Breastmilk. Every Ounce Counts.

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When you meet with child care staff or take a tour, make sure they understand your plan for breastfeeding. Talk about ways you can work together to give your baby the healthiest start.

Ask Your Child Care Providers: They Should Say:
How often do you feed the babies? Babies should be fed when they show early hunger cues, not on a feeding schedule. We will feed your baby when he shows early hunger cues.
How do you know when a baby is finished eating? The feeding should end when the baby lets go of the nipple or falls asleep, even if there is milk left in the bottle.
How do you comfort a crying baby? If baby gets fussy, we try lots of ways to soothe him. Babies cry for many reasons. It doesn't always mean they are hungry. We do not automatically give a bottle when the baby is fussy. Sometimes they just need to be held, rocked, or have their diapers changed. We also try taking babies outside when they are fussy.
Do you have a way to store pumped breastmilk? Yes. We know that breastmilk must be stored in a refrigerator and warmed up before feeding. If we do not have a refrigerator available for you to use, we can keep the breastmilk in a cooler you give us with ice packs.
Are you familiar with how to warm breastmilk? Of course. We warm up your milk for a few minutes by putting the bag or bottle in a cup or bowl of hot water from the tap. We never use a microwave when warming milk because it can burn the baby, and it hurts the milk's nutritional value. Breastmilk separates and leaves a layer of cream on top, so we gently swirl it to mix it up. And we know to never shake it.
Do you have a place where I can breastfeed my baby? We have a room or space just for nursing moms. Sometimes mothers want to stay in the baby room to breastfeed and that's OK, too.
Have you and the staff had breastfeeding education? Yes! We have taken the free online course, Age-Appropriate Nutrition, Feeding, and Support for Breastfeeding, that is available from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

It's the Law.

Texas law says child care centers must have a comfortable place for breastfeeding. Centers must also tell all parents that they have the right to breastfeed or provide breastmilk for their child while in care.

Reminders To Share With Child Care Providers

Tell everyone who watches your baby that:

  • If you are using a slow-flow bottle, it should take at least 15 minutes to feed your baby. Ask caregivers to hold baby on their laps in a sitting-up (not laying back) position so that your baby can control the flow of the milk from the bottle.
  • Breastfed babies usually eat more often throughout the day and night. Your baby will probably eat every 2 to 3 hours.
  • It's important to use the milk with the oldest date first. Make sure to write the date on the bottle.
  • You will want to breastfeed your baby very soon after you pick him up, so baby shouldn't be fed right before you arrive. Ask caregivers to comfort him in ways besides feeding if your baby seems hungry close to the pickup time.

Breastfeeding Prevents Childhood Obesity

Child care providers can play a big role in helping moms reach their breastfeeding goals. Learn more about the role of child care providers in supporting breastfeeding in Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education: Selected Standards from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition. (Downloadable PDF 6.4MB)

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