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Mother breastfeeding baby in living room

As a breastfeeding family, finding a child care provider that supports, promotes, encourages, and protects your needs is likely very important to you. How do you know if a child care provider is truly supportive of your breastfeeding needs?

Alabama Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Certification To earn certification, child care providers must meet five requirements that are verified by site visits. The following is a summary of the requirements.

1. Breastfeeding Friendly Environment

  • Nursing is welcomed on-site, and there is a designated space (other than a restroom) available for mother to pump or nurse.
  • Enough refrigeration space is available to allow all breastfeeding mothers to store expressed breast milk.

2. Breastfeeding Friendly Policies

  • Written policies promote and support breastfeeding.

3. Breastfeeding Support Practices

  • Mothers are invited to come to the program to nurse their babies.
  • Staff members show positive attitudes about breastfeeding.

4. Breastfeeding Education and Professional Development

  • All staff members are required to attend training that includes the proper storage and handling of breast milk, how to bottle-feed the breastfed baby, the benefits of breastfeeding, and other topics.

5. Breastfeeding Friendly Feeding Practices

  • The timing of feedings is based on the specific needs and cues of infants showing that they are hungry.
  • Teachers end infant feedings based on infant cues indicating that a baby is full.
  • Teachers inform families about what, how much, and when their infants eat each day.

If there is not a Breastfeeding Friendly Certified Child Care in your area, ask the following questions to help you determine if a child care provider is supportive of breastfeeding.

  • Will my baby be fed on a schedule or as he or she shows signs of hunger?Can I feed my baby on my lunch or other breaks?
  • How will breast milk be stored and prepared for my baby’s feedings?
  • Does your staff receive training on breastfeeding or infant feeding best practices?
  • Does your facility have a written breastfeeding policy?
  • Is there a designated space for me to nurse my baby before I drop him or her off?
  • Am I welcome to nurse my baby in the nursery?

A list of certified Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care providers is available on the Alabama Extension website. If there are no certified providers in your area, consider encouraging them to pursue the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Certification.

 

Download a PDF of Parents’ Guide: Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care, FCS-2461

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