Supporting Clients With Physical Disabilities


People with disabilities are experienced at adapting to a world that is largely designed without considering their unique needs. Breastfeeding and chestfeeding parents are no different. As new parents, those with disabilities capably develop strategies to meet their breastfeeding goals. 

As lactation providers, it is our obligation to familiarize ourselves with the unique needs of parents with disabilities. However, many of us did not receive training in providing this support, as there is very little research examining the strategies and techniques that best serve lactating parents with physical disabilities.

Tiahna Warkentin, an MD candidate (2020) at the University of Toronto, wants to change that fact. At the 2019 ILCA annual conference, Warkentin presented the results of a study she and her colleagues undertook to examine the breastfeeding experiences of parents with physical disabilities. Warkentin’s study (a summary of which was recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology) offers fresh insight.

Based on her research, here are the important take-aways and action steps you can use to better support a client with a physical disability.

Tailor your help. The experiences of people with physical disabilities vary widely. A disability can be visible or invisible, short- or long-term, intermittent or ongoing. Common issues include pain, weakness, and problems with mobility or flexibility. Because of this diversity, the first key is understanding your specific client as completely as possible. Think through the client’s strengths and challenges and determine how they might affect breastfeeding. Listen carefully, think creatively, and be willing to experiment, reevaluate, and try something new.

Realize it is a demanding combination. A physical disability can make the regular exhaustion of new parenthood and chestfeeding or breastfeeding extreme. One mother in Warkentin’s study, who needed to feed her baby with an SNS and then pump at each feeding, eloquently described the exhaustion she experienced while repeating this routine throughout the day. “I’m sure many of us can appreciate how demanding of a process this is and how much an additional burden [a physical disability] can add,” Warkentin says. Acknowledging the enormity of the task undertaken by a client with a physical disability can help you provide empathetic and appropriate care and advice.

Common challenges can be harder. Of course, parents with physical disabilities are not exempt from “regular” lactation hurdles, but a physical disability can make these issues more challenging. For example, unlatching, repositioning, and re-attaching baby repeatedly to get a better latch may cause exhaustion or a worsening of chronic pain. “[There can often be] an additional physical burden related to latching on top of the physical challenges related to experiencing a physical disability,” Warkentin says. When your client experiences a common breastfeeding problem, understanding and anticipating these layered challenges can help you offer better support.

Positioning: Experiment and modify. Many study participants found they needed to modify traditional positions before they were successful. For example, one parent whose disability involved right-sided weakness found she needed to use her left hand to support her right hand when using a cross-cradle hold. Once she made that modification, the position worked. Another found that the football hold worked wonderfully on one side but not at all on the other, due to her specific disability, so she added it to her toolbox, but only for one side. This is where you can help—by understanding your client’s specific strengths and challenges, and helping them experiment with a wide variety of positions, you can help them find the ones that are most effective. [An important note on positioning: All of those in the study who tried breastfeeding lying down found it useful and many commented that it helped tremendously for relaxation, rest, and easy latching. It is definitely worth helping your client explore reclining positions that may work for them.]

Look critically at tools and accessories. Similarly, traditional breastfeeding aids such as pillows may need extra thought. All of the study participants said they used pillows to help position baby, but some found commercial breastfeeding pillows unhelpful. Participants whose disability involved short stature, for example, found that commercial pillows lifted their baby too far up. They found a thinner bed pillow or a blanket was a better choice. “This is a very good example of how breastfeeding accessories may not be designed for this population and may require modification depending on the mother’s unique needs,” says Warkentin.

Consider an extra set of hands. Especially at first, many of the participants in Warkentin’s study found having another person physically assist them with breastfeeding was very helpful. Partners and support personnel were the most common helpers, and assistance usually involved physically positioning the baby. Some parents needed this help long-term, while others were able to transition to breastfeeding independently once their babies got older. Suggesting that your client utilize help from another person in the beginning, with the goal of reevaluating and setting new goals as time goes on, is a good strategy.

Breastfeeding in a wheelchair. When a client uses a wheelchair, it’s important to help them figure out how the wheelchair fits into their breastfeeding strategy—and this may change over time. “Experiences with breastfeeding in a wheelchair were highly individualized,” Warkentin says. Challenges included moving from bed to wheelchair during the night to breastfeed and positioning the baby within the space limits of the wheelchair as the baby grew. “Overall, women reported challenges nursing in a wheelchair that developed over time,” Warkentin explains. “As a provider, it may be important to follow up with clients who attempt breastfeeding in a wheelchair, to be able to identify these barriers and challenges early and make recommendations and offer support.”

