A Breastfeeding Education Activity Package for Grades K-12



Special thanks to Patti Severson for her Lactation Education as part of Human Growth and Development curriculum. Most of the information in this unit comes directly or was modified from her Health Education Curriculum, School District of La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Reproductive Health and the Benefits of Breastfeeding is designed to enable students to understand that breastfeeding, or lactation, is the physiological conclusion to conception and birth.

Lesson 1 helps students realize the connection between healthful behaviors and positive outcomes in pregnancy and lactation. Advantages to the mother, father, and infant are examined.

Lesson 2 studies the anatomy of the breast. These lessons will help students realize that lactation is a psychological completion of the reproductive cycle.

Lesson 3 relates to the babysitting experience and examines procedures used in breast or bottle feeding. The conclusion from this set of lessons would be that breastmilk is designed to meet a baby's needs better than formula or cow's milk.


Lactation is an integral part of the human growth and development process.

Before You Start:

This unit is designed to help students develop an appreciation for the reproductive cycle which includes lactation. Another integral part is to provide useful information to students regarding babysitting practices. It is generally around this age that students begin to show responsibility by watching and caring for other people's children.

Sometimes babysitters of this age are nervous about feeding infants. If the child who is babysitting has never experienced having a younger brother or sister, they may be very insecure regarding feeding - especially breastfeeding. Through this unit, one can understand that breastfeeding is natural and optimal (in most cases) for a baby.

Resources for Reproductive Health and the Benefits of Breastfeeding


  • "Inside My Mom". March of Dimes. White Plains, New York 1974. (Video order #59-102-03).
  • "Outside My Mom". March of Dimes. White Plains, New York 1981. (Slides order number 59-103-01.)


  • "Baby Building". Childbirth Graphics, Ltd. Rochester, New York 1991.
  • Reproductive Models are available through Childbirth Graphics.
  • Multicultural Poster. Engell-Ameda.


  • Your Sexuality. Merrill Publishing, 1990.
  • Infant Nutrition: Sound Eating Habits Start Early. American Institute for Cancer Research. Washington, D.C. 1988.


  • Lactation Education as Part of Human Growth and Development, Patti Severson Health Education Curriculum. School District of La Crosse, La Crosse Wisconsin. 1991.
1. Breasts: A Natural Part Health, Science, Family Life, Nutrition, Language of Reproduction Arts
2. Anatomy of a Breast Health, Science, Family Life, Language Arts, Social Studies
3. You're In Charge Home and Careers, Child Development, Language Arts, Library Science, Math

There is a correlation between healthful behaviors and positive outcomes in pregnancy and lactation.

Lesson 1 Science, Family Life, Human Growth and Development, Home and Careers


Note: This lesson has been modified from Lactation Education as Part of Human Growth and Development. Health Education Curriculum, School District of La Crosse, Wisconsin.


  • To Be Determined By Diagrams Selected.
  • Lactation: process of producing milk, breastfeeding.
  • Breast parts include:
    • Mammary Gland: glands responsible for producing milk in mammals.
    • Aerola: darkened circular area surrounding nipple.
    • Nipple: elevation in the center of the areola which contains milk ducts, sensory nerve endings, and sweat glands.
    • Ducts: carry milk from mammary glands to the milk reservoirs.

Advance Preparation:

  • Collect and photocopy diagrams of the male and female reproductive organs including breasts.
  • Order March of Dimes, "Inside My Mom" and "Outside My Mom".
  • Order "Baby Building" poster from Childbirth Graphics, Inc.

Activities: Lesson 1

  • Review diagrams of male and female reproductive organs. Using a breast model (available through Childbirth Graphics), name breast parts.
  • Watch March of Dimes video "Inside My Mom". Discuss positive nutrition habits, healthy choices, and what contributes to healthy babies. Review "Baby Building" poster from Childbirth Graphics.
  • Watch March of Dimes slides "Outside My Mom".
    • (a) List at least three advantages to breastfeeding (human breastmilk is made for human babies, it changes to meet growing infant needs, breastfed babies develop fewer allergies and get less constipation or diarrhea, antibodies protect infants from infection).
    • (b) List some advantages to mother (helps her uterus return to normal size, special bonding for mother and baby, helps mother lose weight, convenient and costs less than formula, helps mother relax and feel good about herself).
    • (c) List some advantages to father (assurance that infant is receiving the best nutrition, healthier baby, healthier partner, costs less than formula).


