Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)

Breastfeeding Exclusive Summer 2020 - ENRICH Carolinas Update

Pivoting Amid the Pandemic

ENRICH Carolinas visual identityThe ENRICH Carolinas project helps birthing facilities and their communities implement practices that support and enable breastfeeding families to achieve their goals. We have several different groups of enrolled facilities that are included in what we call our ENRICH Carolinas community. We began working with our first cohort of facilities in 2018 – this “pilot” cohort helped us secure additional funding to cover 3 additional cohorts between 2019 and 2023. Cohort I had just begun to get their feet wet when COVID-19 hit, and we are adapting our support, detailed here. Cohort II is currently forming and we’ll continue to add more teams to Cohort II throughout 2020. Information on joining ENRICH can be found online, including a recent short info webinar for interested birthing facilities in North or South Carolina. Thanks for any referrals you can make about this exciting opportunity.

Shannon Cohen

Amid this pandemic, we are seeing an ever-increasing number of deaths all around us, and both North and South Carolina are suffering with ever-increasing caseloads of confirmed cases. We recognize that the weight of the pandemic, along with the realities of racial inequities, health disparities and racialized trauma, of being distanced from loved ones, of having kids at home rather than school or camp, and all the other stresses we are carrying on our shoulders as we show up for work is very heavy, and the heaviness manifests in different ways for each of us. Because we want to honor the specific fatigue, be that emotional, physical, mental or spiritual, of the hospital teams we work with, we’ve teamed up with author and speaker, Shannon Cohen, to implement Care Circles. As Chief Emotional Intelligence Officer for the ENRICH Project, Shannon is facilitating two collective wisdom/care circles for our group which provide a space for psychological safety to advance emotional well-being. We are so happy for Shannon’s leadership in this area and invite you to discover her unique voice via her book, podcast and website.

We have successfully shifted our coaching model to an all-virtual format while travel restrictions are underway. Virtual coach visits include a multi-phased approach that is spread out over time. ENRICH coaches guide birthing facility teams through the newly-created resources for each phase as they are ready for the content. All ­­­­teams also have access to a new video tutorial library for short trainings on specific topics.  Further, as mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter, facilities are able to refer the prenatal offices in their communities to the Ready Set Baby Live online classes provided by CGBI. All expectant individuals are welcome to join, and families/support persons are encouraged to participate, as well. These free virtual breastfeeding education classes are a great way for families to interact and ask questions of lactation professionals.

Step 3 of the 10 Steps to Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care. Click to view all 10!

The ENRICH project team has developed some exciting new resources for Early Care and Education (ECE) professionals. Despite being cited as essential workers throughout the pandemic, resources tailored to support lactating ECE professionals have not been readily available. We identified a need for guidance adaptations due to the differences in healthcare vs. child care work environments. Given that recommendations around expressing/storing milk at work, in light of COVID-19, were only established for health care settings, we sought to provide child care industry specific infographics, keeping in mind ECE professionals should receive equal considerations in their frontline work. Our other setting-specific COVID-19 resources include L.I.F.E.TM 10 Steps to Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care: COVID-19 Considerations (view Canva slides here and summary table here).

As a result of substantial changes in the face of COVID-19 we have been afforded the opportunity to focus more intentionally on the connection of the ENRICH project focus areas: prenatal, birthing facilities, and child care. There has been a long-standing need to provide education about the child care industry and infrastructure to facilitate comprehensive continuity of care for families. ENRICH aims to address this through the development of resources for the health care setting, primarily geared towards the prenatal period. The first of these resources is an informational card outlining parent basics for navigating the child care industry. Stay tuned for the release of new materials and announcements of virtual L.I.F.E.TM trainings for ECE professionals.

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