Childcare – Breastfeeding Friendly Approach

Key Points to an Infant Care Plan for a Breastfed Baby

In general, when checking to see if a child care center is breastfeeding friendly, you want to ask how they support breastfeeding mothers and what they do to help ease the transition to work. Is there a comfortable, clean place for mothers to breastfeed while dropping off, picking up or visiting the child care? Do they openly support breastfeeding, speak of its benefits? Are there learning experiences for the children related to breastfeeding?

  1. 1. Expressed Breast Milk
    • Where will it be stored? How should it be labeled? How will day care communicate how much breast milk is needed?
    • What is the center’s policy about saving milk that is not finished at a feeding? According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol #8: Once a bottle is started it should be finished within 1 to 2 hours. Otherwise, the breast milk needs to be discarded.
    • To avoid wasting breast milk, it is better to start with smaller amounts and then increase.
  2. 2. Feeding Pattern
    • Caregivers should avoid long feedings before your scheduled arrival so you and your baby can nurse as soon as possible.
    • Discuss what to do if your baby is hungry and you are late, or if the expressed milk has run out for the day? Are you able to store frozen milk at the daycare for situations such as this? Would formula be given?
    • Does the daycare provider bottle feed in ways that mimic breastfeeding? Feeding cues include rooting, sucking on hands and restlessness. A late cue is crying. Feed a baby with a bottle sitting more upright, pace the feeding and switch hold from left arm to right arm half way through the bottle. Let the baby control the start of the feeding by stroking the baby’s lips with the bottle to illicit a rooting response and a wide open mouth. Do not force a baby to finish the bottle.
  3. 3. Communication
    • Reassess if you are not able to keep up with expressing the amount of milk that your baby drinks every day at the center. Is your baby hungry? Are there non-nutritive ways to comfort your baby? Is your supply down? You can always contact us to discuss how to increase your milk supply.

Click here for “Ten Steps to Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Centers Resource Kit”. Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program, Wisconsin Partnership for Activity and Nutrition Breastfeeding Committee. updated May 2013.