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Missoula City-County Health Department
(406) 258-4750
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Missoula County Health Services

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Health Services: Breastfeeding

Why is breastfeeding important?

Breastfeeding Infant Mother Breastfeeding Twins Breastfeeding Mother and Baby

Breast milk is the perfect starter food for babies!

  • It is the perfect balance of fatty acids, lactose, water and protein for a baby's digestion, brain development and growth.
  • It's free!
  • There's a continual supply.
  • It's always at the perfect temperature.
  • There are no bottles to clean and fill.
  • Breast milk contains antibodies from the mother that can protect infants from infection.

Mothers who breastfeed:

  • Burn more calories, which makes it easier for them to return to their pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers later in life.
  • Save money - no formula to buy.
  • Save time - no formula to mix or bottle.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively -- with no baby formula or added foods or beverages -- for the first six months of life.

The WIC Program provides breastfeeding information, support and counseling to mothers during pregnancy. After delivery, WIC staff and peer breastfeeding counselors continue to assist mothers and babies to successfully breastfeed through the first months of life.

Breastfeeding women enrolled in WIC receive specific foods: milk, cheese, eggs, iron-fortified cereal, Vitamin C-rich juice, and peanut butter/dried beans, tuna and carrots.

FREE breast pumps available for WIC participants

Most mothers in our community return to work or school, soon after their babies are born. Most mothers know the benefits of breast milk for their baby and themselves, and want to offer the best for their baby. With the help of a breast pump, moms can have an easier time continuing to breastfeed their baby after returning to work.

Hand held and electric pumps are available, along with education on its use, milk storage guidelines and ways to keep up milk supply.

Questions and Concerns?

Certified lactation specialist are available at the Health Department or for Home Visits Monday-Friday, 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM. For more information or for answers to your questions related to breastfeeding please call:

Working Moms can Breastfeed, too. Help Line: 207-4357

Working and breastfeeding

Women with infants and children below age three are the fastest growing segment of today's labor force. At least 58% of women who are employed when they become pregnant return to the labor force by the time their child is three months old.

Women who wish to continue breastfeeding after returning to work have relatively few and simple needs; availability of dependable efficient breast pumps; a convenient, safe, private and comfortable location at the worksite; and the opportunity to pump two or three times during the work day.

Information is available on how worksites can support mothers who want to continue nursing after returning to work. Free multi-user breast pumps have been distributed by the work-site breastfeeding support program at the Missoula City-County Health Department to many Missoula area employers with more than 50 employees. To find out more about breastfeeding work-site support, just call 406-258-3827.

Employers benefit when they support breastfeeding

Implementing workplace lactation programs create positive results, including lower absenteeism, high productivity, high company loyalty, high employee morale, and lower health care costs. Because an ill child is a frequent cause of absenteeism among employed mothers, worksite programs that aim to improve children's health may also bring about a reduction in maternal absenteeism. Formula fed infants have a higher rate of illness which can lead to more greater absenteeism, both maternal and paternal.

Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses


State and Federal Breastfeeding Laws and Employer Support:
Montana Stae Seal House Bill 372 new law regarding Exemption from jury duty while breastfeeding.
US Division of Wages and Labor Logo  Break-time for Nursing Mothers under FLSA Health Care Reform Act 2010
Breastfeeding Business Woman How to Become A Breastfeeding Mother Friendly Employer
Montana Worksite Health Promotion Coalition Logo  Breastfeeding Worksite: Train and Take
Breastfeeding-Friendly Worksite Photo Steps for Creating a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite
More Help for Managers
Business Case for Breastfeeding- Employer Toolkit
Employee's Guide to Breastfeeding and Working
American Association of Pediatrics Symbol Expressing Breastmilk on the Job-American Academy of Pediatrics Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Works at Work Mom and Baby Missoula Breastfeeding Works ToolkitBrochure, Pump Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding
Compliance with Affordable Care Act Breastfeeding Provisions: Summary Presentation

Free multi-user breast pumps have been distributed to many Missoula area employers with more than 50 employees

Breastfeeding support information

Breastfeeding support resources


Health Services Director
Kate Siegrist - 258-4986

Nutrition Services Manager
Kate Devino - 258-4837

Eat Smart Coordinator
Rebecca Morley - 258-3827

CATCH Coordinator
Lisa Tims - 258-3894

Eat Smart Move More Missoula Logo

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Certified lactation specialists are available at the Health Department or for Home Visits Monday-Friday, 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

For more information or for answers to your questions related to breastfeeding please call:

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