustained breastfeeding beyond six months to two years or more, alongside the introduction of appropriate, adequate and safe complementary foods.
- Provide a welcoming atmosphere for breastfeeding families.
- Promote collaboration among health services, and between health services and the local community.
Endorsement of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and all subsequent relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions is a prerequisite for designation as Baby Friendly even though it is not included as one of The Seven Points.