One of the wonderful breastfeeding moms on LinkingParents.com was planning a part-time return to work, and needed part-time care for her daughter. There are very few quality daycare centres in our city, and even fewer that accept infants. After calling the daycares to enquire about care, she was told each time that they would not accept her breastfed baby daughter. If the baby is not on formula, she will not be welcome at the daycare. The daycares' reasoning? A breastfed baby needs to be fed more often than formula fed, and the breastmilk is apparantly harder to deal with than formula. They also seemed quite concerned about the possible touching of bodily fluids.
What the hell? A daycare doesn't want to deal with bodily fluids? I would think that breast milk would be preferable to poop, pee, puke and snot, and the plethora of other liquids that child care workers have to deal with. Sorry, I don't buy it. And a breastfed baby needs to be fed more often? And it's harder to deal with than formula? For pete's sake, you are working with BABIES.....as a child care staff, that is your JOB. Dealing with babies with allergies, constipation, reflux, colic, asthma, excema, stomach troubles, lactose intolerance, formula intolerance, colds and flus (all at higher risk from NOT breastfeeding) would be harder to deal with, in my opinion. Plus, breastmilk smells a lot nicer than formula. (Admit it, have you ever tasted formula? Yuck! Case in point: when airlines were banning all liquids, and requesting mothers to taste the formula they were bringing on the airplane for their babies, and the mothers refused? Yep. But I digress.)
Well, I'm not going to go on any longer about how I feel on this issue. Below you can read a copy of the letter I sent to all 4 daycares involved.
Here is a link to a similar issue that made headlines recently: