News from OBA

Breastfeeding Advocacy and Support in the time of COVID-19 looks a little different, but still continues. We  continue to work on projects and to be a point of contact for families and professionals seeking support for breastfeeding. Many lactation support professionals have had to adapt their strategies for the ‘stay at home’ conditions in Ohio, alongside many new and changed policies in healthcare settings. One good resource for current information about COVID-19 and breastfeeding is at the US Breastfeeding Committee website for COVID-19 resources.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine released this statement on the COVID-19 vaccine for lactating persons: https://www.bfmed.org/abm-statement-considerations-for-covid-19-vaccination-in-lactation. A chief statement is that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is not contraindicated for breastfeeding individuals, nor should breastfeeding be discontinued if the vaccine is received. “Although there is currently no clinical data on use of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in lactation, the United States Food and Drug Administration EUA left open the possibility of administering the vaccine to both pregnant and lactating individuals.”

Working families trying to balance breastfeeding and employment may find this new information resource, titled “Rights of the Breastfeeding Worker in the Context of COVID-19,” useful to be informed about your rights as an employee during the pandemic.

Appalachian Breastfeeding Network announces its 2021 Webinar Series: https://www.appalachianbreastfeedingnetwork.org/webinars.html, which are free to ABN members.

OBA held a virtual General Meeting for Members on December 8th, 2020. Our 2020 Annual Report and discussion notes from the meeting will be shared soon. Here’s a short summary of 2019 work by OBA, submitted by our Leadership Board Chair, Jennifer Foster.

If you are interested in representing your region or state-wide breastfeeding organization on our Leadership Board, or in serving on an OBA working committee, please contact us at info@ohiobreastfeedingalliance.org.

Check our Facebook page for breastfeeding news and OBA updates!

OBA has partnered with Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association to launch a program that recognizes child care centers and businesses that are breastfeeding friendly in their practices and policies. Child care businesses can earn a tiered rating that shows their knowledge of and support for breastfeeding in their care setting. The ODH Breastfeeding/Child Care webpage is the place to find more information about the recognition program.

OBA has produced a resource kit and two short videos supporting education about breastfeeding in public in Ohio. We encourage you to watch the videos and share the toolkit with others who may be interested in them.

The Ohio Early Childhood Health Network, through their partners, Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Hospital Association, is continuing support of a program to encourage hospitals to support breastfeeding. Ohio First Steps rewards hospitals for progress on guidelines created to support breastfeeding by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. You can get more information and contact the program directors through this website. OBA is looking forward to supporting hospitals interested in pursuing this initiative.

Is your healthcare facility interested in promoting and protecting breastfeeding? Here’s an important first step: Support the WHO Code for Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes by removing advertising and marketing about infant formula from your healthcare setting. Visit BanTheBags.org for detailed information about why and how removing free formula samples and advertising supports breastfeeding. You can also visit our Resources page for Healthcare Providers to find more links to great information on supporting breastfeeding in your clinical setting.