The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) is the national authority for the implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in New Zealand. The NZBA is a broad-based coalition of professional and consumer organisations which provides information, training, support and assessment of maternity facilities and health services working to implement best practice in relation to breastfeeding.
In New Zealand, the BFHI assessment of maternity facilities is carried out based on the World Health Organisation WHO/UNICEF Global Hospital Assessment Criteria, adapted for application in New Zealand.
Amendments and clarifications to the accreditation documents have been made to recognise the uniqueness of the New Zealand health system and to encourage consistent evidence-based culturally appropriate practice at all health care facilities, where initiation of breastfeeding occurs. The accreditation documents recognise:
- The Treaty of Waitangi principles of protection, participation and partnership as an integral part of BFHI in Aotearoa New Zealand
- New Zealand has a unique system where women choose their Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) for their antenatal, birth and post-natal care. The auditing tool was developed to assess the facility and staff employed by the facility. Self-employed LMCs utilising hospital facilities also have a key role in practising in-line with BFHI principles and promoting these in the community
- Informed consent is an important part of the BFHI process with consultation with community service providers and consumers having been encouraged