Every day more women are making the choice to breastfeed. As this cultural shift has become popularized more mothers are seeking childcare facilities that support and encourage breastfeeding. The state of NC has recognized the importance of breastfeeding childcare centers too, and as a result the state is seeking to acknowledge centers making strides to accommodate nursing mothers. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health has launched a new program to support ongoing quality improvement for promoting breastfeeding-friendly childcare centers. As of January 9, 2015 eight centers received distinction in NC based on a five star building block rating, granting one star for every two steps implemented from the outlined criteria:

-Make a commitment to the importance of breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding, and share this commitment with fellow staff

-Train all staff in the skills to support and promote optimal infant and young child feeding

-Inform women and families about the importance of breastfeeding

-Provide learning and play opportunities that normalize breastfeeding for children

-Ensure that all families they serve are able to properly store and label milk for child care facility use

-Provide a breastfeeding-friendly environment

-Support breastfeeding employees

-Ensure that each infant has a feeding plan that supports best feeding practices

-Contact and coordinate with local skilled breastfeeding support and actively refer

-Continue updates and learning about the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding

These initiatives are designed to encourage breastfeeding and promote the overall health advantages breastfeeding offers for infants and mothers alike. Studies show breastfed babies have a reduced risk of developing obesity, Type II Diabetes, asthma, ear infections, and SIDS. While breastfeeding mothers benefit by having a lower risk for breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and experience a faster recovery from child birth.

Aeroflow Healthcare is another advocate for breastfeeding mothers. Headquartered in Asheville NC, Aeroflow is a Durable Medical Equipment provider and remains an excellent source for obtaining breastfeeding equipment and supplies. Visit aeroflowmomandbaby.com today, and utilize the online chat tool! The chat tool will allow you to converse with a Breast Pump Specialist ready to answer your questions as well as work with your insurance carrier, and provide you with the materials necessary to meet your unique breastfeeding needs. The website also includes a “Qualify through Insurance” tab. This allows you to submit your information for review to see if your insurance policy offers coverage for an electric breast pump and ongoing supplies. Reach out today… you’ll be glad you did!