Breastfeeding Support


Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor Programme

Mama-2-Mama breastfeeding peer counsellors are trained to provide breastfeeding support and basic breastfeeding information to mothers.

Peer counsellors have graduated from a programme based on the La Leche League New Zealand, Aotearoa peer counsellor programme and complete up to 24 hours of breastfeeding education provided by our Peer Counsellor Administrator. A breastfeeding peer counsellor programme has the potential to increase the numbers of women who start breastfeeding, improve exclusivity of breastfeeding rates and improve duration of breastfeeding rates. Breastfeeding peer counsellors become advocates for breastfeeding in the community.

This increase in breastfeeding rates will reduce the numbers of babies getting sick, reduce the hospital admission rates and contribute positively to longer term health targets such as a reduction in obesity rates and diabetes and heart disease later in life. It will also contribute significantly to the well-being and health of mothers and offer some protection from depression, breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.

The overriding aim of training peer counsellors for breastfeeding is to build capacity within communities for women to support other women with breastfeeding. Making sure that breastfeeding knowledge is built up once again in mother / women networks is a key to breastfeeding continuance

Te Puawaitanga is interested in hearing from any wahine who is interested in doing this free training.  All women with some breastfeeding experience and are of childbearing age are eligible to take part in this training. What we are really looking for is a passion and commitment to breastfeeding and a desire to pass on helpful information and give support to other breastfeeding women. A bit like Jamie Oliver’s Pass-it-On cooking initiative – providing information to one person and then they can pass it on to someone else! We also know that mothers often have better breastfeeding experiences when they are given good support from their friends.

The sessions run on a weekly basis usually from 9.30 am – 12.30 pm and finish with a celebration graduation lunch. There are eight sessions in total.

Frequently asked questions about Mama 2 Mama Programme

Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor Training – Referral Form

Breastfeeding Support Groups

For breastfeeding women, there are groups every week at different locations across Canterbury.

Check our calendar here or for a full list of groups visit CanBreastFeed website.

Canterbury Breastfeeding Advocacy Service

The Canterbury Breastfeeding Advocacy Service has been set up to work towards creating a mother, baby and breastfeeding friendly Canterbury.

Around 94% of women start breastfeeding in New Zealand but almost half of these women have introduced infant formula to their babies even before six weeks of age. This practice leads to a shortened breastfeeding duration overall too.

Breastfeeding advocacy is about helping to remove the barriers to breastfeeding that women experience. This can involve working to establish appropriate, accessible support groups where women can get  advice and talk to other mothers, helping mothers to access breastfeeding friendly child care, working with early childhood education centres to create policies that support breastfeeding, and also helping to create family and breastfeeding friendly paid workplaces.

It is also about working with Canterbury  community health services, hospitals, social services, city council facilities, shopping malls and cafes to make sure that everyone in our community recognises the important and valuable work that mothers are doing when they breastfeed their babies.

Breastfeeding helps build strong and healthy communities so everyone needs to join in and support mothers and protect breastfeeding whenever and however they can.


Who is this service for?

Some women have more barriers to breastfeeding than others. New Zealand breastfeeding statistics seem to indicate that Māori women, Pacific Island women and young women have shorter breastfeeding rates for various reasons.  Working towards removing the barriers to starting and continuing breastfeeding for these groups of women and other women across the whole Canterbury community is very important.

Ūkaipō - Connection through breastfeeding