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 breastfeeding friendly team work in a number of settings including workplaces, early childhood education 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.



Toi Te Ora Public Health's breastfeeding friendly spaces project launched 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

View the list of breastfeeding friendly accredited spaces (including workplaces, health providers, cafes, restaurants, and 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.

Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces Update

A breastfeeding friendly spaces update is distributed to accredited spaces and is available to view below.  The update contains information about the Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces project, a list of breastfeeding friendly accredited spaces, breastfeeding friendly related success stories, and information about upcoming breastfeeding events.

Read the latest information and updates about local Breastfeeding Friendly Spaces:

If you wish to subscribe to our newsletter, please contact 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).

A breastfeeding friendly advisor from Toi Te Ora Public Health is available to assist you with the above requirements.

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.

If your workplace,  ECE service, café, restaurant, or health 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.