Breastfeeding Friendly Early Childhood Education and Care Services
Many breastfeeding mothers use babysitters or early childhood education and care services for their breastfed babies. It is important that babysitters, educators and early childhood education and care services are supportive of breastfeeding mothers and their babies, and that they do all that they can to make it easy for mothers and babies to continue breastfeeding.
Key features of supportive breastfeeding early childhood education and care services and educators include:
- Discussing and accommodating breastfeeding. Options to discuss with each breastfeeding mother include - eg, using expressed breast milk or arranging for a mother to come into the service and breastfeed at agreed times.
- Initiating discussions with families regarding breastfeeding before the child starts at the service. Make the promotion of breastfeeding part of the information provided to parents upon enrolling their child at the service.
- Encouraging the transport of expressed breast milk to the service or carer via a cold, insulated container - eg, an esky with a freezer brick.
- Immediate placement of expressed breast milk in a refrigerator, making sure that it is clearly labelled with the baby's name and the date on which it was expressed.
- Clear segregation of expressed breast milk bottles/containers and use of each baby's own mother's expressed milk only.
- An agreed plan with each breastfeeding mother in case there is a problem with the baby feeding in her absence - eg, if the supply of expressed breast milk runs out.
Babysitters, educators and early childhood education and care services can play an important role in enabling breastfeeding mothers and babies to continue breastfeeding. Incorporating the breastfeeding friendly strategies listed above into service policies and procedures can be integral to this.
Breastfeeding - good for baby, good for mum