Early Childcare Education Providers and Breastfeeding
According to the U.S. CDC, breastmilk is the best food for growth and development of infants. More than half of women with infants work.1 Many women stop breastfeeding when they return to work. Having a child care provider that welcomes breastfed babies and supports nursing mothers is important for women who want to continue to nurse their baby after returning to work.
What can childcare providers do to support breastfed babies?
- Train all staff in breastfeeding basics (handling and storage of milk, feeding a breastfed baby)
- Inform families you accept breastfed babies
- Have adequate refrigerator space to store breastmilk
- Provide a private and clean space other than a bathroom for nursing mothers to breastfeed their baby
- Create a breastfeeding policy that says all breastfed babies are welcome
- Implement a worksite breastfeeding policy
- Breastfeeding and Infant Feeding Early Childcare Assessment
Use this Early Childcare Center Self-Assessment to learn where you are doing well and what could be improved to support breastfed babies.
- Sample Childcare Center Breastfeeding Policy
Use this sample policy as a template to create your own policy.
- Tips to becoming a breastfeeding friendly child care center
Use this sheet as a resource for ideas on making your child care center breastfeeding friendly.
- Ten Steps to a Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care
This toolkit outlines the best practices for being a breastfeeding friendly childcare center. It has many resources to support you in your efforts to become breastfeeding friendly.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strategies to Prevent Obesity and other Chronic Diseases: The CDC Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2013, pages 3, 23. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/pdf/BF-Guide-508.PDF Accessed 12.11.15