Back at School for Lactating Educators

Educators have gone above and beyond to support our children, and we know that students are starting to return to the classroom.  Thank you for the support educators give to our community. This has been an especially challenging year!

I am a Community Health Worker here in Durham County, and we are hearing questions from lactating educators about how to keep their milk safe as they return to work. Here are resources both for lactating educators and for all who wish to support their colleagues.

The Making It Work Tool Kit for lactating parents is a resource to help breastfeeding parents return to work. It is designed to assist breastfeeding parents, their employers, and their family. Breastfeeding is one of the few immune boosters that we currently can offer to our infants during this global pandemic.  Breastfeeding rates increase dramatically with support.

How can we support lactating educators as they return to work? 

  • Be an Advocate: Reach out to educators who may be challenged right now with balancing their desire to continue to breastfeed/express milk during the day and keeping up with the class schedule. 
  • Help to Create Safe and Clean Spaces: Teachers and school staff may need to use existing space, such as a small office, the nurse’s office, a teacher resource room, or a screened-off area of a conference room, to express or pump milk. Let others know if your classroom can be used during your planning period.  
  • Support education: School-based breastfeeding education helps improve breastfeeding rates in the long term by instilling in young people a base of evidence-informed knowledge, skills, and attitudes that primes them to make informed decisions about infant feeding and to become positive change agents. Breastfeeding rates in Durham remain below the national average. Please let us know if we can connect you to training or activity kits in whatever form might work best for your classroom. 

COVID Vaccination Information: 

The program manager at the Durham County Department of Public Health runs an initiative that is working to improve maternal and child health in Durham, and she is currently working on COVID vaccinations. Teachers are always on the run! There now is a lactation space available for those who need to express milk while visiting the Health Department.

  • Durham County Department of Public Health appointment list (English) (Spanish).
  • Optum Serve is running a site administering Johnson & Johnson (one dose) at the DPS staff development center on Hillandale Road (2107 Hillandale Road). People can call 877-505-6723 to make an appointment. is a community organization that works to promote breastfeeding and to improve maternal and child health by partnering with the Durham County Department of Public Health and other local organizations to offer community breastfeeding education and support. We continue to work to engage parents, students, and school principals to further understand normalizing breastfeeding. Please let us know if you have any questions. 

More resources