Write down three advantages of breastfeeding on a slip of paper. Teacher collects to review answers.

Lactation is the physiologic completion of the reproductive cycle in humans.


Note: This lesson has been modified from Lactation Education as Part of Human Growth and Development. Health Education Curriculum, School District of La Crosse, Wisconsin.


  • Reproduction: the process by which animals and plants reproduce new individuals.
  • Offspring: refers to the babies of humans and animals.
  • Adult: a fully grown organism
  • Parent: a mother or father

Advance Preparation:

  • Get a VCR and television as well as a slide projector for "Inside My Mom" and "Outside My Mom".
  • Photocopy diagrams of breasts.
  • Order a breast model (optional).
  • Make arrangements to invite a nursing mom to visit class.
  • Order the poster from Egnell-Ameda.

Activities: Lesson 2

  • Use the Anatomy of the Breast lesson from Lactation Education As Part of Human Growth and Development. Use various teaching methods to explain the function of breasts.
  • Invite a nursing mom to visit the class. Have students prepare a variety of questions to ask the mom.
  • Display multicultural poster from Egnell-Ameda (showing photos of nursing couples who represent various countries). Have students try to identify countries represented. Do a miniature research project studying whether infants are usually breastfed or bottlefed in countries around the world.

Lactation is the optimal form of nutrition for human babies.

Lesson 3 Home and Career Skills, Child Development,  Language Arts, Library Science, Math


Advance Preparation:

  • Arrange to visit the library and learn how to use the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature.

Activities: Lesson 3

  • Brainstorm various responsibilities a teenage babysitter might need to do: change diapers, prepare a meal, read to children, keep the children safe, etc. Design an information sheet that parents could fill out prior to leaving their child(ren) with you. It should contain questions regarding phone numbers, who to call in case of emergency, eating and sleeping habits, when and if a diaper change might be necessary, bedtime routines, special directions regarding food for baby, etc.
  • Discussion: Ask students if they have ever had to give a young infant a bottle. Was it formula, breastmilk, or cow's milk? (Cow's milk should not be given to infants under six months.) What did breastmilk look like? How did the mother get breastmilk in the bottle? Did you ever watch a mother or father prepare formula? What procedures are done to bottlefeed an infant versus breastfeeding an infant?
    • Breastfeeding:
      • Mother should wash hands before feeding as a finger may need to be used to break the baby's grasp on the breast.
      • Put baby to breast and feed.
    • Bottlefeeding:
      • Mix powder with boiled water poured from can
      • Use prepackaged plastic inserts for bottles or
        Use sterilized bottles for young infant. Boil bottles, nipples for 10 minutes.
      • Heat to correct temperature.
      • Hold baby with head above his/her stomach.
      • Refrigerate any mixed formula as germs will grow at room temperature.
  • Which method is most convenient? least expensive? most nutritious? What conclusions might you draw regarding breastfeeding versus bottlefeeding?

    Nutrient Human Milk Whole Cow's Milk Infant Formula
    % of Calories from Protein 6 21 9
    % of Calories from Fat 56 50 50
    % of Calories as Carbohydrates 38 29 41
    Sodium (mg/liter) 161 506 230
  • Using the comparison of Human Milk, Cow's Milk and Infant Formula provided, calculate:

    a. If there are ___ g. of protein in 1 cup of cow's milk, how many grams of protein are in the same amount of human milk? infant formula?

    b. If there are ___ g. of fat in 1 cup of cow's milk, how many grams of fat are in human milk? infant formula?

    c. If there are ___ g. of carbohydrates in 1 cup of cow's milk, how many grams of carbohydrates are there in human milk? infant formula?

    d. There is 161 mg/liter of sodium in human milk. What percentage does cow's milk have? infant formula?

    e. Normally lower fat foods are desirable for humans. Why would human milk be more desirable for infants?

    f. Whole cow's milk is much higher in protein than formula or human milk. Why is that undesirable?


Have students go to the library and use the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Have them look up breastfeeding and find an article to read. They should do a summary paragraph using the following format and include:

  • Name of magazine
  • Author
  • Date
  • Title of Article
  • Introduction
  • 5-6 sentences summarizing article
  • Conclusion