BFHI is the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, which is a WHO Programme to improve the way maternity units promote and support breastfeeding. In this country it is administered by the NZ Breastfeeding Authority.
Breastfeeding is critical to the good health of mothers and babies. Research has shown that health benefits include healthier immune systems protecting against respiratory, ear, and gut infections including asthma and allergic sensitivities. It reduces risks of adolescent obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and childhood cancers, and reduces risk to the mother of breast and ovarian cancers.
Gina Woodward, of Kāpiti Birthing Unit, said Paraparaumu Maternity has recently been re-accredited as a baby friendly facility, with exceptionally good results. “We have a 99% exclusive B/F rate, and it is a testament to the knowledge , skill and experience of the staff employed here. Of the 72 maternity services in the country that have been BFHI accredited, there are only 5 that have 99-100% exclusive B/F rates. Julie Stufkens from the NZ Breastfeeding Authority was particularly impressed with the feedback from the women who have used this facility. Kāpiti women are extremely fortunate to have access to this maternity service, and we are proud to be involved.”no