Breastfeeding helps lay the foundations of a healthy life for a baby.

The Ministry of Health recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months. After six months, breast milk is not enough on its own for a baby to grow and develop. Therefore breastfeeding should be continued until a baby is at least one year old with the addition of solid food from six months.

It's important breastfeeding mothers have support from their partners, family/whānau, health practitioners, their employers and the community.

There are many benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the baby:

  • Breastfeeding and breast milk helps protect babies from some childhood infections.
  • 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 is linked to optimal brain development.
  • Breastmilk is free and readily available with no heating required.
  • There is less risk of under or over feeding when breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding forms a unique bond between the mother and baby.
  • Breastmilk contains essential nutrients not found in infant formula.

Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Accreditation

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What is Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Accreditation?

Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Accreditation is an initiative that creates and sustains breastfeeding friendly environments with the aim of normalising breastfeeding within our communities. Toi Te Ora Public Health’s (Toi Te Ora) breastfeeding friendly team work in a number of settings including workplaces, early childhood education services (ECE services), cafes, and health service providers to help create supportive environments for breastfeeding mothers. This is achieved through supporting spaces with breastfeeding policy development, staff training and providing breastfeeding signage, and education on how to create comfortable spaces for mothers to breastfeed.  The hope is that both staff and visitors to a Breastfeeding Friendly Accredited Space will know they are supported to breastfeed.  Look out for the breastfeeding friendly signs in your community.


The breastfeeding friendly spaces project was launched by Toi Te Ora in July 2011.  Since then over 240 workplaces, ECE services, cafés, restaurants, and health service providers throughout the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts have created breastfeeding friendly environments, and achieved Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Accreditation.  Overall, feedback shows the project is sustaining supportive environments for mothers and their families.

Why is being breastfeeding friendly important?

The Ministry of Health recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed until their babies are around six months old, and then continue breastfeeding with the introduction of solid foods.  In New Zealand, only 19% of mothers continue to breastfeed exclusively for six months. Research has highlighted several reasons for mothers not breastfeeding at all, or for stopping breastfeeding early.  These include mothers returning to work, the social perception of breastfeeding, and the lack of knowledge around expressing and storing breast milk.

Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Accreditation aims to create and sustain breastfeeding friendly environments with the goal of increasing breastfeeding rates and duration.  Normalising breastfeeding in public helps mothers to feel more comfortable and supported to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding friendly accredited spaces in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes regions

See below to view the list of accredited spaces within the different categories.

  • Breastfeeding friendly accredited workplaces and health providers

  • Breastfeeding friendly accredited cafes and restaurants

  • Breastfeeding friendly accredited early childhood education services

If your workplace, ECE service, café, restaurant, or health service provider would like to become breastfeeding friendly accredited, please call Toi Te Ora Public Health on 0800 221 555 or email a breastfeeding friendly advisor.

How can your workplace become breastfeeding friendly accredited?

Becoming breastfeeding friendly accredited is simple, all you need to do is:

  • Develop or adopt a breastfeeding friendly policy (find our policy template here).

  • Provide a comfortable and quiet space for mothers to breastfeed or express milk (e.g. a couch, private area).

  • Implement legislation that requires you to have support in place for breastfeeding staff (e.g. flexible break times).

  • Ensure milk storage and heating facilities are available (e.g. a fridge, access to hot water).

  • Promote being breastfeeding friendly so staff know that breastfeeding is supported in your workplace.  This can be done through staff inductions, meetings and newsletters. 

  • Welcome and support mothers returning from maternity leave and discuss their breastfeeding needs with them prior to them returning to work.

  • Display Breastfeeding Friendly signage (available free from Toi Te Ora Public Health).


What are the benefits of Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Accreditation?

  • Free promotion as a breastfeeding friendly space on the Toi Te Ora Public Health’s website and Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Update (newsletter).       

  • Access to free breastfeeding advisor support, information and resources.

  • Signage displaying your breastfeeding friendly stance reflects your space is family-friendly and supportive.

  • Higher staff retention as mothers are more likely to return to the same employer if they are supported to continue breastfeeding.

  • Increased productivity and decreased absenteeism of working mothers as babies are less likely to get sick.

  • Staff are upskilled in creating supportive breastfeeding environments.