Ongoing support is key. In fact, this last piece of advice applies to any time a client has a physical disability: Make sure your helping relationship lasts over time. Checking back in, reevaluating to make sure previous strategies are still working, and being alert for when a new challenge may crop up are important for all clients, but take on even more significance for clients with physical disabilities. “It’s so important for us to realize that healthcare providers have an important role to play in supporting these women in meeting their goals and doing what we can to listen and respond to the unique needs and experiences of these women,” Warkentin says.

Note: While the research was conducted and written up well before the current COVID-19 pandemic, we want to acknowledge that the pandemic and restrictions in much of the world present special challenges for individuals with disabilities. Some may be at higher risk for health complications from contracting COVID-19, and need to be especially cautious about isolation. The need to minimize or eliminate outside contacts can affect the availability of the physical, hands-on support many parents find helpful. It may also affect their ability to seek in-person lactation support. We encourage all lactation supporters to be especially proactive and creative in their support for individuals with disabilities who are breastfeeding or chestfeeding during this time.

Ready to learn more? ILCA members can access this webinar for free right here! Not a member yet? Learn more about accessing ILCA continuing education here.

At the time of the webinar, Warkentin’s article was not yet published. It is now available here:

Citation: Tiahna Warkentin, T; Hermann, S.; Watson, J.; Berndl, A. (2019). Breastfeeding strategies used by women with physical disabilities. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 220 (1), S209. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2018.11.318

Link to full text: https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(18)31340-1/fulltext#secsectitle0015

0

Working It Out: Combining Lactation and Employment

Breastfeeding and chestfeeding parents who are part of the workforce face unique challenges. If you are one of them, you have made an excellent choice for yourself and your baby! Below, experienced International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLCs®) provide their best advice for combining lactation and employment. 

For many of us, how and where we work, and how safe we feel at work, are changing rapidly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the advice below applies regardless of when and how you are returning to work, and we have also included tips that are more specific to this point in time.

Be Mentally Prepared. Lactation and employment can absolutely be combined, and parents the world over do it successfully every day. However, it’s important to prepare yourself for the reality that working while breastfeeding is a demanding role. “Congratulations on your decision to provide your milk to your baby while you go back to work!” says Betsy Hoffmeister, IBCLC. “Working and breastfeeding/chestfeeding parents really have two jobs, which can be particularly exhausting.” Give yourself credit for how hard you are working. Reduce other stresses in any way you can. Do not be afraid to ask for help, and be willing to let other priorities go for a time.

Know Your Rights. Depending on where you live, laws may safeguard and facilitate your choice to pump at work. “Some countries provide protections for working parents,” Tori LaChapelle Sproat, IBCLC, points out. “That is worth looking up.” In the United States, for example, an employer with more than 50 employees legally must provide a private, non-bathroom space with a refrigerator and a sink for pumping parents. Lactating parents in the Philippines are entitled by law to a minimum of 40 minutes to pump or nurse per eight-hour work period, and employers are mandated to provide an appropriate lactation station. Other countries, like Greece, have laws against requiring nursing parents to work overnight until their baby is 12 months old.

Inform Your Employer. When you know you will be pumping at work, the time to get everyone on the same page is before your baby arrives. “Talking to your employer prenatally is essential,” advises Tori LaChapelle Sproat, IBCLC. “I’ve found in working with parents in a variety of fields, from military to office to restaurants, that having this conversation while pregnant helps a lot.” What should you plan to discuss? Present a proposed pumping schedule and plan to talk about how it will fit into the demands of your particular job. “The strategies that work for one type of job might not be the ones that work in another industry,” notes Cathy Carothers, IBCLC. If you live in the United States, the Office on Women’s Health website offers tips on how to make it work in your particular job setting. As you return to work at a time of heightened risk and concern, it is especially important to discuss this with your employer. Certain work settings (for example, health care workers who must stay in layers of personal protective equipment throughout their shift) make it more challenging to pump, and you may want this taken into consideration as your supervisor(s) decide how to assign you. 

Stay Safe. As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have concerns about how this may affect expressing milk for your baby. Fortunately, research so far shows that COVID-19 is not transmitted via human milk – although antibodies are, which likely provide babies with protection. When pumping at work, as always use good hygiene practices by washing your hands, handling pump parts carefully, and cleaning parts thoroughly.

