Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)

CGBI: Breastfeeding Exclusive Winter 2019 - L.I.F.E.

Announcing the Lactation and Infant Feeding in Emergencies (L.I.F.E.) Support Initiative

CGBI is excited to launch the Lactation and Infant Feeding in Emergencies (L.I.F.E.) Support Initiative. Infants are especially vulnerable during emergencies and require specialized infant feeding support during these times. Headed by Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist, the goal of the L.I.F.E. Support Initiative is to provide resources, training, and technical assistance for preparedness and response to organizations in the U.S. that deploy relief workers and volunteers during emergencies. The initiative also aims to promote health equity in disasters and emergencies through partnerships with community-based organizations seeking to remove barriers to skilled support during pregnancy, birthing, and infant feeding in emergencies. The L.I.F.E. Support initiative offers several options for training and support, that range from workshops that provide basic orientation to IYCF-E principles and guidance to advanced competency-based skills training for organizations and community groups. After Hurricane Florence in 2018, CGBI pulled together a resource bundle for use in hospitals enrolled in our ENRICH Carolinas project that were in hurricane affected areas. We plan to roll this training out within our expanded technical assistance efforts for breastfeeding friendly healthcare. This work is a natural extension of Step 10 from the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, supporting efforts post discharge through continuity of care from hospital to home and to the community. This resource is freely available online. As Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist notes, “the time to build capacity for IYCF-E is well before the emergency,” and the L.I.F.E. Support Initiative address that.