Guidelines for Child Care Providers
10 Ways to Create and Promote a Breastfeeding Friendly Environment in Your Child Care Center
Friendly Environment in Your Child Care Center
- Encourage breastfeeding mothers to continue to breastfeed when they return to work
- Tell them about the benefits of breastfeeding and that you and your center support breastfeeding;
- Respect parents’ wishes to feed their infant breastmilk and do not feed the infant formula;
- Put mothers in touch with support groups and other breastfeeding mothers who are returning to work;
- Provide information on current federal and state breastfeeding laws in the workplace;
- Promote your child care center as breastfeeding friendly! Post a “Breastfeeding Is Welcome Here” sign.
- Create a breastfeeding policy at your child care center to support the health of mothers
and infants. This could include:
- Training staff to provide breastfeeding information to families;
- Develop protocols on the handling and storage of breastmilk;
- Provide a quiet space for mothers to express breastmilk in your center;
- Create a culturally appropriate breastfeeding environment.
- If a mother chooses to breastfeed her infant while she is at your child care center,
offer her a:
- Quiet, comfortable, clean and private place to breastfeed;
- Place to wash her hands;
- Glass or bottle of water to provide her with the fluids she needs while breastfeeding.
- Encourage parents to try putting breastmilk into a bottle and bottle feeding their infant before coming to your child care center. It is recommended to practice giving one bottle a day at least 2 weeks before an infant starts coming to child care. Practice time with a bottle can start after the mother’s milk supply and the infant’s feeding schedule is well established. This is usually around 4 to 6 weeks.
- Check with the infant’s parents to see if they would like you to try and time feedings so he/she is hungry when the parent picks the infant up from child care.
- Communicate with the parent about how and what his/her infant did for the day. For example, write down how much and when he/she ate and how many wet and dirty diapers he/she had during the day.
- Train all center staff to be supportive of breastfeeding. Provide breastfeeding information through newsletters, center policies and bulletin boards.
- Promote breastmilk as the only food offered until the infant is 6 months of age unless otherwise directed by a health professional.
- Work with health centers, community agencies and/or lactation consultants on activities and trainings related to breastfeeding/infant nutrition.
- Safely store breastmilk at your child care center whether it is in the refrigerator or freezer.
Updated October 31, 2014