Make the Case. Another good move during your meeting with your employer: Present the “good business” case for breastfeeding. Let your boss know that your choice to provide your milk for your baby will also benefit them! “The Business Case for Breastfeeding is an absolutely brilliant website you can share with your employer explaining how much money they will save by supporting you in pumping for your baby,” Hoffmeister says. 

Gather Knowledge. What is the best pump for your situation? How many times during a workday should you express your milk? How much milk should you leave each day for your baby? Parents who pump will need to answer these questions, and more. Learning as much as you can before your baby comes is key. Two great ways:  Attending a local and/or online parent-to-parent support group meeting prenatally, and scheduling a prenatal IBCLC consult. “Find a lactation consultant and talk about pumping logistics for while you are at work, hands-on pumping, when to start collecting milk after having your baby, and be sure you are properly fitted for a pump,” LaChapelle Sproat offers. 

Be Flexible. Many people who did not expect to be working from home are now doing so for an indefinite period of time. If you are working from home, and your baby is also home with you, you may not be sure how you want to manage feeding and pumping. Does it make sense to pump if your baby is just in the next room? Sometimes it might – if there are times you can’t be interrupted, it may be easier to pump beforehand and leave a bottle for whenever your baby needs it. At more flexible times, it may be easier to skip all the steps of pumping plus cleaning parts and bottles and just nurse your baby. Keep in mind that babies who no longer receive a bottle can lose interest in it. If you would like to keep your baby used to bottles – especially if you anticipate work-from-home ending at some point soon – it’s a good idea to give a few bottles a week.

Know Your Magic Number. Paying attention to how many times you breastfeed or pump during your parental leave (if you have one) gives you a good baseline when choosing how many times to pump at work. If you drop below your “Magic Number,” you may have difficulties keeping your milk supply going strong. “Keep an eye on how many milk removals (breastfeeds plus pumps) you do in a day,” says Nancy Morbacher, IBCLC. “Keeping that ‘Magic Number’ steady after you go back to work should prevent a dip in milk production.”

Educate Your Caregiver. Lastly, make sure the person who will care for your baby while you are working understands the nuances of feeding a breastfed baby. They will need to know proper handling techniques for human milk and be familiar with how to give your baby a bottle in an appropriate way. “Paced bottle feeding” is a good technique to know. “Avoid over-feeding when using a bottle, so that the parent can keep up with the baby’s needs when separated,” advises Laura Spitzfaden, IBCLC. 

An IBCLC can reassure you when breastfeeding and lactation are going well, and provide information and support to help prevent and manage common concerns. Learn more and find an IBCLC in your community here.

Find an IBCLC to help with your questions about lactation and employment or your other breastfeeding questions.

An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) is a healthcare professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. 

An IBCLC can reassure you when breastfeeding and lactation are going well, and provide information and support to help prevent and manage common concerns. Learn more and find an IBCLC in your community here.

0

Honoring Black Breastfeeding Week 2020: Health Equity and Access


Please join ILCA in celebrating Black Breastfeeding Week! Traditionally held in the last week of August, Black Breastfeeding Week was initially created to address racial disparities in breastfeeding. This year’s theme – Revive, Restore, Reclaim – is being celebrated virtually this year due to COVID-19. 

A lack of access to culturally matched skilled lactation providers is one of the barriers that Black families face while working towards their breastfeeding and chestfeeding goals. In a recent address to more than 1500 participants around the globe, ILCA’s immediate past president, Mudiwah Kadeshe, shared the impacts of inequities in breastfeeding and a model for creating change.

Watch her presentation here:

Here is a transcript of her presentation:

Breastfeeding is a public health imperative. You cannot separate it from health equity.

As France [Begin, Senior Advisor, Early Childhood Nutrition at UNICEF] shared with us earlier, we know the cost of not breastfeeding is enormous.

And yet, we also know that while most mothers around the globe start breastfeeding, those who are economically or socially vulnerable are most likely to struggle with breastfeeding.

In high resource countries, low income families and those with less education are less likely to breastfeed than their high income counterparts.

And even where breastfeeding is more prevalent, in low- and middle-income countries, still less than 40 percent of infants under six months are exclusively breastfed.

Inequities in breastfeeding occur not just around income and education, but around other identities, including race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability.

Inequities in lactation result because of the systems that perpetuate barriers to access in health care, including skilled breastfeeding care.

In both my global work with ILCA and locally with the Washington DC Breastfeeding Coalition, I have seen that addressing these barriers is possible. But it will take all of us.

