However a mother chooses or is able to feed her child should be supported in the child care setting. Idaho is proud to be ranked number one in the United States for mothers breastfeeding their children. Breastfeeding protects babies from illnesses and infections, gives babies the exact nutrients they need to grow and be healthy, and babies who are breastfed are less likely to be obese or develop diabetes when older. (Source: The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding)
While a large number of mothers start breastfeeding with their new infants, it becomes much harder when they place their babies in a child care setting. To support mothers who would like to continue breastfeeding, the Healthy Initiatives requires child care providers who serve children under the age of 2 to provide a private space at their facility for a mother to breastfeed her child. The space should be comfortable, include nearby access to electricity and running water, and allow the mother to have time to nurse away from view from others. This can be done by using a separate room, a screen or curtain, or a private space in the classroom area. The designated breastfeeding area may not be located in a bathroom.
Infant Feeding Initiative Rating Requirements
In order to receive this rating, the following requirements must be met:
- Provide a private, designated location, other than a restroom, for breastfeeding at the facility.
- Maintain the area provided in a sanitary condition, with access to an electrical outlet, chair, and running water.