During MIBFN and Local Breastfeeding Supporters Meetings, topics have been identified that need additional care and effort than can happen during the 1-hour, monthly meetings. As such, working groups are formed so the work can continue between meetings and be reported back to the full local breastfeeding supporters group. Currently, there are two working groups – Breastfeeding in Emergencies and Breastfeeding & Mental Health. See below for more information.
Breastfeeding in Emergencies Working Group
Background: Human milk saves lives, especially during emergencies. However, care providers do not see the necessity of breastfeeding during COVID-19 while at the same time services have been diminished during the pandemic with diverted resources and lack of information and/or misinformation for birthing and chest/breastfeeding families. The overall lack of systemic support for chest/breastfeeding coupled with the lack of a coordinated response and research at the beginning of the pandemic delayed guidance for lactating families, especially in marginalized communities, and continues with the release of the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 has taught us a lot, but what it has mostly done is reminded us that our world is constantly changing, many communities have been in “crisis-mode” for decades, even centuries, and, if we ever want to get in front of these “emergencies” to a true state of public health, there are two things we can all do: (1) Protect breastfeeding, and (2) Listen, trust, and invest in Black and Indigenous families
Charge of this group: Establishing and advocating for emergency preparedness that centers Black and Indigenous breastfeeding families so that they remain a priority in the face of any and all emergency situations.
- Bonita Agee
- Kaitlyn Bowen
- Gi’Anna Cheairs
- Jennifer Day
- Mistel de Varona
- Caty Jolley
- Shonte’ Terhune-Smith
- Rickeshia Wiliams
- Vicki Wood
- Shannon McKenney Shubert
Meetings: Monthly, on Tuesdays at 1 p.m.