Support for breastfeeding mothers goes digital

Plunket has launched a new digital service to help mothers needing extra support with breastfeeding their babies, thanks to a significant donation from the Wright Family Foundation.

Mothers referred to the service receive one-on-one support from Plunket Nurses trained as certified lactation consultants*, or fully trained breastfeeding specialists via the new video conferencing service using Zoom software.

Available through PlunketLine, Plunket’s 24/7 parent helpline, this new video conferencing service allows Plunket to work directly with mothers who have been referred and provide advice as they are feeding, PlunketLine Manager Denise Shera says.

Of the over 300 calls PlunketLine receives every day, 20% of these are from mothers who need support to help them breastfeed.

“There can be many reasons why mothers may have challenges with breastfeeding, so having the ability to talk to them and see how their baby is feeding can mean a better outcome for both mother and baby,” says Ms Shera

The new service has been developed following Plunket’s analysis of breastfeeding statistics and other research which highlighted that where more support is provided to mothers they tended to breastfeed for longer.

Research shows that there are many benefits of breastfeeding including helping to protect babies against colds, tummy bugs and other infections and allergies and benefits the health of mothers.

“We are so grateful for the support we received from the Wright Family Foundation. Chloe Wright have always been committed to helping mothers on their parenting journey and this service means mums can get more intensive support at a time that is convenient for them,” says Amanda Malu, Plunket Chief Executive.

The funding from the Wright Family Foundation has also enabled six of Plunket’s nurses to become fully certified lactation consultants to support the new service.

Plunket offers a range of breastfeeding support for mothers currently and these services will continue. Mothers will be offered these support services and advice before being referred to the video conferencing service.

“All of our Plunket nurses are trained to provide support and advice to mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies. This service will complement the work they do and that of our PlunketLine service which provides support to mothers and families during the day and at night,” says Ms Malu.

The breastfeeding support video conferencing service is one way Plunket is shaping its services to meet the needs of families. “We recognise that whānau want to connect with us in many different ways and offering services through digital channels is one way we can continue to meet their needs at a time that works for them.”


International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®).

For more details please contact Plunket Communications: 04 460 4680.

About Plunket

Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and wellbeing of children under five.

Plunket’s nurses sees over 50,000 newborn babies each year and connects with over 2,100 families each day.

All Plunket nurses now use tablets to record development milestones and other information using Plunket’s electronic Health Record (ePHR) software.

Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through clinics, parent support groups, education programmes and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).
Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5.


13 November 2018

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