Returning to work after having a baby is often a difficult time for any mom. If a mom does not believe she will be supported by her employer or child care provider, she may decide not to breastfeed, or may stop breastfeeding early. Child care providers play a critical role in supporting moms to achieve their breastfeeding goals.
Click here for the COBFC how to find a breastfeeding friendly provider sheet.
Click here for tips on starting your breastfed baby in child care.
Click here for the Making Breastfeeding Work for Moms toolkit from Boulder County
Click here for the Colorado Breastfeeding in Child Care Toolkit – two versions are available, one for licensed centers and one for family child care homes.
Click here to learn about becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly designated child care provider.
Click here for provider resources, including videos.
A huge racial disparity in breastfeeding rates exists in America. CDC data shows that while over 75% of white women initiated breastfeeding, only 59% of black women breastfed their babies.
In Colorado black babies die at 3 times the rate of white babies. The high infant mortality rate is due in part to black babies being disproportionately born too small and too early. According to CDC estimates, breastfeeding among black women could decrease infant mortality rates by as much as 50%. Breast milk is important for all babies to thrive, but it is even more critical for high risk babies in the black community.
Not only are there racial disparities in breastfeeding rates, disparities also exist in breastfeeding support and leadership. A lack of diversity in the lactation field means a lack of cultural competency and an inability to properly understand and support black moms. While breastfeeding barriers are universal among all moms, black women face unique cultural barriers and a complex history connected to breastfeeding. Such lack of diversity further fuels the common misconception that black women do not breastfeed.
Many black communities are “first food deserts.” A term coined by Kimberly Seals Allers, a black breastfeeding advocate, to describe the desert like conditions communities face where women are unable to access support for breastfeeding, the best first food.
To highlight the fact that black women do breastfeed, Black Breastfeeding Week began back in 2012. The week occurs every year on the last week in August and was created as a way to encourage black moms to start and keep breastfeeding, connect with other breastfeeding moms and let black moms know they are not alone. Events are planned each year throughout the U.S.
Black Breastfeeding Resources:
Families Forward Resource Center – Healthy Start (303-386-2915) The program aims to provide families with access to resources to ensure African American babies and families are healthy and thriving. Resources include breastfeeding support, parenting education, family advocacy, assistance accessing health care and resource referrals.
Feed My Soul – Honoring the Art of Black Breastfeeding Urban Art Exhibition that captures images of black moms and babies breastfeeding in public throughout Colorado. The exhibition was created in support of National Black Breastfeeding Week by The HIVE Collective in collaboration with Families Forward Resource Center and Healthier Beginnings.
Mocha Manual – Kimberly Seals Allers
According to national surveys, Latina women initiate breastfeeding at high rates, however exclusive breastfeeding rates are dramatically lower in Hispanic moms compared to white moms. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding (no formula or foods other than breast milk) for the first 6 months.
A reason for low exclusivity in Latina moms could in part be due to Los Dos (or Las Dos) combination feeding. Los dos (literally meaning “the two” or “both”) is slang in Spanish for feeding both breast milk and formula. Among some Latina moms and Hispanic cultures in the U.S. there is a misperception that los dos is better for babies than exclusive breastfeeding.
Many moms do not understand that using formula reduces milk supply and formula use has health risks.
Most common myths surrounding Los Dos are:
TRUTH: Breast milk contains all necessary vitamins, minerals and other components a baby needs to grow and thrive. Breast milk contains all of this regardless of mom’s diet. Formula contains additives and vitamins that try to mimic breast milk, but many are not as easily digested by baby and are not actually as bioavailable as those found in breast milk.
TRUTH: Healthcare providers are not always educated on the risks of formula feeding or the vast benefits of breast milk. Free formula supplements are proven to be detrimental to a mom’s breastfeeding success, regardless of where mom received them.
TRUTH: All moms can experience breastfeeding difficulties and need necessary lactation support for success. Pumping and manual expression should be used more widely for mom to alleviate engorgement, pump milk to serve from a bottle when out, and maintain milk supply when away from baby.
TRUTH: Breast milk inside a woman’s breast can NEVER spoil and is always the right temperature and healthy for baby, regardless of mom’s conditions. Poor nutrition in mom does NOT mean inadequate milk.
Ask Questions! When a mom says she wants to feed both ask:
Click here to view a webinar on Los Dos
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has revised previous guidelines regarding breast milk. Breast milk is considered in the same category as liquid medication as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint. Travelers are allowed to bring breast pumps and breast milk, formula, juice and food for babies and toddlers that exceeds the TSA’s 3 ounce limit for liquids in carry-on luggage.
The 2016 BABES Act (Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act) requires TSA to better accommodate parents traveling with breast milk, infant food and feeding equipment by requiring ongoing training of TSA officers to make certain policies and procedures are consistently followed. A big thanks to our friends at the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) who sponsored the bill!
