Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare

Breast is best! Choosing to breastfeed your child is a personal one and more and more working mothers are choosing to breastfeed well beyond when they first return to work. Childcare homes and centers play an important role in supporting this healthy choice that will benefit the short-term and long-term health of the child. The caregiver should have a welcoming environment and attitude for the mother to feel comfortable and encouraged to breastfeed. A great way to do this is by having a childcare policy in place that describes the commitment to supporting breasting children and mothers.

It's also very important that the caregiver is knowledgeable on safe handling and storage of breast milk. Breast milk should be refrigerated or chilled right after it is expressed. Below are acceptable guidelines for storing breast milk :

  • Room temperature 4-6 hours
  • Insulated Cooler Bag 24 hours
  • Refrigerator 4-8 days
  • Freezer (connected to refrigerator) 3-6 months
  • Deep freezer 6-12 months.

Other important tips:

  • All milk should be dated  and labeled with child's name before storing.
  • Storing 2-4 ounces at a time may reduce waste.
  • Cool fresh milk before adding it to previously frozen milk.
  • Containers holding milk should be glass or BPA-free hard plastic.
  • Milk should be stored in the main or back part of refrigerator and/or freezer to avoid temperature fluctuation that can be experienced in the door shelf.

Many of the best caretakers attend trainings to learn how to implement curriculum and programming into their childcare. Some of those trainings are:

  • Supporting Breastfeeding in Child Care Programs
  • Let's Move Child Care-Nutrition, Beverages and Infant Feeding

To read about exciting partnerships with childcare homes or centers and preschools in our area, click on the link below:

Healthy  Early Childhood Partners

If you are interested in partnering with us to make healthy early childhood/childcare changes or in learning more about the traings listed above, we would love to hear from you. Contact Countryside SHIP.

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