Nelson Marlborough Health News and Notices

Motueka Maternity/Te Whare Whanau awarded for breastfeeding commitment


Congratulations to the team at the Motueka Maternity Unit who have been recognised for their commitment to breastfeeding for over a decade.

Last week (22 August) the New Zealand Breastfeeding Authority presented the unit with a sculpture to mark the achievement of their fourth Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) accreditation.

New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance Executive Officer, Jane Cartwright said at the ceremony breastfeeding offers children unparalleled health and brain-building benefits and was one of the effective investments a country can make to build its future prosperity. 

 “For the past eleven years Motueka Maternity Unit staff have served as a beacon in the region for their commitment and maintaining their standards of feeding support and care for new parents,” Ms Cartwright said. “Since the beginning of this year alone, approximately 85 women have discharged from Motueka Maternity exclusively breastfeeding their babies; this is a great start towards breastfeeding babies when babies return home.” 

Tracy Botica, midwife and unit acting manager says breastfeeding plays an important role in creating loving and responsive relationships between mother and baby, along with a reduction in rates of childhood infections and protection against later health risks for children such as obesity and diabetes.

“We continually aim to improve our exclusive breastfeeding rates and make sure the standard of care provided remains high, is evidenced based best practice and our practitioners provide non biased appropriate information to women and their whanau,” says Tracy.   

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is an international programme launched in 1991 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to ensure all maternity services become centers of breastfeeding support worldwide.  It is based on WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

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