While it is a well-known fact that breastfeeding has numerous benefits to both the parent and child, up to 60% of breastfeeding moms stop sooner than is recommended*. Child care programs can support parents and employees who choose to breastfeed by implementing breastfeeding-friendly practices and policies.
We are proud to announce our new statewide Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Recognition program. This recognition builds upon the content outlined in the Colorado Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Toolkit and allows programs to obtain points in Colorado Shines through a breastfeeding-friendly self-assessment and quality improvement plan. Programs will work with a Breastfeeding Friendly Advisor and submit documentation/evidence of their breastfeeding-friendly practices and policies to Healthy Child Care Colorado for review. Programs that are recognized will receive a certificate and window cling to help them promote their recognition to current and prospective families and staff.
How can I get started?
Take a look at the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Toolkit to identify ways you might improve your program to become even more breastfeeding friendly. One important way to be breastfeeding friendly is to provide a specific area that is private and clean (other than a bathroom) for moms and employees to breastfeed or pump breast milk. Here is what you need:
- Private area with a door or privacy barrier (curtain, room divider, etc.)
- A comfortable chair
- Access to an electrical outlet (for electric pumps)
If you don’t have a lot of extra space you can look for ideas on the Office on Women’s Health’s website.
You can also review the Colorado Department of Health and Environment’s Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Professionals site which includes toolkits and other resources to support this important work. We encourage all early childhood programs to take some time in August to find ways to support breastfeeding-friendly practices! Please reach out to us at BFCC@healthychildcareco.org if you have questions or would like more information.