Sustaining Breastfeeding Together
Sustaining Breastfeeding Together
Breastfeeding helps lay the foundations of a healthy life for a baby and also makes a positive contribution to the health and wider wellbeing of mothers and whānau/families. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until babies are around six months. Breastfeeding is natural but sometimes it doesn’t come naturally so it’s important that mothers know what to expect and have support from their partner, whānau/family and health practitioners and others. This page links you to information and events that encourage and provide good information about breastfeeding.


Each year World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated from the 1st to 7th August.  Each year a new theme is identified (our summary).  For 2017 the theme is SUSTAINING BREASTFEEDING TOGETHER.  For more information on this theme follow the link here(external link).  


Associated with World Breastfeeding Week, New Zealand holds a series of Big Latch On events coordinated by Women’s Health Action nationally.  In 2017 this will occur on Friday 4th August and Saturday 5th August.  Consider registering a local venue here(external link) .


Scroll down for more information, practical tips and resources about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Welcome Here sign


Why breastfeed?

Breastfeeding helps lay the foundation of a healthy life for a baby and it’s good for the health and wellbeing of breastfeeding women too.
Breast milk is all a baby needs to eat and drink for about the first six months of their life.
It is important to have good support systems in place. Research highlights that a significant barrier to breastfeeding is women not feeling supported by their family, friends, and wider community, to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is natural but sometimes it is not easy (especially at first) for women to breastfeed their baby. Persistence and support are key factors in success.

Benefits for baby

  • Breastfeeding decreases the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI)
  • Breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of obesity and may help reduce the risk of diabetes in later life.
  • Breastfeeding and breast milk helps protect your baby from chest infections, meningitis, ear infections and urine infections.

Benefits for mothers

  • Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and hip fracture later in life.
  • Breastfeeding reduces your risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.
  • Breastfeeding helps you recover from birth.

Good links and resources

Breastfeeding tips 


1. Breastfeeding in public

Women are able to breastfeed their baby anywhere, anyplace, anytime they and their baby are allowed to be.
In Kirikiriroa Hamilton signage is available to assure you of a venue’s support of breastfeeding within their premises – this signage is beginning to be seen throughout the Waikato
The right to breastfeed in public is protected as a human right under the Human Rights Act 1993(external link)  
Information about your right to breastfeed in public can be found on

2. Breastfeeding at work

Te Maia and baby Anahera

Te Maia and baby Anahera at Te Maia's workplace, Te Runanga O Kirikiriroa

Breastfeeding women returning to work can continue to breastfeed. Many mums have gone back to work and kept breastfeeding their babies.
Important to successful breastfeeding on return to work is:

  • Having enough maternity leave for mums to get breastfeeding established – best to take at minimum 14 weeks and preferably slightly longer if possible. 
  • Employers making it easier for women by providing time and a place to breastfeed or express and store milk. 
  • Colleague can also support you while you are breastfeeding – it is not always easy to balance work and being a new mum.
  • Knowing that getting back to work can change established feeding and sleep patterns - it is important to be patient and to ask for help from knowledgeable friends and family until patterns are re-established.

Breastfeeding at work is protected by employment legislation (Employment Relations Act 2000).
By law, as far as reasonable, employers are required to

  • Give you unpaid breaks to breastfeed your baby or express milk at work.
  • Provide you facilities to do this.

More information about breastfeeding at work

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