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Bottles with breast milk on the background of mother holding in her hands and breastfeeding baby. Maternity and baby care.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala.— The Alabama Cooperative Extension System continues to embolden child care centers throughout Alabama by offering Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Certification trainings. This certification effort is a collaboration between Alabama Extension, the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Partnership for Children and the Alabama Breastfeeding Committee.

Alabama Extension Regional Agent Christina LeVert said the training is an attempt to remove one more barrier that parents may face in the breastfeeding journey.

“Breastfeeding is a choice that mothers have the ability to make, and we want to remove as many difficulties from that journey as we can—beginning with equipping and informing those individuals who work in child care,” LeVert said. “The longer the breastfeeding relationship continues, the greater the benefit is to both the mother and the baby.”

Training and Certification

Beginning in 2019, Alabama Extension regional agents began offering all child care providers an opportunity to become certified breastfeeding friendly providers. Eligible providers include the following:

  • home-based child care providers
  • center-based child care providers
  • licensed child care providers
  • license-exempt providers

Since the certification was first made available, Alabama Extension agents have certified 42 Alabama child care providers. Find a list of certified providers at www.aces.edu.

The certification process includes a two-hour training conducted by an Extension regional agent. Following the training, interested providers must implement the five requirements to becoming breastfeeding friendly. Participants receive a toolkit that guides them through the process and also provides resources and tips for each step.

After completing the five requirements, providers will submit a site visit application. An Extension regional agent will then conduct a visit to determine if the providers are successfully implementing all five steps. Once approved, the certification is good for two years.

More Information

For more information, visit the Alabama Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Certification page on the Alabama Extension website. People can also contact their county Extension office or contact Amy Sorter.

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