The state of North Carolina is extremely supportive of breastfeeding and offers a number of resources for breastfeeding advocates. The following is a brief introduction to current state breastfeeding support programs with links to the appropriate sites to learn much more.
NCMCBFD is a project of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Division of Public Health. This program recognizes North Carolina maternity centers that adopt policies and practices from the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Maternity Centers are awarded a star for each two steps implemented. Click here to visit their website and see the list of all award recipients.
In 2006, the NC Division of Public Health released this document as a strategic plan for all North Carolinians to help improve breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity in our state. View the Blueprint here.
Blueprint Status Report: Promoting, Protecting and Supporting Breastfeeding in North Carolina
In 2011, the NC Division of Public Health released an update of the Blueprint for Action that describes state activities since 2006. Read the update.
This resource primer is for any employer who is looking for suggestions on becoming a breastfeeding-friendly worksite or business. Click here to visit their website.
North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education
According to 2008 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71 percent of women with children under the age of 18 were working or looking for work, and nearly 60 percent of women with young children were employed. In North Carolina, as in the rest of the United States, many mothers return to the workforce when their children are infants. Therefore, the role childcare centers play in breastfeeding success has become increasingly important. The NC Division of Child Development and Early Education passed a child care rule for all licensed child care centers that requires the provision of space, other than a bathroom, where mothers may breastfeed or express milk.
In 2014, the Nutrition Services Branch of the NC Division of Public Health launched a Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation for licensed child care centers. The designation is based on the Ten Steps to Breastfeeding-Friendly Child Care, adopted from the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute. For every two steps achieved, a gold-starred building block is awarded to the child care facility. Information on the NC Breastfeeding-Friendly Child Care designation and their application to earn the designation can be found at http://www.nutritionnc.com/breastfeeding/childcare.htm. The site also has additional resources, answers to frequently asked questions and an informative recorded webinar for those interested in applying.
North Carolina General Assembly
In 1983 the NC General Assembly passed legislation exempting breastfeeding from the criminal statute and clarified that women have the right to breastfeed in public, even if there is exposure of the breast. Read about this law and others protecting breastfeeding on our Breastfeeding Laws and Regulations page.
North Carolina Office of State Human Resources
In 2010 the NC Office of State Human Resources enacted a policy that requires the provision of space and break time to employees subject to the State Personnel Act (all state employees). View the policy here. State employees with questions about their right to express milk at work should contact Charlene Shabazz at charlene.shabazz “AT” osp.nc.gov or (919) 807-4874.