Breastfeeding friendly accredited workplaces and health providers

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Western Bay of Plenty

  • Bethlehem Birthing Centre
  • Chadwick HealthCare
  • Edvance
  • Greerton Library
  • Mount Maunganui Library
  • Pak N Save Papamoa
  • Papamoa Library
  • Papamoa Plaza
  • Pirirakau Hauora
  • Plunket Bay of Plenty
  • Tauranga Library
  • Tauranga Police Station
  • Toi Te Ora Public Health


  • Linton Park Community Centre
  • Mr. Rental
  • Rotorua Community Link
  • Rotorua District Library
  • Rotorua Hospital
  • Rotorua Plunket Clinic
  • Rotorua School for Young Parents
  • Manaaki Ora Trust - Tipu Ora
  • Toi Te Ora Public Health


  • AC Baths- Taupō
  • Awhi midwives Taupō
  • Awhi Midwives Turangi
  • Mangakino Customer Service Centre
  • Mangakino Library
  • Mangakino Pools
  • Modern Midwifery
  • Taupō Council Chambers
  • Taupō Customer Service Centre
  • Taupō Events Centre
  • Taupō Hospital
  • Taupō I-Site
  • Taupō Library
  • Taupō Museum
  • Taupō Plunket
  • Taupō Superloo
  • The Great Lake Centre (Taupō)
  • The Warehouse – Taupō
  • Turangi Customer Service Centre
  • Turangi I-Site
  • Turangi Library
  • Turangi Pools
  • Tuwharetoa Health Charitable Trust
  • Waiora Community Trust (Taupō) Inc

Eastern Bay of Plenty

  • Church Street Surgery (Opotiki)
  • Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance
  • EastBay REAP
  • He Tohunga Ora Mo Rangitaiki- Te Teko Hauora
  • Kopeopeo Health Centre
  • Ohope Beach Medical Centre
  • Pak N Save Whakatāne
  • Plunket Bay of Plenty
  • Phoenix Health Centre
  • Rangiatea Whakatāne Teen Parent Unit
  • Riverslea Medical Centre
  • Te Kōputu o te Whanga a Toi-Whakatāne Horizon Energy Library
  • Te Pou Oranga O Whakatohea
  • Te Tari Ako Matua Taiohi Education Centre
  • Te Waimana Medical Centre
  • Toi Te Ora Public Health
  • Tuwharetoa Ki Kawerau Health Education and Social Services Trust
  • Whakamax

Breastfeeding friendly accredited cafes and restaurants

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Western Bay of Plenty

  • Arena Cafe (Trustpower Baypark, Mount Maunganui)
  • Dry Dock Cafe
  • Grindz Cafe
  • Robert Harris Coffee Roasters (Tauranga)
  • Sober Camel
  • Spring St Cafe
  • The Daily Café
  • Vagabond Cafe


  • Chatter Box Cafe
  • Le Cafe De Paris
  • McDonalds Fenton Street
  • McDonalds Fairy Springs
  • McDonalds Te Ngae
  • Nando's Rotorua
  • Rotorua Chipmunks
  • The Bakehouse Cafe
  • Wendy's


  • Kissa-Kai Japanese Cafe
  • Spoon and Paddle Café


Eastern Bay of Plenty

  • Baxters Cafe
  • Bridge Street Cafe & Grill, Ōpōtiki
  • Cafe4U
  • Chinwags Cafe
  • Columbus Cafe - The Hub
  • Javaman Cafe
  • Julians Berry Farm
  • Kapai Kai Cafe, Ōpōtiki
  • Poppys Cafe
  • Robert Harris Coffee Roasters - Whakatāne
  • The Village Bakery

Breastfeeding friendly accredited early childhood education services

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Western Bay of Plenty

  • 4woods Early Learning Centre
  • Active Kids Early Learning Centre
  • Arataki Kindergarten
  • BestStart Bayfair
  • BestStart Bay Kindy
  • BestStart Doncaster Drive Kindy
  • BestStart Girven Road
  • BestStart Greerton Tauranga
  • BestStart Judea
  • BestStart Katikati
  • BestStart MacDonald Street
  • BestStart Montessori Bethlehem
  • BestStart Montessori Otumoetai
  • BestStart Ngatai Road
  • BestStart Palm Springs
  • BestStart Parton Road
  • BestStart Pyes Pa
  • BestStart Tauranga Central
  • BestStart Welcome Bay
  • The Children’s Garden Childcare 
  • The Children’s Garden Preschool
  • Community Kindy The Mount
  • Daisy Cottage Montessori
  • Greenpark Playcentre
  • Friends on Fraser
  • Little Sweethearts Montessori
  • Lollipops Tauranga
  • Matua Plunket Kindergarten
  • OPEYS Education and Care Centre
  • St Mary's Family Centre
  • Tutu Maori Home-Based Early Childhood Education
  •  Waiapu Kids Merivale Whanau Aroha