How can we deliver skilled breastfeeding support both locally and around the globe? I know that International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, or IBCLCs, play an essential role, because the clinical skills these providers bring are particularly helpful in special circumstances, like small or sick newborns.

IBCLCs are just one of the many kinds of providers that can and do work together to ensure support for those critical first 1,000 days of life. I want to share with you one model of bringing together different providers of skilled breastfeeding care for addressing barriers – my work as a part of the DC Breastfeeding Coalition.

Our model has three essential components: knowledge, partnerships, and funding.

Equity starts with knowledge of the community’s needs. Washington DC is truly a tale of two cities. On either side of the river, you see very different communities, each with very different breastfeeding outcomes.

Working closely with the community, The DC Breastfeeding Coalition saw that one reason for those disparities was a lack of access to skilled breastfeeding support. Together, we established the East of the River Lactation Support Center to break down that barrier.

At our Center, we wrap care around the mother, from before birth until weaning. We ensure that the mother and child receive consistent care from trained, integrated, and collaborative teams of skilled breastfeeding care providers.

Breastfeeding education begins during pregnancy, provided by a community based peer educator. Peer educators continue to provide care at the hospital and after birth, and are full members of the health care team. As peers from the community, they are skilled at teaching breastfeeding, and they are experts in the culture of the families they serve.

Lactation care continues in the clinic. Routine questions are answered by a peer educator or Certified Lactation Counselor, who supports the normal course of breastfeeding.

More complex issues are referred to an IBCLC or a breastfeeding medicine specialist. Throughout care, this team works together.

Partnerships are critical to our success. Our peer educators go where the breastfeeding mothers are, including into the local public schools, providing support to breastfeeding students in the classroom. 

Our team also provides care to one of the most marginalized populations, the deaf community, through our breastfeeding support for the students and employees of Gallaudet University.

We work with employers, conferring awards to those who create a supportive environment for their breastfeeding employees.

We facilitate a Lactation Certification Preparation Course for individuals from underrepresented groups to prepare them for the IBCLC exam.

Funding programs that generate positive results is critical. The Coalition is supported through grant funding. What you value is what you measure!  The DC Breastfeeding Coalition developed a custom database to collect demographic data and breastfeeding rates. 

We are in the early phases of data analysis, and know first hand that these efforts are most needed in the communities with the fewest available resources. 

And, we are also looking towards ways that, over time, our program can become self-sustaining. But we know it will take time to get there. 

In the meantime, models of skilled breastfeeding support, like the DC Breastfeeding Coalition’s efforts at East of the River, need sufficient and sustained financial support if they are to continue.

We know that breastfeeding prevents malnutrition, ensures food security, even in times of crisis, and plays a role in breaking the cycle of poverty. And, we know that skilled breastfeeding support – in all its forms – plays a critical role in improving breastfeeding outcomes.

Together, we can ensure that all families have access to the breastfeeding support they need to achieve the equitable health they deserve.


To view the entire webinar or to hear this presentation in Arabic, French, Russian, or Spanish, click here.

To learn more about Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW) celebrations, visit the BBW website here.


Mudiwah A. Kadeshe has more than 25 years of experience in women’s health nursing. Informed by her own birth experiences, she entered the profession wanting to support women in their birthing choices and became a certified childbirth educator and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to increase her ability to reach families. Mudiwah established and directed a lactation resource center at a tertiary

care medical system hospital that facilitated more than 3000 deliveries per year. She currently is a community based lactation consultant in one of the most poverty stricken wards in Washington, D.C. and oversees the peer counselor services through the Children’s National East of the River Lactation Support Center. She is currently the Vice President, Program Manager, and lead facilitator for grant-based projects for D.C. Breastfeeding Coalition.

0

Four Lessons in Optimizing Lactation and Birth Care During COVID-19 and Beyond


Interview with Catherine Sullivan

Providers worldwide are working to understand and implement changes to the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) while managing the many challenges presented by the COVID-19.

At the #ILCA2020 Virtual Conference, Catherine Sullivan, Director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (GGBI) and an assistant professor in the Department of Maternal Child Health at the Gillings School of Public Health in the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in the United States, will share strategies and lessons learned from her extensive experience with the BFHI designation process. CGBI was a participant in the CDC EMPower Breastfeeding and EMPower Training Initiatives, and is now leading ENRICH Carolinas, coaching hospitals in the US states of North and South Carolina towards Baby-Friendly designation. Through their work, they have coached over 200 hospitals through the BFHI process and Step 2 implementation. 

