Lactation care and breastfeeding support are always essential, but perhaps even more so during crises like the one we’re facing today, dazed by social isolation.
Like many states responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP) is required to comply with Massachusetts Governor Baker’s emergency order and stop in-person operations. Healthy Children Project, Inc. has also been required to halt in-person operations, including the Lactation Counselor Training Courses (LCTC) for the time being. ALPP is continuing to process Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) recertification requests remotely.
Despite the current situation, the spirit of CLCs shines. In the CLC Facebook Group, lactation care providers are engaging in conversations about telemedicine, HIPAA compliance, and protective equipment and how to best serve families amidst the unknown.
ALPP Executive Director Ellie MacGregor, MPH, CLC mentions that there are other important exchanges happening in ALPP’s Community of Practice portal like current research and practice recommendations.
“We’re doing our best to share all of the evidence-based information although it’s changing every day,” MacGregor says.
Healthy Children Project’s Cindy Turner-Maffei, MA, ALC, IBCLC has compiled resources for maternal child health care providers to reference when helping their clients navigate life during a pandemic.
General Statements and Resources
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s (ABM) Statement and Resources to Address Coronavirus Disease including Free Access to Coronavirus research from Mary Ann Liebert.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Interim Considerations for Infection Prevention and Control of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Inpatient Obstetric Healthcare Settings
- Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)’s Milk Banking and Covid-19 which covers quality and safety, Covid-19 and genetically similar viruses, heat inactivation of viruses, transmission and screening, and breastfeeding safety.
- World Health Organization’s (WHO) FAQs about Covid and pregnancy and lactation
- Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) member Sahira Long’s, MD, FAAP piece Can I breastfeed if I have Covid-19?
For formula-feeding families
For expectant parents
- Ready Set Baby curriculum produced by The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT-DPH) in partnership with the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)
For personal sanity
- The meditation app, Ten Percent Happier, has made a set of meditations entitled “Coronavirus Sanity Guide” available to the general public. In addition, they are making their full app available at no charge to healthcare workers who are responding to the virus outbreak. They invite health workers to email them for instructions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Yale’s Dr. Laurie Santos will host a Coursera Live Q&A event featuring ways to cope and process our emotions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Going forward, the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) and MomsRising are inviting health care providers, pregnant and breastfeeding families, and all public health stakeholders to share how the pandemic is impacting the infant feeding experience. MomsRising points out that with the situation constantly evolving, personal experiences can make an impact on decision-making and help elected leaders understand how to best meet the needs of families.