of women initiate breastfeeding in Minnesota
If 90 percent of U.S. families followed guidelines to breastfeed exclusively for six months, the United States would save $13 billion annually from reduced direct medical, indirect costs and the cost of premature death.
The Washington County Breastfeeding Coalition (WCBC) wants to help you become recognized as a Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The WCBC is composed of individuals from across the county who come together over their passion for promoting breastfeeding. One of the coalition’s goals is to create partnerships with child care providers and encourage breastfeeding as the preferred way to feed babies during the first year of life.
The WCBC is available to assist home and center-based providers through the MDH application process. Together, child care providers and the WCBC can promote and support breastfeeding throughout the community.
Interested? Email PHE@co.washington.mn.us or call 651-430-6655.
Returning to work is a critical transition for breastfeeding moms. In Minnesota, employers must provide support for breastfeeding moms with a space and time to express milk (MN Statue 181.939). Living Healthy Washington County supports businesses in creating breastfeeding friendly environments for staff. Recent breastfeeding funded worksite projects have included transformations to existing rooms to provide adequate and comfortable space for chest/breastfeeding employees.
With a teacher workforce that is primarily female, education and lactation rooms are an important way to support new moms. Funding is available to set up nursing mothers rooms to use during work hours. Additional supports include education to all staff about the availability of the rooms during new employee orientation, education and signage.
Resources for school staff
Breastfeeding helps mothers and infants alike, keeping both healthier, reducing health care costs, and giving newborns a better chance to thrive throughout childhood. Studies show that breastfed children have fewer and less serious illnesses, reduced risk of obesity, and that their total medical care costs are lower than for never-breastfed infants. Living Healthy Washington County, collaborates with health care partners to implement Baby-Friendly initiatives within their settings which encourages patient-centered chest/breastfeeding education along with a dignity and respect for all feeding options. Partnering with health care systems has increased access to Baby Cafés within the county. Baby Cafés are free drop support groups for breastfeeding mothers and babies, providing local breastfeeding education trainings for staff, and evaluating breastfeeding clinic practices.
The Washington County Breastfeeding Coalition promotes, supports and protects chest/breastfeeding through education, outreach, and collaboration within our community. We envision a community where breastfeeding is the norm. Where families are supported and empowered to achieve their breastfeeding goals. Living Healthy Washington County and the Washington County Breastfeeding Coalition are here to support families and their feeding journey.