Sullivan shared with Lactation Matters some of the lessons she and CGBI have learned, and how you can use them in transforming your hospital’s lactation support – whether towards eventual Baby-Friendly designation, or simply to “baby-friendlier” practices.

Lesson #1: An equity lens ensures that all families benefit.

We really try to use an equity lens in rolling out any programmatic activity. 

The old model was an “equality” mentality. “If we apply these ten steps across the board to everyone, everybody will achieve designation and then we will achieve breastfeeding outcomes.” But that is actually not what you see. If you haven’t addressed the equity piece, the result is a “raise all boats” mentality, rather than understanding what is needed on an individual basis. We have to be careful that we are addressing those issues that really get to the disparity. And the way to do that is to collect data and see if what you are doing is working. 

For example, if you’re looking at overall percentage of babies going skin-to-skin in the first hour, but not breaking it down by race/ethnicity, that may obscure disparities. So if 90% of all your patients are meeting that skin-to-skin goal, it could mean that 98% of a more privileged group of families were getting it – and the rest were not. I’m going to talk about how to incorporate data collection in a way that will allow you to really track those outcomes for equity.

I’m also going to talk about applying an equity lens to your training. If providers are withholding some of those best practices because of their beliefs and assumptions it can create a bigger disparity in who’s receiving that care. Along with prioritizing diversity within our team, all of our coaches are all trained in an understanding of racial equity and how racism impacts structures. They are providing technical assistance in all of those areas to make sure that the providers on the receiving end are understanding their own bias and how it has impacted the care that they’re providing.

Lesson #2: A holistic model that looks outside hospital walls is important.

We know that continuity is crucial for long-term breastfeeding success. One of the things we learned in EMPower is that we want to focus not just on getting the initiation in the hospital, but on duration and exclusivity. 

In ENRICH Carolinas, we cover other arms that help with those goals in Steps 3 and 10. We are working in the affiliated prenatal clinics and in childcare settings. That includes providing training to individuals in those settings, rather than just focusing on the hospital staff. Connecting hospitals to their community resources is essential. Hospitals are stewards of the community, and this is part of that role.

Lesson #3: The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to keep the momentum going.

It’s a question people are asking right now: how do you keep the momentum going when priorities have shifted. It’s important to remember that even if the facility isn’t consciously focusing on Baby-Friendly designation right now, they are thinking a lot about best practices. We’re finding the facilities we’re coaching are asking for more visits right now, not fewer. They’re coming up for air right now and refocusing.

Safety is a key part of those competencies, and it’s a question that comes up regularly with facilities. How are we continuously monitoring families that are rooming in and doing skin to skin and that kind of thing? COVID-19 is a good opportunity to discuss safety guidelines and tie them into the conflicting information facilities have received from different agencies and organizations. 

To tie into that focus on best practices and on safety, as part of our EMPower project for CDC, we created 5-hour competency-based training for staff, including an electronic version of our competency-based training tools. We have those up on our website, and anyone can see them and play around with them. I’ll be sharing the results of our outcomes in EMPower, and how we’re rolling those lessons into ENRICH.

There are many opportunities to tie our work into current priorities.Throughout ENRICH, in every area, we’re also applying lessons learned around COVID that also are applicable for any emergency situation – Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist at CGBI has done a lot of work around infant feeding in emergencies. We also took our prenatal education live online for participating hospitals. So I’ll be talking about a number of the pivots you have to make at a time like this, and how they can become opportunities.

Lesson #4: A quality improvement mindset will help facilities worldwide as they adjust to Baby-Friendly’s revised guidelines.

Globally, BFHI is everywhere. Anyone could flip our lessons learned and replicate our model. We’ll be discussing how to roll out the interim guidance and using examples from domestic work that can be applied at the global level. When a hospital is thinking about how to achieve this, they particularly need to think about measurement and sustainability. In terms of measurement, how will they measure that they’re successful? How will they audit records? In their area, if there’s a group that’s less advantaged, how is that playing out and how do they monitor for disparities?

In terms of sustainability, quality improvement (QI) will now be incorporated into Step 1. Continuous QI for the Ten Steps is not something every country has introduced, but that is how you maintain your designation and practices once you’ve achieved them. The difference is a change toward not just focusing on designation. Any facility can focus on improvement, whether you achieve designation or not. We created a number of data markers for facilities to collect and follow that will help your progress in that QI journey.


To learn more about EMPower Training, visit: https://sph.unc.edu/cgbi/empower/

Catherine Sullivan is the Director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute and an assistant professor in the Department of Maternal Child Health at the Gillings School of Public Health in the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in the United States. In 2017, the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) in the United States engaged Sullivan and her colleagues to create a competency-based training tool for BFHI. At the conference, Sullivan will share her experience creating the tool, discuss racial equity issues, and share how her work can be applied internationally. 

Learn more about the #ILCA2020 virtual conference.

0

World Breastfeeding Week 2020 – Take Action: Societal Support for Breastfeeding and Chestfeeding


How can YOU support action steps to support breastfeeding for a healthier planet?

As a part of World Breastfeeding Week, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has identified six action areas for creating change. We are sharing the last action area – societal support – today. 

Just learning about this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebrations? Get an overview here. Read the other posts in this series here, here, here, here, and here.


Day six action area: Societal support

Breastfeeding women and chestfeeding parents have the right to be supported by society to achieve their lactation goals. They can benefit from many different kinds of support depending on their sociocultural context. Support can come from their families, communities, health systems and workplaces. Skilled breastfeeding counselling is a type of support delivered directly to women and other lactating parents and their infants by health workers and counsellors trained specifically to help them, including International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). When breastfeeding counselling is available and accessible to women/parents, the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding is increased.

What you can do*

  • Advocate for increased financing, monitoring and implementation of better policies and interventions to provide families the support for breastfeeding that they need, especially breastfeeding counselling.
  • Inform communities about the impact of formula feeding on the environment using a variety of communication techniques and influencers.
  • Sensitise journalists and the media to stimulate public debate on the links between breastfeeding and the environment/ climate change.
  • Allocate resources for additional research on the climate/ environmental impact of BMS.
  • Collect systematic data on the impact of different IYCF policies and programmes in emergency situations.

* How you can support these efforts depends on your role in the breastfeeding and chestfeeding community. If you are a policy maker, please consider these priorities. If you are not, please call on your local, regional, and national leaders to take action. Or consider becoming a policy leader yourself, by getting involved with your breastfeeding coalition, public health agency, or an elected office – we need your leadership at the highest possible level!


The 2020 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme is Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet. This year’s theme celebrates the impact of infant feeding on the environment/climate change and the imperative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and its people. Join International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) and WABA in observing WBW 1-7 August 2020. 

0

World Breastfeeding Week 2020 – Take Action: Building Knowledge and Skills at All Levels


Breastfeeding mothers and chestfeeding parents encounter a wide variety of providers from pregnancy through weaning. The importance of ensuring that those providers – from peer educators to IBCLCs to nurses and physicians – have adequate training was a key point raised in yesterday’s webinar. (To learn more about the Global Breastfeeding Collective’s webinar Achieving Health Equity: Providing Skilled Breastfeeding Support Universally or watch a recording, click here.)

Today’s blog post shares practical next steps on how to support breastfeeding and chestfeeding families by supporting the next action area – building knowledge and skills at all levels.

As a part of World Breastfeeding Week, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has identified six action areas for creating change. We will share one with you for the next six days. 

Just learning about this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebrations? Get an overview here. Read the other posts in this series here, here, here, and here.


Day five action area: Building knowledge and skills at all levels

Breastfeeding and chestfeeding people deserve consistent and accurate information throughout the course of their pregnancy, lactation, and weaning. 

To help families reach their lactation goals, lay and peer supporters need basic training in breastfeeding counselling and practical skills. Health and allied professionals need breastfeeding counselling skills and additional clinical skills to manage and overcome problems. It is also essential to have expert resource people to act as academic teachers, trainers, program managers and supervisors. Their role is to ensure effective capacity building and skills development at all levels, and to maintain and update healthcare standards. The development of consistent competencies throughout different levels requires investment that has corresponding benefits and economic returns.

What you can do*

  • Invest in consistent training programmes for different levels of health professionals, lactation consultants, community health workers and lay/peer supporters.
  • Advocate for placement of appropriately-trained and skilled staff at various levels: peer supporters, health professionals, lactation consultants and resource persons.
  • Promote scaling up of existing breastfeeding training tools and programmes including online, digital and e-learning methods, as well as face-to-face clinical and other practical teaching.
  • Engage school children, students, youth and social media influencers to spread awareness of the importance of breastfeeding for planetary health.

