September is National Obesity Awareness month. According to recent studies, children who are breastfed are less likely to be obese. Unfortunately, as many as 6 in 10 mothers stop breastfeeding sooner than is recommended by whom*. Child care programs can better support parents and employees by implementing breastfeeding friendly practices and policies to help reduce childhood obesity.
Our statewide Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care (BFCC) Recognition Program build upon the content outlined in the Colorado Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Toolkit. This recognition allows programs to obtain points in Colorado Shines through a breastfeeding friendly self-assessment and quality improvement plan.
There are three different pathways for a program to receive recognition:
- Connect with a Breastfeeding Friendly Advisor and submit documentation/evidence of breastfeeding friendly practices and policies to Healthy Child Care Colorado for review.
- Programs that have received recognition from an approved county agency can submit a copy of their local recognition and receive state recognition.
- Complete a self-assessment and submit evidence that shows the program already meets all recognition requirements.
Programs that achieve BFCC Recognition receive a certificate and window cling to help promote the importance of breastfeeding friendly environments to current and prospective families and staff. Visit our website to learn more about obtaining a BFCC Recognition!
How can I get started?
Look at the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Toolkit to identify ways to improve your program and become even more breastfeeding friendly. Most importantly, becoming a breastfeeding friendly workplace provides an area that is private and clean for moms and employees to breastfeed or pump breast milk. Here is what you need:
- Private area (other than a bathroom) with a door or privacy barrier
- 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 review the Colorado Department of Health and Environment’s Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Professionals website which includes toolkits and other resources to support this important work.
Please reach out to us at BFCC@healthychildcareco.org if you have questions or would like more information.
*Source: CDC National Immunization Survey (NIS), 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card, 2013 births
By Becky Edwards, MA Ed.