Experienced lactation consultants are a valuable asset to a neonatal unit. In Christchurch we have one infant feeding specialist who is a qualified lactation consultant employed within the unit to support staff and parents with infant feeding.

Any additional staff with training is a bonus and it is often gained through their own financial expense. The Unit manager is very supportive in offering study leave or exams/ training. It is usually a personal interest or passion and not only adds to their own professional development, it also provides an additional resource for babies ,families and staff in NICU in helping  achieving optimal feeding outcomes for sick and preterm neonates.

An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. IBCLCs are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant (IBLCE). As such, a candidate for the IBLCE certification examination must have higher education in the health sciences, clinical practice in lactation and breastfeeding care and education in human lactation and breastfeeding.

IBLCE Vision and Mission statements - MORE


IBLCE is valued worldwide as the most trusted source for certifying practitioners in lactation and breastfeeding care.


IBLCE establishes the highest standards in lactation and breastfeeding care worldwide and certifies individuals who meet these standards

The trust is happy to financially support two registered nurses this year to sit their exams. In doing this we feel we are supporting the unit in providing care which supports breastfeeding  and the Baby Friendly Hospital initiative of which Christchurch Women’s Maternity service and the neonatal unit is accredited for.

Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative

The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by WHO and UNICEF in 1991, following the Innocenti Declaration of 1990. The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding. It is a Ministry of Health (MOH) requirement for all Maternity facilities to be BFHI accredited and reaccredited every 3 to 4 years .