Breastfeeding is key to providing the best start for New Zealand infants and it is important for both mother and baby’s health. The overall Ministry of Health objectives are to increase the prevalence and duration of breastfeeding practices in New Zealand.
Following a review in 2004 of New Zealand’s interpretation of the International Code, the Ministry has prepared a single, standard reference document which now includes the Code of Practice for Health Workers in New Zealand and the New Zealand Infant Formula Marketers’ Association Code of Practice for the Marketing of Infant Formula. This will ensure the International Code is more accessible, more effectively used and more easily monitored in New Zealand.
Implementing the International Code in New Zealand is an important part of creating an overall environment that enables mothers to make the best possible feeding choice, based on impartial information and free of commercial influences, and to be fully supported in doing so.
The Health Workers Code, included in this publication, aims to ensure that health practitioners protect, promote and support breastfeeding, giving clear, consistent and accurate information about the importance of breastfeeding and the health consequence of not breastfeeding. The Health Workers Code also requires health practitioners to meet their obligation to give detailed information and advice to parents, caregivers and families of breastfed and formula-fed infants on infant feeding.