Hello to our wonderful Breastfeeding Community!
We want to take a moment to reach out to you with a few important updates:
First, a huge thank you to all of our members and conference attendees for making our first VIRTUAL Conference a success! We were able to salvage our educational event for the majority of our participants. We sincerely appreciate all your patience as we continue to work out final logistics. I would also really like to thank our incredible team at Delta who were able to pull things together so quickly to make our conference available online at the last minute. Such great team work! Thank you to all!
Second, I’m sad to announce that we will be postponing our “Vivan Las Mamas!” fundraising event. We are hoping to host this later in the summer, and we are in the process of making the appropriate arrangements. If you have purchased tickets already, please know that we will honor them at the new event. If you are unable to attend on the new date, or if you just prefer a refund, we certainly understand – you can reply via your confirmation email and our event staff will coordinate a refund. Please stay tuned for more details of this event as we get a better idea of how the coronavirus situation is going to affect our state.
Third, some key pieces of coronavirus information pertaining to breastfeeding and pregnant women and neonates have been published. Please see our links below to the NM DOH website, CDC guidelines, ACOG’s recommendations, and the ABM statement. ACOG also has a triage tool available embedded in their guidelines. A couple of key points are
- Breastfeeding, in itself, is not contraindicated for women that are COVID-positive, or Persons Under Investigation (PUI). It is unlikely that the virus passes through breastmilk. A mother-infant dyad that have equivalent exposures could continue to breastfeed under whichever isolation guidelines are appropriate. Expressed breastmilk can also be provided to infants. Breastmilk provides important antibodies to infants.
- Separation should be considered for neonates born to COVID-positive mothers or mothers that are PUI. The neonate is considered a PUI until testing is completed. Separation and isolation guidelines are developed by each institution to best meet the guidelines provided by the CDC and ACOG (please see attached links). Expressed breastmilk can still be provided to neonates with appropriate droplet precautions taken to limit the spread of virus.
- Symptomatic individuals should contact the NM DOH to determine if they need testing or not. Information is available online at the NM DOH website as well as by telephone.
Also, one unexpected side effect of the coronavirus is that people have stopped donating blood. There is a shortage of blood products in our blood banks and this affects care for many emergent patients, including our moms who are giving birth. Of course, avoid crowds, but consider donating blood – there are very short wait times currently and donation stations remain open. Thank you for considering.
We recommend that our members continue to follow the social distancing and isolation guidelines that our state has put into place to try to curb the spread of this new virus.
Thank you all for your hard work in our communities and your continued care for our mamas and babies! We appreciate all you do and all your extra efforts during this difficult time. Keep your chins up! I think this is an opportunity for us to reflect on how important we are to each other and the value of our community connections; please be patient with each other and remember the importance of kindness. Take care of yourselves, breathe, and take some time away from your phones and computers each day! It’s a beautiful spring out there!
Wishing you all the best of health!
Thank you all,
NMBTF Board Chair