Nutrition to Support Healthy Growth | 3
that may lead to obesity in some children. In addition, the breast-feeding
experience promotes close mother-child bonding, which is so important
for the infant’s social development.
Be Breast-Feeding Friendly
Early childhood programs can do much to support, or interfere with,
a mother’s ability to continue breast-feeding. Some mothers choose to
breast-feed at the child care facility, others provide their breast milk in
bottles, and many find a combination that fits their needs. The following
practices are recommended to promote breast-feeding and safely handle
breast milk in early childhood programs:
Provide a private room or nook with a comfortable chair, •
a pillow, and a step stool to make breast-feeding more
comfortable for mother and baby. A place to wash hands
should be nearby.
Develop a feeding schedule that accommodates the mother’s •
needs. She may want you to schedule the baby’s feeding so
that the baby is hungry and ready to breast-feed when she
comes to get the baby.
Have a refrigerator/freezer with adequate space devoted to •
breast milk. Ask mothers to freeze their breast milk in small
single-feeding-size containers. Rotate frozen breast milk,
using the oldest milk first, and keep it toward the back of
the freezer where the temperature stays more uniformly
cold. Throw out frozen breast milk after two weeks if it’s
kept in the freezing compartment of a refrigerator or after
three to six months if it’s kept solidly frozen in the freezer
section of a refrigerator that has a separate freezer door.
Once breast milk has thawed, do not refreeze it. Don’t pour
fresh or warm breast milk into a bottle of previously frozen
breast milk. After a feeding, do not save or reuse leftover
breast milk from the bottle. (For more information, go to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] Web
site at www.cdc.gov.)
Establish a labeling system so each baby gets his mother’s •
milk; include the baby’s name and the date and time the
breast milk was expressed.