For Child Care Providers
Returning to work after having a baby is often a difficult time for any mom. As a child care provider, you play a critical role by supporting moms to achieve their breastfeeding goals. By sharing your knowledge and support of breastfeeding with families, you can help improve the health and wellbeing of the children in your care.
Breastfeeding in Child Care Toolkit
Your knowledge about breastfeeding and supportive practices can help families breastfeed longer. In addition, you can further support families by creating a breastfeeding friendly environment in your child care.
The toolkits below provide information on how you can support moms and breastfeeding in your community:
- Breastfeeding in Child Care Toolkit (PDF)
- Ten Steps to Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Centers (PDF)
A policy helps define the roles and responsibilities for the supervisors and employees, and ensures that consistent breastfeeding support is available. Child care providers are encouraged to have a breastfeeding policy that supports both employees and families who have children in their care. Sample policies are below to assist with policy development in your child care.
Childcare Breastfeeding Policy Samples
Sample Policy 1 (PDF)
Sample Policy 2 (PDF)
Sample Policy 3 (PDF)
Handling and Storing Breastmilk
The below resources provide guidance in assuring the safety of breastmilk and health of the baby.
Handling & Storage
Whether infants are breastfed or formula-fed, healthcare providers recommend that all babies be fed in response to feeding cues and not on a schedule. Talk with families regularly and create a feeding plan (PDF) to best support baby’s growth and development.
Paced Bottle Feeding
Practice paced bottle feeding, a technique that is designed to mimic breastfeeding. This technique allows baby to control the feeding and eat at baby’s own pace.
Each child’s readiness to begin solid foods is different. Before introducing solid foods, be sure to discuss feeding preferences with families. Below are some resources to get you started.
Include age-appropriate materials in your child care to create a breastfeeding friendly environment and reflect support for breastfeeding. Examples of materials include picture books and lessons or activities about animal mothers, babies and feeding.
Infant Friendly Designation
Supporting your breastfeeding employees is just as important as supporting your breastfeeding families. Designate your child care as an Infant Friendly worksite! Visit here to learn now.