* How you can support these efforts depends on your role in the breastfeeding and chestfeeding community. If you are a policy maker, please consider these priorities. If you are not, please call on your local, regional, and national leaders to take action. Or consider becoming a policy leader yourself, by getting involved with your breastfeeding coalition, public health agency, or an elected office – we need your leadership at the highest possible level!


The 2020 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme is Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet. This year’s theme celebrates the impact of infant feeding on the environment/climate change and the imperative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and its people. Join International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) and WABA in observing WBW 1-7 August 2020. 

0

World Breastfeeding Week 2020 – Take Action: Skilled Breastfeeding Support Is Essential


Following today’s Global Breastfeeding Collective webinar on Achieving Health Equity: Providing Skilled Breastfeeding Support Universally, we are focusing today’s World Breastfeeding Week action on the importance of access to skilled lactation care.

As a part of World Breastfeeding Week, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has identified six action areas for creating change. We will share one with you for the next six days. 

Just learning about this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebrations? Get an overview here. Read the other posts in this series here, here, and here.


Day four action area: Breastfeeding counselling is essential

Breastfeeding counselling is essential for increasing breastfeeding rates. According to the World Health Organization, all counselling can be considered support but not all support interventions involve counselling. Counselling is a process and interaction between counsellors and women/parents and is therefore not intended to be a ‘top-down’ intervention of ‘telling them what to do’. The aim of breastfeeding counselling is to empower women and other lactating parents to breastfeed or chestfeed, while respecting their personal situations and wishes. It may be offered by credentialed professionals, including International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), lay/peer counsellors, or a combination of both. Breastfeeding counselling includes listening, empathising, building confidence, giving information and suggestions and letting women/parents decide what is best for them. It also includes giving practical help and demonstrating how to position and attach a baby at the breast and manage common problems. When breastfeeding challenges are more complex, such as sick or small newborns, a provider with clinical experience, such as an IBCLC, can provide much needed support.

What you can do*

  • Advocate for all women/parents with young children to have access to skilled breastfeeding counselling from health facilities and communities.
  • Implement the revised BFHI 2018 guidelines in all health facilities including private hospitals.
  • Allocate resources for community groups to be able to provide basic breastfeeding counselling and other forms of support close to women/parents.

* How you can support these efforts depends on your role in the breastfeeding and chestfeeding community. If you are a policy maker, please consider these priorities. If you are not, please call on your local, regional, and national leaders to take action. Or consider becoming a policy leader yourself, by getting involved with your breastfeeding coalition, public health agency, or an elected office – we need your leadership at the highest possible level!


The 2020 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme is Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet. This year’s theme celebrates the impact of infant feeding on the environment/climate change and the imperative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and its people. Join International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) and WABA in observing WBW 1-7 August 2020. 

0

World Breastfeeding Week 2020 – Take Action: Leaving No One Behind

How can YOU support action steps to support breastfeeding for a healthier planet?

As a part of World Breastfeeding Week, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has identified six action areas for creating change. We will share one with you for the next six days. 

Just learning about this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebrations? Get an overview here. Read the other posts in this series here and here.

Day three action area: Leaving no one behind

Some families may be more vulnerable and require additional breastfeeding support. Vulnerable situations include emergencies, special needs or other medical conditions affecting the breastfeeding dyad. The increase in climate and environment-related disasters are a growing concern as the risks of undernutrition and child mortality are much higher than during normal times. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is another emergency that leaves families with children in an extremely vulnerable position. In every emergency, it is necessary to assess and act to protect and support the nutritional needs and care of both breastfed and nonbreastfed infants and young children. It is vital that national and international evidence-based guidelines are aligned to ensure that consistent messages reach the public.

Donations and non-targeted distributions of BMS can interfere and undermine breastfeeding. Unreliable supply chains of BMS and the unhygienic conditions that commonly prevail in emergency situations make breastfeeding the safest option. In the case of COVID-19, WHO and UNICEF recommend breastfeeding with necessary hygienic precautions. This may be revised as further evidence becomes available. The Operational Guidance on Infant Feeding in Emergencies (OG-IFE) explains the key actions to protect and support optimal IYCF in emergencies.

What you can do*

  • Invest in consistent training programmes for different levels of health professionals, lactation consultants, community health workers and lay/peer supporters.
  • Advocate for placement of appropriately-trained and skilled staff at various levels: peer supporters, health professionals, lactation consultants and resource persons.
  • Promote scaling up of existing breastfeeding training tools and programmes including online, digital and e-learning methods, as well as face-to-face clinical and other practical teaching.
  • Engage school children, students, youth and social media influencers to spread awareness of the importance of breastfeeding for planetary health.

