Families

BREASTFEEDING AND CHILDCARE

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.

Moms: Finding a breastfeeding friendly child care provider can make a big difference in breastfeeding success.

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

 

Child Care Providers: Being breastfeeding friendly will help you to better support your moms and improve the health and wellbeing of the children in your care.

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.

Black Breastfeeding

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. 


Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA)


African American Breastfeeding Network


Black Women Do Breastfeed


Mocha Manual – Kimberly Seals Allers


Black breastfeeding support groups

Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Mothers – book

LOS DOS

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:

  • Vitamins – Even moms with a good milk supply and healthy babies felt they wanted to ensure their babies were receiving all necessary vitamins or something that they fear their breast milk may be lacking.

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.

  • Mixed Messages from Healthcare Providers – Moms hear different things from different healthcare providers regarding breastfeeding and formula use, including free formula from hospitals and pediatricians.

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.

  • Breastfeeding is Natural but Difficult – Culturally breastfeeding is known to be painful and associated with struggles. Breastfeeding in public can be seen as taboo and some may only nurse at home and formula feed in public.

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.

  • Spoiled Milk – Negative emotions, exposure to cold, violating La Cuarentena, engorgement and certain foods can all “spoil” breast milk.

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.

Initial steps:

  • Train labor and delivery and postpartum nurses on proper breastfeeding education and cultural awareness, including importance of delaying formula introduction.
  • Inform ALL moms the need to establish breastfeeding first, supply and demand, and delay the introduction of formula.
  • Provide ALL moms with pump information, option of feeding baby from a bottle but with breastmilk, and breastfeeding resources in her community.
  • Include support persons and family in all breastfeeding education.

Ask Questions! When a mom says she wants to feed both ask:

  • What does feeding “both” mean to mom/family?
  • Why does mom want to feed both?
  • Are family/friends are affecting beliefs?
  • If “bottle feeding” – What does mom plan to put in her bottle?
  • Explain formula risks, “vitamins” from formula are unnecessary – benefits of breast milk
  • Explain mom does  not need the best diet – her body will make nutritious milk regardless

Click here to view a webinar on Los Dos

Traveling with Breastmilk

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.

Milk Expression and Breast Pumps

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:

  • Always try to remove milk completely from both breasts at each feeding or pumping session.
  • Feed often, as much as baby wants. When together, a mom should feed her baby directly at the breast to maintain her supply and provide additional benefits. When away from her baby, a mom should pump or express milk as often as her baby usually eats (or at least every 3-4 hours) to maintain supply.
  • Learn how to manually express breast milk and breast massage techniques.
  • Ask a lactation professional for advice or tips on expressing/pumping and keeping your milk supply strong. 

Pumping takes practice!

Breast massage

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.

Breast Pumps

Resources for Parents

Consumer Reports

WIC

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.

You have the right to Breastfeed

anywhere that you have the right to be.

Breastfeeding at Swimming Pools

Swimming is fine for breastfeeding moms and is great postpartum exercise. In compliance with Colorado law, a person may breastfeed a child at a swimming pool or deck area at their discretion.

Click here for more information.

Lactation Laws

For more information on Colorado breastfeeding laws, click here.

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:

  • Wetting fewer than 6 diapers per day
  • Looks yellow or jaundiced
  • Not gaining weight

Seek professional help for breastfeeding parent if:

  • Nursing is painful
  • Nursing is getting worse rather than better
  • Nipples are cracked or bleeding
  • Plugged ducts, blebs/milk blisters, and mastitis (requires immediate medical attention)
  • Baby blues and crying seems excessive, or goes on for more than a few days (for more information visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/pregnancy-related-depression)

Other instances where support can help:

  • Increasing milk supply or supply questions
  • Pumping
  • Nursing strikes
  • Teething
  • Starting solids

Options on where to go for help:

We encourage you seek help for any breastfeeding concerns.

  • Birthing hospitals’ lactation departments
  • Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants – find one here
  • La Leche League leaders and support groups – find help here
  • Breastfeeding USA counselors – find one here
  • Local WIC offices – find your agency here

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.