Making It Work Toolkit

The Making It Work Toolkit is an online resource for breastfeeding mothers returning to work or school.  The toolkit is designed to provide assistance to breastfeeding mothers as well as tools and information for businesses and families. 

The online toolkit can be printed, viewed on the website, shared with others, and downloaded onto your mobile device for easy access. 

The NYSDOH Prevention Agenda, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Healthy People 2020, and The US Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding recognize the challenges of low income wage earners returning to work while continuing to breastfeed.  The Making it Work Toolkit provides consumers and employers information to address the challenges identified by the organizations and agencies. 

This project was funded through the CDC's Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant.  It is a result of collaboration between NYSDOH Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and the Special Supplemental Nutrition  Program for Women, Infants and Children.  We would like to acknowledge Cathy Carothers, BLA, IBCLC, FILCA and RayaneAbuSabha, Ph.D. R.D for their time and dedication to this project.

There are five individual toolkits, Making It Work:

          1. For Moms
          2. For Family Members
          3. For Employers
          4. The Law
          5. Other Materials

Making it Work: For Moms

Planning starts during pregnancy with a Lactation Work Plan, preparing during maternity leave and getting ready to return to work.  This section contains valuable information on how to talk with your supervisor, coworkers and child care providers.  Resources also include information on storing and handling breast milk, checklists and special tips for success. Sample schedules and food ideas help round out this section. 

Making it Work: For Family Members

Support from family is critical to success.  This section explains the important role grandparents and partners play while dispelling myths that might be held by others. How to give practical support and care for a breastfed baby is included in this section. 

Making it Work:  For Employers

The bottom line is breastfeeding is good for business.  This section will assist employers in complying with state and federal laws.  It explains the basic needs of employees, common sense solutions, resources, and FAQs.  A helpful Checklist for Employers is included in this section to assist supervisors plan for employee lactation accommodations requests.

Making it Work: The Law

The federal and NYS law are explained in enough detail to assist both mother and employer.  Guidance for interpreting the laws and resources are included. 

Making it Work:  Other Materials

This final section has sample letters and policies for easy downloading and use. 

Making It Work Toolkit in Spanish

North Carolina's version of the Making It Work Toolkit, adapted from the original New York State Department of Health Making It Work Toolkit, is designed to help breastfeeding mothers return to work. It is made up of separate sections to assist moms, employers and family members. The toolkit provides essential information, tips, checklists, sample schedules, sample letters and a sample policy. The sections for moms and family members have recently been translated to Spanish. Check out the complete tool kit on