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Child Health Guideline Identifier

Breastfeeding Support Services and Lactation Consultants

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Services provided at Starship

Lactation support is available to all mothers with babies admitted to Starship and NICU. Lactation Nurse Specialists are neonatal/paediatric nurses with many years experience working with mothers and premature and unwell babies. Their services include:

  • assisting mothers with ill and/or premature babies within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • providing ongoing assistance for mothers and infants within Starship with breastfeeding difficulties
  • offering breastfeeding advice and education for health professionals

 The advice and support provided includes:

  • positioning and attachment
  • breast problems/sore nipples
  • history of slow weight gain
  • unsettled baby
  • maternal milk supply
  • breastfeeding with complex medical conditions
  • establishing breastfeeding post-surgery
  • Life-threatening episode related to breastfeeding
  • Tongue tie
  • Breastfeeding and medication


The Lactation Nurse Specialists work Monday to Friday and are based in NICU. Referrals can be emailed to or by phoning Lynley Nichols or Sarah Wild via the ADHB staff directory. Please include name, age, location, diagnosis and brief description of feeding/lactation problem with referral.


Electric breastpumps are available on the Starship wards and NICU. They are also available to hire at the Neonatal Trust which is located outside NICU on level 9 of Auckland City Hospital. The Neonatal Trust is open Monday to Wednesday from 10am to 3pm, and Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 2pm. Phone 3074949 xt 25469.

Medication and Breastfeeding

Information on medications and breastfeeding can be found at The Lactation Nurse Specialists can be contacted for further information by phoning Lynley Nichols or Sarah Wild via the ADHB staff directory.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding

For information on breastfeeding and alcohol consumption please see

Donor Milk

At present there is no milk bank in Auckland. Within Starship Child Health, the Newborn Service has a document for peer to peer milk sharing. Please see the link below for an information pamphlet for parents, screening information, flow chart, consent forms and donor milk record sheets. If a mother wishes to give her baby donor milk while in hospital then the peer to peer milk sharing guidelines should be followed. /for-health-professionals/newborn-services-clinical-guidelines/b/breastfeeding-breast-milk-sharing-in-newborn-services/

Community Lactation Support Services

Every mother should have a lead maternity carer (LMC) who can provide assistance with lactation and breastfeeding support in the first six weeks. During this six week period, the LMC can refer to the ADHB Community Lactation Consultant if they feel further support is required for more complex issues eg attachment difficulties, tongue tie assessment, congenital abnormalities, poor weight gain, mulitple births. A referral can be made on the CR0106 Referral Form, or by phoning the Community Lactation Consultant Shenaaz Desai via the ADHB staff directory.

Other health professionals can also refer to the Community Lactation Service during the first six weeks, but they must liaise with the mother's LMC before referring.

Please note: If a woman has delivered at Birthcare, lactation services are free. However fees apply if transferred to Birthcare Auckland for post-natal care only.

After six weeks, the following community based organisations are available:


Within the ADHB area there are two Plunket Family Centres:

  • Meadowbank Phone (09) 521 5024
  • Sandringham Phone (09) 849 5027

They offer support and information on a range of parenting issues including breastfeeding, infant nutrition, sleeping, child behaviour and parent/family needs.

La leche league New Zealand

Mother to Mother support for breastfeeding in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Private Lactation Consultants

The NZ Lactation Consultants website has a list of private Lactation Consultants

NZ Breastfeeding App can also be downloaded free from

Education for nursing and medical staff

Breastfeeding codes for ADHB staff see /for-health-professionals/newborn-services-clinical-guidelines/b/breastfeeding-code/

Guideline for infant weight loss

See attached guideline from Newborn Services

Did you find this information helpful?

Document Control

  • Date last published: 24 January 2018
  • Document type: Other
  • Services responsible: Lactation Nurse Specialists
  • Author(s): Lynley Nichols, Sarah Wild, Shenaaz Desai
  • Owner: Sarah Wild
  • Editor: Greg Williams
  • Review frequency: 2 years

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