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Frequently Asked Questions


Can healthcare facilities and services use the NZBA logo?

The NZBA is regularly asked by healthcare services if the NZBA logo can be used on posters, leaflets, internal correspondence, marketing and/or promotional materials once a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) or Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) status is accredited.

However the NZBA logo should not be used in any marketing and/or promotional materials unless prior approval is granted by the NZBA board.  Contact New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance to discuss further

How do I make a complaint about a BFHI accredited facility or BFCI service? 

It is really important for mothers and/or their partners to express their concerns about the level of care provided by accredited BFHI facilities and BFCI services. While the NZBA is responsible for assessing facilities on the standard of maternity care in infant feeding, and accrediting a facility or service on meeting those standards, it is the facility or service provider’s senior management team that are directly responsible for the day-to-day performance of staff.

The NZBA recommends for all complaints to be directed to the relevant maternity or service manager.  By alerting management of any issues experienced, it will help to improve the services for others. 

What can be found in Bounty Bags?

Any promotional, marketing and information packs, otherwise known as Bounty Bags, used by accredited BFHI facilities or BFCI services must comply with the 1981 World Health Organisation (WHO) International Code of Marketing Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions.

BFI Coordinators should routinely check the wording and imagery of all educational resources about infant feeding. The BFI requires that all information given to pregnant women and new mothers is accurate, unbiased and effective, and as a result all information included in Bounty Bags or leaflet racks should support and not undermine the information given by staff.

Many BFHI Co-ordinators check through the Bounty Bags a minimum of once every three months. During the BFHI external assessment the Assessors will ask for a Bounty Bag to check the contents.

Should the hospital supply formula for mothers?

Ideally, hospitals should request for mothers to bring in their own milk powder to ensure they are familiar with the correct preparation of their product of choice. However this cannot be enforced. The majority of facilities use ready-to-feed formula. It is important for women (who have decided to feed their baby with a breastmilk substitute) to be individually shown how to safely prepare powdered formula before being discharged from the facility.

If the hospital does provide milk powder or ready-to-feed breastmilk substitutes they should be obtained through "normal purchasing channels" so as not to interfere with the protection and promotion of breastfeeding. The cost of the formula should be no less than 80 percent of the normal retail price.

See Sample International Code Policy for more details.

Do all staff need to complete orientation about the artificial feeding policy?

All Level 3 and 4 clinical staff must complete orientation on the artificial feeding policy as they are required to be clinically involved with non-breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Does the artificial feeding policy need to go out for consultation?

No. However Level 3 and 4 clinical staff should have input into the development of updating the artificial feeding policy.

What about mothers who choose to formula feed?

Many people believe that the BFHI and the BFCI process is only focused on promoting breastfeeding. While it is very important for New Zealand health facilities and maternity service providers to advocate for breastfeeding to become the cultural norm in New Zealand, staff must:

  • promote, support and protect breastfeeding as the optimal form of infant feeding and nutrition, but also
  • support mothers who have chosen to feed their baby with a breastmilk substitute or infant formula.

Parents who elect to feed their babies using a breastmilk substitute or infant formula must be made aware of the risks associated with this feeding method, and then assisted to safely prepare and feed their infant.

International research shows these infants have a higher risk of infection and illness, thus it is imperative that they are instructed, without judgement, in their infant feeding management.