ROSE works to normalize breastfeeding by providing resources and networking opportunities for individuals and communities. As a trusted expert in partnership with communities, we are working toward equity in maternal and child health, especially for Black families.
Because our goal is optimal health and wellbeing for infants, mothers, and birthing parents, we promote, support, and protect breastfeeding and human milk feeding.
During any crisis, we are concerned that good nutrition is available for all infants. In addition, we are aware of the stress of parenting and its effect on the health of parents during a crisis.
Recalls and other reasons for limited access to supplementary food and human milk substitutes (infant formula) cause stress across the communities we serve. It has created a crisis this year that has not been experienced since our country has become dependent on these products. We recognize that marketing is powerful and thus we have a great challenge before us in the work for optimal health.
Employing a Community-Based Participatory Approach takes time, so we’ve been actively listening to the voices of organizational partners as well as Black families. And we have heard the request for assistance during this crisis. One of our questions is “How can we work together for optimal infant feeding and health?” We commit to following up with collective ideas. Right now, as a Cultural Coalition of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and with representation on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, we support the statements of these two organizations:
We will continue to disseminate pertinent information, facilitate partnership and capacity building, and share resources.
Looking to the future we are protecting the work of lactation support people across the professional spectrum including peer counselors, community transformers, and community health workers. We will begin to prioritize addressing the needs of Black families during pregnancy by listening more, inviting representation, and sharing resources for community-based lactation support to increase human milk feeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity.