Be a Champion for New Mothers
Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding and best practices for family child care or early education centers.
Most moms want to breastfeed, and you might be the only champion around. To moms with discouraging families or unsupportive employers, you can be more than just a powerful champion — you can be a hero.
Some mothers will choose not to breastfeed, or can’t, and that’s okay. Support their decision as well. For moms whose babies don’t get expressed milk, infant formula is the only safe alternative.
Benefits to Babies
- Mother’s milk is designed to meet the needs of her infant.
- Breastmilk protects babies from infections and illnesses with customized immune factors.
- Breastmilk provides a baby exactly what is needed to grow and thrive, and changes over time to keep up with needs.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to grow up to be obese or suffer from conditions like diabetes and asthma.
- Breastfed babies get sick less often with things like diarrhea and ear infections. When they do get sick, it is usually not severe.
- Breastfeeding helps protect babies against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Physical contact is important to newborns. It can help them feel more secure, warm and comforted.
Benefits to Mothers
- Breastfeeding helps protect moms against conditions like breast and ovarian cancers and type 2 diabetes.
- Breastfeeding can lessen postpartum depression.
- Breastfeeding requires a mother to take some quiet relaxed time with her infant to bond. It also helps mothers stay closely bonded to their babies after going back to work.
- Breastfeeding mothers miss fewer days from work because their infants are sick less often.
- Breastfeeding saves mothers money. Formula and feeding supplies can cost well over $1,500 each year, depending on how much a baby eats. Breastfed babies are also sick less often, which can lower health care costs.
- Breastfeeding can make life easier once mothers and their babies settle into a good routine. There are no bottles and nipples to sterilize. No formula to buy, measure and mix. And there are no bottles to warm in the middle of the night.
Provide a Private Area
Provide a Private Area
Provide breastfeeding mothers access to a designated area for breastfeeding or pumping, other than a bathroom, with appropriate seating and privacy.
Breast milk is like any other food and should not be present in a bathroom. It’s ideal to both welcome moms who wish to breastfeed in the classroom, and to provide a private space for those who wish to use it.
Family Child Care Tip:
Supporting New Mothers
Think about ways to support mothers who are breastfeeding and those who are not. You can designate a small area for mothers to breastfeed, work with mothers to create a customized feeding schedule, and provide educational materials. Discover more ideas to meet the needs of breastfeeding mothers and babies.
Healthy from the Start
This booklet offers practical tips on helping children learn healthy eating habits from the start. Meal and snack times give children opportunities to learn healthy eating habits; feel important, loved, understood and respected; trust that others will care for them; and feel good about their bodies. Includes an “Ages and Stages” chart.
Download Healthy from the Start (PDF) »