In celebration of the triumphs and in hopes of a better future paved by the hard work and passion of countless advocates, we’re looking back on Our Milky Way stories in the workplace.
The 2015 World Breastfeeding Week theme, Breastfeeding and Work Let’s Make it Work!, inspired Alyssa Sheedlo’s, RD LDN, CLC sharing of her story about providing milk for her triplets. Her story was originally published by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). Read it here.
In a male dominated field, Alameda County Sergeant Misty Carausu blazed trails for mothers working in law enforcement. Carausu was granted an initial three thousand dollar budget to renovate an existing lactation closet at the county jail. Read that story here.
Laura Westover PA-C, CLC, a provider at Castle Rock Pediatrics, dove into helping transform her office into a Breastfeeding-Friendly Employer and ultimate Breastfeeding- Friendly Medical Office.Westover worked alongside a breastfeeding policy specialist to create their policies and lactation spaces through a six-point plan which includes policy, staff and provider training, patient education, environment, evaluation and sustainability, and continuity of care. Read the whole story here.
Learn about Zambian Investment Management and Banking Professional Musa Imakando-Mzumara’s perspective on breastfeeding and how it fits into the solution of national challenges here.
Passionate about breastfeeding support from both a personal and social standpoint, clinical researcher at the University of Colorado Dr. Bridget Young, PhD, CLC volunteered her time redesigning three lactation rooms and adding four newly designated lactation rooms at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Read about her efforts here.
We’d be honored to share your story about balancing employment and breastfeeding on Our Milky Way! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with interest.
Coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), this year’s theme, Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support, focuses on strengthening the capacity of actors at different levels of society to protect maternal child health and ultimately global health. Target audiences including governments, health systems, workplaces and communities make up the warm chain of support for breastfeeding and must be informed, educated and empowered to strengthen their capacity to provide and sustain breastfeeding-friendly environments for families in the post pandemic world. [https://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/]
The following story is an example of multi-level engagement– from community members to the Ministry of Health– working toward the shared goal of ensuring food security and reducing inequalities.
There’s a sliver on the globe, a place called Timor Leste, one of the newest countries in the world. It gained independence from Indonesia in 2002.
In the spring of 2021, the small island country of about 1.3 million people endured major flooding, killing 44 people and affecting over 30,000 households. [More figures about this tragedy can be found in the OCHA situation report here.]
Prior to the flooding, families in Timor Leste were already challenged by extreme child malnutrition. One in 24 children under five years old will not survive to celebrate their fifth birthday. [UNICEF 2018]
Nearly 2,000 people were displaced during the flooding, seeking safety at evacuation centers and camps. As is often the case during emergencies, those in Timor Leste dealt with the subsequent flooding of infant formula, baby cereals and feeding material donations. Artificial feeding methods can be dangerous especially during emergency situations and undermine breastfeeding.
Dr. Magdalena Whoolery reported inStrategies for Infant and Young Child Feeding in Climate-Related Emergencies that the Indonesian Bank donated 180 kgs of infant formula during this emergency. The conditions in the camps are dire, she said. The situation did not welcome a safe environment for artificial feeding. Dr. Whoolery went on to show photos of children eating artificial milk powder from packages.
In an effort to properly serve those facing disasters and emergencies, Whoolery and her colleagues developed the first “Nurturing Care Centers of Excellence (NCCE) for Emergencies and Beyond”, a cost-effective and innovative package of care for rapid integration of MCH-IYCF recommended practices. The centers were developed based on WHO’s five components of nurturing care.
Whoolery proudly reported that over 1,000 families were supported through NCCE; 571 children under 5 and over 600 lactating and pregnant women.
The initiative included strategies like emphasizing the importance of skin-to-skin. While skin-to-skin is often overlooked during emergencies, it helps mothers continue producing milk, offers calming effects to both mother and child and limits child trafficking because there is zero separation of the dyad.
The program offers instruction on relactation and bottle amnesty where caregivers are made aware of the risks of bottle feeding and offered cups in exchange for their bottles.
NCCE places an emphasis on cooking traditional foods to uphold a sustainable food system.
Community members are also trained to manage and intercept artificial baby milk and other ultra-processed food product donations.
Whoolery offers a higher understanding of these numbers and successes. Behind the statistics are children, she reminded us. Juxtaposed photos– the first of a 2 year old depicted with his arm measurement in the red (a danger sign for risk of death) and the next of him thriving, held by his smiling mother after she was able to feed him her expressed milk– demonstrate the power of human milk and the importance of supporting efforts like those of Whoolery and her colleagues.
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