News from OBA

The US Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is holding its National Breastfeeding Conference and Convening virtually this year, June 9-11, 2021. This is always a great learning experience and a chance to add to our state coalition resources to further breastfeeding support in Ohio.

OBA is sponsoring scholarships to attend the NBCC in two categories, for general OBA members who may have financial need, and for Sponsored Attendees who meet USBC’s requirements (see below). 

General OBA Members: Scholarships for general OBA members are an award for half of conference registration fee only.  The member organization rate for 2021 is $250, OBA will pay $125.  There is an additional fee of $50 for CE credit, if desired. Criteria considered for the award will include need, community impact, leadership in your field, coalition involvement, among other factors. Need will be given the highest consideration. If you are interested in this opportunity, please use this form to apply and send it to info@ohiobreastfeedingalliance.org, with the subject “Conference Sponsorship.” Successful candidates will be informed of their selection by May 15, 2021. All applications will be acknowledged.

Sponsored Attendees: For each conference, USBC asks state coalitions like OBA to sponsor attendees who are emerging leaders on breastfeeding in their communities, and who represent a traditionally marginalized and/or under-represented racial/ethnic group in their communities. OBA is now seeking those interested in being Sponsored Attendees who can bring new knowledge and resources back to their communities as well as to our state coalition and its work in Ohio.

If you are working on behalf of your community’s families to support breastfeeding, and also are willing to contribute to the work of the state coalition in furthering breastfeeding advocacy and support in Ohio, and you are a part of an underserved or marginalized community, please contact us! We would love to know if you could be one of our Sponsored Attendees.

OBA will be selecting 1-2 Sponsored Attendees to attend the virtual USBC NBCC on behalf of OBA and their community. You must be able to attend the sessions presented from 12-5 pm each day during the conference, participate fully, and bring a record and sharing of your learning and experiences back to the OBA community as well as to your local community. OBA will be asking you to share a presentation of your experiences to our membership. OBA will cover the cost of registration, however the cost of CERPs (if desired) will be your responsibility. If you are interested in this opportunity, please use this form to apply and send it to info@ohiobreastfeedingalliance.org, with the subject “Conference Sponsorship.”

OBA reserves the right to not select any candidates to be sponsored attendees due to the restrictions placed on the role by USBC. Successful candidates will be informed of their selection by May 15, 2021. All applications will be acknowledged.

Please share this information widely and with anyone you feel may be interested in participating!

The Ohio Workplace Plus program provides information and support for workplace lactation programs through a toolkit with components for both employers and employees, as well as breastfeeding advocates. OBA is also available to offer support and information for your support of breastfeeding and lactation facilities in your workplace; contact us at info@ohiobreastfeedingalliance.org.

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.

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.