Guidelines for Child Care Providers
Sample Child Care Center Breastfeeding Policy
Because breastfeeding has been shown to be the best form of infant nutrition, providing a multitude of health benefits to both infant and mother, and because breastfeeding employees need ongoing support from childcare providers to provide their milk for their babies.
_________________________________ (insert facility name) subscribes to the following policy:
- Breastfeeding mothers shall be provided a place to breastfeed or express their milk. Breastfeeding mothers, including employees, shall be provided a private and sanitary place to breastfeed their babies or express milk. This area will have an electrical outlet, comfortable chair, and nearby access to running water.
- A refrigerator will be made available for storage of expressed breastmilk. Breastfeeding mothers and employees may store their expressed breast milk in the center refrigerator. Mothers should provide their own containers, clearly labeled with name and date.
- Sensitivity will be shown to breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The childcare center is committed to providing ongoing support to breastfeeding mothers,including providing an opportunity to breastfeed their baby in the morning and evening, and holding off giving a bottle, if possible, when mom is due to arrive. Artificial baby milks (formula) and solid foods will not be provided unless the mother has requested. Babies will be held closely when feeding and bottles will never be propped.
- Staff shall be trained in handling human milk. All childcare center staff will be trained in the proper storage and handling of human milk, as well as ways to support breastfeeding mothers. The center will follow guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Center for Disease Control in ensuring that breastmilk is properly treated to avoid waste.
- Breastfeeding employees shall be provided flexible breaks to accommodate breastfeeding or milk expression. Breastfeeding employees shall be provided a flexible schedule for breastfeeding or pumping to provide breastmilk for their children. The time allowed would not exceed the normal time allowed to other employees for lunch and breaks. For time above and beyond normal lunch and breaks, sick/annual leave may be used, or the employee can come in a little earlier or leave a little late to make up the time.
- Breastfeeding promotion information will be displayed. The center will provide information on breastfeeding, including the names of area resources should questions or problems arise. In addition, positive promotion of breastfeeding will be on display in the center.
* Handout adapted from the Vermont Department of Public Health.
Updated April 5, 2014