Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Recognition Program We are excited to have launched our new Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Recognition Program in 2019. Supporting breastfeeding employees and clients of child care sites is good for business. Employers who provide a supportive environment to help women continue breastfeeding after childbirth enjoy many proven benefits that directly affect their bottom line. These include: Lower health care costs Lower turnover rates Lower absenteeism rates Higher employee productivity and morale Positive public relations in the community as a “family friendly” business Supporting breastfeeding is good for employees and their families. When an employee returns from maternity leave, she wants to be a productive and profitable employee and also a good mother. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies receive their mother’s milk exclusively for the first six months and continue breastfeeding for at least a year or more. Breastfed babies are healthier, and have fewer infections and illnesses—especially those infants who are in childcare centers. This translates into fewer missed days of work for parents. Mothers who breastfeed also experience significant health benefits—the longer a woman is able to breastfeed, the more she reduces her risk of diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease. Over 70% of new mothers today choose to breastfeed, but many of these mothers are concerned that returning to work will be an obstacle to continuing to breastfeed. The North Shore Health Department wants to help child care providers in the North Shore become Breastfeeding Friendly. We will work with child care centers to develop policies that support breastfeeding and to ensure that breastfeeding mothers have a private place to express milk. We want to recognize those centers who are supportive of breastfeeding mothers, and will acknowledge them with a window cling (see image above) and listing on our website. Many child care sites already have the resources needed to be breastfeeding friendly and may just need training and implementation of feeding policies to meet the certification requirements. The program includes all (current and new) infant and toddler staff training on the 10 steps and one meeting per month with a NSHD trainer, for guidance and assessment, until requirements are met. The entire process may take about three months. The online breastfeeding training has been approved for continuing education hours for Wisconsin child care providers. Once all steps have been met, the child care provider will be recognized as Breastfeeding Friendly by the North Shore Health Department, Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Wisconsin Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative. If you are interested in learning more about our program, including setting up a visit and consultation at your site, email Lori or Kala or call 414-371-2980 and ask for Lori or Kala. Steps to Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly, provided by the Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition: 10 steps handout What does it mean to be breastfeeding friendly? Currently Recognized Child Care Centers in the North Shore There are none as of right now.