With all that has been happening during the current global pandemic, we offer this message of hope and goodwill to all who work or volunteer in the service of pregnant and lactating people around the world.
First, to all who are ill, caring for loved ones who are ill, or mourning the loss of one close to them due to the COVID-19 crisis, we offer our sincerest intentions for you to experience peace, healing, and encouragement during this time and beyond.
What we have seen over the past weeks as this pandemic has unfolded has been, as many others have said, absolutely unprecedented. Because of this unique disruption to everyday life as we know it, will emerge with a fundamentally changed perspective on so many things.
One thing that we have had the immense privilege to observe over this time has been the focused and dedicated efforts of all of you. Those working in the service of childbearing people and families with babies and young children have sprung into action without missing a beat. The volume and level of collaboration among individuals and organizations to get work done on behalf of those we serve has been truly inspirational. What we have always shared is an unfailing commitment to babies, their parents, and health, and together we have worked against common obstacles and shared struggles.
What we collectively face today is complex, yet also familiar. We are simply continuing our work to advocate for optimal beginnings for newborn humans and healthy practices for families. When we come together to advance the messaging about how to help families make decisions about birth, infant feeding, and parent/baby separation in the context of COVID-19, we are at our best because we have been doing this work for a long time. Our shared history of advocacy makes our voice strong, and our shared body of knowledge grants us wisdom that is critical to human survival through this pandemic.
Please know that whatever your contribution to this work, you are seen and you are appreciated. Whether you are inside a birth facility wearing a mask and PPE while providing bedside labor or lactation support, consulting with lactating parents from a computer screen, teaching prenatal childbirth or lactation education on a virtual platform, writing policy or participating in journalism about the way COVID-19 is impacting birthing and lactating people, keeping your eyes peeled for International Code violations that prey on vulnerable people during a critical time, or any other work in service of babies, their parents, and the public health – we honor you and thank you, and we are proud to work with you.
Here are some inspiring and incredible examples of how our shared focus and spirit of collaboration have already made a difference during these challenging times. We invite you to help us recognize all those making a difference and share them in the comments below:
- ABM for the timely and effective publication of resources
GOLD in quickly disseminating an accessible webinar
- GOLD in quickly disseminating an accessible webinar
- HMBANA for ensuring that information about the safety of pasteurized donor human milk has been disseminated
- IBLCE for providing professional support for the use of telehealth and curating a list of virtual continuing education opportunities
- ILCA for continually curating the resources relevant to the lactation community
- JHL for quickly publishing articles that are pertinent and relevant
- Lactworld members in making an impact on revising the CDC recommendations
- USBC for convening organizations and ideas to improve access, and for quickly creating a COVID-specific section in their weekly newsletter to share relevant news & updates
- Individual lactation care providers who have rapidly created accessible webinars and other resources for their colleagues around the topic of COVID-19