- Public Health
Breastfeeding is good for both you and your baby. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies. As your baby grows, your breast milk will change to meet his or her nutritional needs. Breastfeeding can also help protect you and your baby against some short- and long-term illnesses and diseases.
Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, severe lower respiratory disease, acute otitis media (ear infections), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and gastrointestinal infections. Mothers who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months with continued breastfeeding while introducing appropriate complementary foods for 1 year or longer.
For more information about breastfeeding, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or the World Health Organization (WHO).
View the Benton County Breastfeeding Resource List
In need of Breastfeeding education or support? Fill out our Breastfeeding Referral form and a Certified Lactation Counselor or IBCLC will be in touch!
Benton County Public Health has partnered with other local health departments and health care to host local Baby Cafés in the area. Baby Café offers information and support to mothers at any stage in breastfeeding. You do not need to have a breastfeeding problem to attend; many women come just to socialize with other moms going though breastfeeding. Pregnant women are welcome to attend as well to learn more about breastfeeding or have questions answered.
St. Cloud YMCA - Baby Café is every Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. at the YMCA – 2001 Stockinger Dr, St. Cloud MN 56303 (Conference Room A)
Fairview Hospital, Princeton - Baby Cafe is every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Princeton Fairview Hospital
Baby Café is a drop-in service to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. There will be refreshments and snacks available for you to enjoy as you visit with trained breastfeeding health professionals and other mothers. A scale is available to weigh your baby as well as breastfeeding resources and information for you to take home.
There is no cost and no registration required to participate - just come as you are!
- Back to Work, School & Beyond
- Anytime, Anywhere Initiative
- Benton County Breastfeeding Rooms
Learn about breastfeeding online (during your pregnancy):
Attend a breastfeeding class:
- Buffalo Hospital: Prenatal, Birth & Parenting Classes - (search classes by 'keyword' and type 'breastfeeding' in the search bar)
- CentraCare: Monticello & St. Cloud: Bravo Baby, Successful Breastfeeding Class (type 'breastfeeding' in the search bar)
- Maple Grove Hospital: Breastfeeding Class & Mommy and Me (scroll down to 'groups and classes')
Learn about breastfeeding online (after you give birth):
- Your Guide to Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding and Alcohol
- Hand Expression
- Latching: Positioning and Attachment
- Storing and Handling Breastmilk
Breastfeeding Support: Telephone Resources
- St. Cloud Hospital Breastfeeding Help Line:
- Call 320-251-2700 (ext. 52311)
- Available 7:00am-3:00pm daily, including holidays and weekends
- Breastfeeding Classes:
- Bravo Baby, Successful Breastfeeding Class
- Registration is $10.00
- Register here (type 'breastfeeding' in the search bar)
- CentraCare Health Plaza Clinic, Outpatient Lactation Services:
- Call 320-654-3610 to schedule an appointment
- Available 8:30am-4:30pm
- If you are not a CentraCare patient, meet with a provider first for a patient consult
- National Women's Health Information Center Breastfeeding Help Line:
- Call 1-800-994-9662 (English and Spanish languages available)
- Available Monday through Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm CDT
- Infant Risk Center:
- Call 1-806-352-2519
- Available Monday through Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm
- Evidence based information on the use of medications during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
- Benton County WIC Program (Women, Infants, and Children Program)
- Call 320-968-5156 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Available Monday through Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm
- If you are not a WIC participant, you can call the phone number above to see if you are eligible for WIC services, or you can check the WIC website for eligibility requirements here.
- Benton County Public Health
- Call 320-968-5087
- Available Monday through Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm
- Ask to speak with a Public Health Nurse
Breastfeeding Support: Support Groups
- Baby Café, St. Cloud YMCA
- Address: 2001 Stockinger Drive, St. Cloud, MN 56303
- Takes place the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 9:30am-12:00pm
- Baby Café Flyer
- MILK: Breastfeeding and Mother Support
- Eastview Education Center Media Room: 9375 Fenning Avenue, Monticello, MN 55362
- Takes place the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 4:30pm-6:30pm (drop-in style support group)
- Cost: FREE
Making breastfeeding possible when returning to work, school, and beyond:
- Breastfeeding in Public
- How to Keep Your Breast Pump Clean
- Storing and Handling Milk
Anytime, Anywhere Initiative
The Anytime, Anywhere Initiative is being promoted by Benton County Public Health and Minnesota SHIP (Statewide Health Improvement Partnership). We hope to:
- Increase awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding as a healthy and normal part of life
- Give the community visual cues that breastfeeding is encouraged and welcomed
- Increase the number of babies who are breastfed and the length of time they receive breast milk
- Help mothers be more comfortable nursing in public places
- Provide supportive, shame-free environments for nursing in public
- Give mothers the freedom to be away from home for longer periods of time.1
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) was signed into law on March 23, 2010 (P.L. 111-148). It defines the break time requirement for nursing mothers in the workplace. Employers are required to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.” Employers are also required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” 2
In Minnesota, nursing mothers have legal protections in the workplace, as well as in public locations such as parks, restaurants, or stores. Minnesota law allows a mother to breastfeed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are allowed to be. A mother may breastfeed her child anywhere even if the nipple or breast is uncovered while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding in public is not a violation of Minnesota’s indecent exposure laws. 3
- Michigan Breastfeeding Network’s Anytime, Anywhere Campaign
- “Fact Sheet #73: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA,” U.S. Department of Labor.
- “Legal Protections for Nursing Mothers in Minnesota,” Public Health Law Center.
We would like to recognize the following organizations and places of business who have taken the Anywhere Anytime Initiative Business Pledge to make their place of business welcoming to and supportive of breastfeeding families!
|1||Benton County Public Health||Nicole Weispfennig||St. Cloud||www.co.benton.mn.us|
|2||Benton County WIC Program||Sally Murray||Foley||www.co.benton.mn.us|
Benton County Public Health is committed to providing clients and fellow employees with a space where they feel encouraged, supported, and comfortable to breastfeed when at both of our locations (Foley and St. Cloud). These breastfeeding rooms (also referred to as mother's rooms or nursing rooms) are brought to you by Benton County Public Health staff in our Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs.