Early last summer, my then 8-month-old baby and I had a chance to participate in the filming of a series of breastfeeding-friendly childcare training videos produced by UC San Diego. I’m glad the videos are now up on UCSD’s website as a training tool for childcare providers!
It says it takes a whole village to raise a child. Today’s childcare center is more than a place for children to play; it can serve as a modern day’s village. It cares and nourishes young children as well as their families. Providing resources for mothers who continue to breastfeeding their infants once they return to work is one of the best supports that a childcare center can provide its families.
Breastfeeding provides both important nutrients for a baby to thrive and precious bonding time for a young child to develop healthy emotion. New mothers who receive support in breastfeeding have less stress as they navigate balancing the commitments of work and family.
To support mothers and lactation, a childcare center can provide a calm place for mothers to pump breastmilk and a refrigerated space for storing pumped milk. It can encourage breastfeeding onsite by offering private spaces for mothers to nurse. It can have breastfeeding-friendly information available for parents in its classroom packets. It can have written feeding plans for staff members’ reference.
The training video my baby and I participated in was filmed at UCSD’s Early Care, which is a demonstration site for Breastfeeding-Friendly San Diego and already has it all. I was thrilled to learn that the early education program has partnered with the UC San Diego Center for Community Health to development train modules to promote the benefits of creating lactation areas in the childcare setting. The childcare center my now 20-month-old baby currently attend only support breastfeeding up to baby turns 1 year old. I hope collaborations of expertise at UC San Diego and Breastfeeding-Friendly San Diego can pave the way for the best practices at childcare centers statewide, if not nationwide!
Find contact information and location of breastfeeding-friendly childcare in your area on the SDCBC website at: https://www.breastfeeding.org/childcare/breastfeeding-friendly-sites/