* How you can support these efforts depends on your role in the breastfeeding and chestfeeding community. If you are a policy maker, please consider these priorities. If you are not, please call on your local, regional, and national leaders to take action. Or consider becoming a policy leader yourself, by getting involved with your breastfeeding coalition, public health agency, or an elected office – we need your leadership at the highest possible level!

The 2020 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme is Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet. This year’s theme celebrates the impact of infant feeding on the environment/climate change and the imperative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and its people. Join International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) and WABA in observing WBW 1-7 August 2020.

0

New Webinar – Achieving health equity: Providing skilled breastfeeding support universally


As part of your World Breastfeeding Week celebrations, please join us for Achieving health equity: Providing skilled breastfeeding support universally.

In this webinar sponsored by the Global Breastfeeding Collective, WHO and UNICEF, key global leaders will discuss why investment in skilled breastfeeding support is essential to achieving equitable health outcomes. The audience will hear from funders, implementing organizations and national government level leaders.

As a part of ILCA’s efforts as members of the Global Breastfeeding Collective, Mudiwah Kadeshe, immediate past president, will be speaking and Lisa Mandell, global advocacy adviser, is serving as the chair of the task group organizing this event. We hope that you can join us.

In addition, please share this information with those who can take action to invest in skilled breastfeeding support, including government leaders, health policy makers, and funders.

The webinar will be conducted in English with simultaneous interpretation in French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.

Speakers include:

Moderators:

Dr. Victor Aguayo, Associate Director, Programme Division, Chief, Nutrition Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Dr. Francesco Branca, Director, Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, World Health Organization (WHO)

Speakers:

Dr. France Begin, Senior Advisor, Early Childhood Nutrition, UNICEF

Ms. Mudiwah Kadeshe, Immediate Past President, International Lactation Consultant Association

Mrs. Juliana Abdul Razak, breastfeeding mother, Malaysia

Her Excellency Mrs. Samina Alvi, First Lady of Pakistan

Dr. Laurence Grummer-Strawn, Unit Head, Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, World Health Organization

Dr. Amy E. Pollack, Director, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Ms. Helga Fogstad, Executive Director, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Dr. Steve Wall, Senior Director, Newborn Health, Save the Children

Dr. Alma Golden, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Global Health, United States Agency for International Development

Her Excellency Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of Ghana

Date: 5 August 2020
Time: 13:00 – 14:30 UTC (9:00 New York, 15:00 Geneva, 16:00 Nairobi, 18:00 Islamabad, 22:00 Tokyo) (Click here to see the time in your location)

Free, pre-registration is required: https://bit.ly/SBSequity

3

World Breastfeeding Week 2020 – Take Action: Ongoing Support for the First 1000 Days


How can YOU support action steps to support breastfeeding for a healthier planet?

As a part of World Breastfeeding Week, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has identified six action areas for creating change. We will share one with you for the next six days. 

Just learning about this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebrations? Get an overview here. Read the other posts in this series here.


Day two action area: Ongoing support across the first 1000 days

Skilled lactation support should be organised, predictable, scheduled and ongoing to be most effective. All women/parents should be offered planned contact sessions during the antenatal and postnatal periods. Contact should be frequent in the early months, with a total of at least six contacts and support continued until the child is two years old.

What you can do*

  • Advocate for ongoing antenatal and postnatal skilled lactation support to sustain optimal breastfeeding and chestfeeding.
  • Create a warm chain of support for breastfeeding by identifying key actors and their roles in the first 1000 days and linking them to each other.
  • Engage fathers/partners and family support to share domestic responsibilities and care for the breastfeeding dyad.
  • Join a mother/parent support group and share experiences with others in the community to normalise breastfeeding.
  • Develop creative ideas for virtual and online activities to engage target audiences in #WBW2020.

* How you can support these efforts depends on your role in the breastfeeding and chestfeeding community. If you are a policy maker, please consider these priorities. If you are not, please call on your local, regional, and national leaders to take action. Or consider becoming a policy leader yourself, by getting involved with your breastfeeding coalition, public health agency, or an elected office – we need your leadership at the highest possible level!


The 2020 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme is Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet. This year’s theme celebrates the impact of infant feeding on the environment/climate change and the imperative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and its people. Join International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) and WABA in observing WBW 1-7 August 2020. 

1

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

Translate »