  • BestStart Fairy Springs
  • BestStart Herewini Street
  • BestStart Hillcrest
  • BestStart Kawaha Point
  • BestStart Lynmore
  • BestStart Pukuatua
  • BestStart Sunset
  • Central City Quality Educare, Pukaki St
  • Central City Quality Educare, Pukuatua St
  • Central Kids Kindergarten- Helen Downer
  • Harakeke Early Learning Centre
  • Kids.Com.Educare
  • Kidz World Brent Road 
  • Kidz World Maisey Place
  • Kidz World Rutland Street
  • Kiwi Educare Ltd
  • Lake Okareka Preschool Inc
  • Little Villa
  • Mountain View Preschool
  • Ngakuru Playcentre
  • Ngongotaha Early Learning Centre
  • Rotorua Childcare Inc
  • Rotorua Girls High School Childcare Trust
  • Stepping Stones Learning Environment
  • Te Puna Akoranga o Ngati Whakaue
  • The Ole Schoolhouse Childcare Centre
  • Tiny Tots Educare



  • BestStart Abacus
  • BestStart Heuheu Street Kindy
  • BestStart Motutaiko Street
  • BestStart Richmond Kindy
  • BestStart Turangi Kindy
  • BestStart Totara Street
  • Central Kids Hinemoa Taupō
  • My Treehut Early Learning Centre
  • Taupō Children's Corner Duncan Street
  • Taupō Children's Corner Lakewood Drive
  • Taupō Children's Corner Wheretia Street
  • Taupō Educational Preschool Trust
  • Taupō Family Playcentre
  • Taupō Kids Community Centre
  • Wairakei Playcentre


Eastern Bay of Plenty

  • Awakeri Playcentre
  • Bizzy Buddyz Home Based
  • Central Kids Opotiki Kindergarten
  • Central Kids Strathmore Kingergarten- Whakatāne
  • Coastlands Preschool
  • Happy Feet Preschool- Opotiki
  • Kawera Preschool Learning Centre
  • Mananui Playcentre
  • Matata Early Learning Centre
  • Pohutukawa Preschool
  • Port Ōhope Playcentre
  • Seedlings Preschool Edgecumbe
  • Te Pou Oranga ō Whakatōhea ECE Centre Ki Buchanan Street
  • Te Pou Oranga ō Whakatōhea ECE Centre Ki Richard Street
  • Te Waipuna Ariki o Matangireia
  • Waiapu Kids Homebased – Edgecumbe
  • Waiapu Kids Homebased – Kawerau
  • Waiapu Kids Homebased – Ōpōtiki
  • Waiapu Kids Homebased – Whakatāne
  • Waiapu Kids St Georges
  • Wairaka Playcentre


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Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health provides extensive information on breastfeeding for mothers, family/whānau, health practitioners, employers and communities.

The Ministry of Health also supports the Breastfeeding New Zealand community. You can join Breastfeeding New Zealand (@breastfeedingnz) on Facebook where you can read and share stories about breastfeeding experiences, find out information, and get support.  There is also a breastfeeding blog and YouTube channel.

La Leche League

La Leche League is a voluntary, non-profit organisation which offers help to mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, education, information and encouragement to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding.  There are group leaders throughout New Zealand, qualified by their experience and training. Group meetings and leaders are available by telephone.

The New Zealand Breastfeeding Authority

The New Zealand Breastfeeding Authority’s mission is to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as the normal method of infant feeding in Aotearoa New Zealand. Their main role is to administer and oversee the World Health Organization/UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative in Aotearoa New Zealand; and work towards improving breastfeeding rates in New Zealand.

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system.  The WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, and recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to six months of age, with continued breastfeeding with the introduction of solid foods.

BreastFedNZ App

BreastFedNZ is a free mobile phone app which provides simple ‘in the moment’ support and information to help women and their babies, alongside their partners and support networks, complete their breastfeeding journeys from birth to weaning.

The app includes six chapters, all covering key phases of breastfeeding such as, pregnancy and birth, the first few days, the early weeks and twins and premature babies. Once downloaded from the App Store or Google Play, simply tap on the chapter you want and scroll down the index to find what you need. It’s as simple as that!

The app includes personal stories and photos from mothers and their whānau throughout their breastfeeding journey, as well as links to other networks and organisations for further information.

The app is a joint initiative between the Midland District Health Boards and has had extensive input and review from a variety of health professionals throughout the Midland Region.

Breastfeeding information resources

To order breastfeeding posters, pamphlets, DVDs, stickers and other resources, visit the HealthEd website.