To learn more visit, Traveling with Children: formula, Breast Milk and Juice.
Breasts make milk in response to the baby suckling. The more milk removed from the breasts by the child nursing or mom pumping/expressing, the more milk the breasts will typically make. No special diet is necessary to breastfeed. To maintain or increase milk supply, a mom should:
Pumping takes practice!
Breast massage is an effective way to increase milk production and improve the output of milk during a pumping session. Click here for resources on breast massage techniques.
WIC – The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a nutrition program that provides breastfeeding support, including breast pumps, as well as nutritious groceries, nutrition education and other services FREE of charge to Colorado families who qualify. WIC’s goal is to keep pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age 5 healthy. Low income families, regardless of legal status, may be eligible for WIC. All Medicaid families can enroll in WIC. Contact WIC directly, click here for eligibility information or here to find the clinic closest to you.
In accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act many insurers now cover the cost of breast pumps. Contact your insurance company directly to inquire about coverage. Consult with your healthcare providers about which pump would be the best option for your specific circumstances.
Moms with Medicaid, contact your local WIC agency to receive support and local resources.
Mothers’ Milk Bank (MMB) in Arvada, Colorado collects, screens, processes and provides donor human milk to babies across the country. Babies who receive donor human milk may be premature or have severe illnesses and need human milk to thrive. As the largest milk bank in North America, MMB consistently provides more milk to NICUs and adheres to the strict guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).
The health benefits received from using human milk for newborns, especially premature newborns, cannot be replicated by any commercial formula product. Donor human milk is widely recognized as the first choice for all infant feeding when the mother’s own milk is unavailable.
Donating and receiving milk from a non-profit milk bank guarantees that the milk will be safe, unaltered, and provided to the babies who need it the most.
For more information visit http://rmchildren.org/mothers-milk-bank/
Donate Milk. Save Babies.
Do you produce milk in excess of your own baby’s needs? If so, consider donating to Mothers’ Milk Bank. Your extra milk could help babies in NICUs all over the country. Just one ounce of milk can feed a micro preemie for an entire day! To become a milk donor visit http://rmchildren.org/mothers-milk-bank/donate-milk/.
Getting breastfeeding help, especially in the early days of nursing, is very important. Breastfeeding can be a challenge. A lactation consultant, a peer counselor, or breastfeeding support group can provide essential help and encouragement any time it is needed throughout your breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding changes over time and different issues may arise during your journey that require help. Here are a few:
Seek professional help for your newborn if s/he is:
Seek professional help for breastfeeding parent if:
Other instances where support can help:
Options on where to go for help:
We encourage you seek help for any breastfeeding concerns.
Insurance coverage is a frequent question and concern for families. The National Womens Law Center has a guide on Understanding Health Coverage of Breastfeeding Support and Supplies. Moms with Medicaid, contact your local WIC agency to receive support and local resources.
Most medications are compatible with breastfeeding. Medications can be prescription, over-the-counter or herbal varieties. Although mothers are frequently told they need to stop breastfeeding (temporarily or permanently) to take a medication, this is rarely necessary. Contact your health care provider, a lactation professional or one of the resources below for more information:
If your health care providers do not know about these resources, help educate them!
When considering a medication, including herbal and other “natural” supplements, remember to ask yourself several key questions:
Avoid medications known to affect milk production. Temporarily weaning your baby for a medication comes with a risk to both the mother’s milk supply and returning your baby to the breast after the medication is stopped. There are known risks of formula feeding.
While marijuana is now legal for adults over 21 in Colorado, this does not mean it is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding moms and babies. You should not use marijuana while you are pregnant or breastfeeding, just like you should not use alcohol and tobacco.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that mothers who are breastfeeding their babies should not use marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical in marijuana that makes you feel “high.” THC in marijuana, regardless of whether it is smoked, vaped, or eaten, can get into breast milk and may affect your baby.
Because THC is stored in body fat, it stays in your body for a long time. A baby’s brain and body are made with a lot of fat. Since your baby’s brain and body may store THC for a long time, you should not use marijuana while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Breast milk also contains a lot of fat. This means that “pumping and dumping” your breast milk does not work the same way it does with alcohol. Alcohol is not stored in fat, so it leaves your body faster.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and need help to stop using marijuana, talk with your healthcare provider or call 1-800-CHILDREN.
For more information visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or check out the information fact sheet, Marijuana and Your Baby.
In late April, 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) released long-awaited new growth charts for breastfed children. Based on careful studies of breastfed babies living under “ideal” conditions in several countries, WHO determined breastfed babies grow at similar rates and this growth pattern is the ideal.
The new standards are based on the breastfed child as the norm for growth and development.
This brings coherence for the first time between the tools used to assess growth and national and international infant feeding guidelines, which recommend breastfeeding as the optimal source of nutrition during infancy. These growth charts now allow accurate assessment, measurement and evaluation of breastfeeding and complementary feeding.