Providing care for infants requires special attention from providers. If you agree to take in an infant, you need to be prepared for the chance of the mother wanting to breastfeed their child. It is important that child care providers are supportive of breastfeeding mothers and to make it an easy experience for mothers to be able to supply you with their breast milk.
How can child care providers best support breastfeeding mothers?
Many moms decide to not continue to breastfeed when going back to work for fear of the person/place that will be caring for her child will make things difficult for her. As daycare professionals, we need to encourage moms to feel comfortable bringing breast milk or feel that they can come breastfeed whenever possible.
Benefits to Breastfeeding:
- Healthier face, head, and body development- alternating breasts stimulates and exercises both sides of the baby’s face, head, and body
- Better mouth/speech development- the breast is drawn deeply into the baby’s mouth, thus maintaining the palate’s shape and the mouth moves in a more sophisticated manner than during bottle feeding.
- Fewer sinus, ear, allergy, and respiratory, and reflux problems- this is so true! All three of my children were breastfed and were barely sick growing up.
- Lower incidence of SIDS – breastfed children are at lower risk for SIDS.
Some helpful tips:
-Before the child starts, sit down and talk to the mother and asure her that it is perfectly ok to continue to breastfeed her child and that you will allow breast milk stored in your home if needed. I would suggest that child care providers encourage moms to work with local (IBCLC) lactation consultants.
-Encouraging moms to purchase a good breast pump is also important. World Health Organization (www.who.int) is a great source for breast pump recommendation site.
-If you were/are a breastfeeding mom yourself, talk to her about your experiences with breastfeeding.
image from www.ifood.tv