For Immediate Release - December 13, 2020
On November 30, 2020, the Addressing Racism Review, led by Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, released the report In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care.
This marks an important and uncomfortable assessment of the healthcare system and confirms with clear evidence that pervasive interpersonal and systemic racism occur across healthcare in British Columbia. In particular, and relevant to the efforts of BCLCA, the review notes that Indigenous women experience a lack of safety when interacting with the healthcare providers. This has led to a service gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in relation to maternal and child health, for example it is noted that, understandably, Indigenous mothers engage in less antenatal visits with a healthcare provider.
The review provides an opportunity for re-examination of the vision that British Columbia Lactation Consultants Association (BCLCA) holds, to see breast and chest feeding as the norm across our province, and calls us to understand our role in the disparities in experiences and outcomes particularly for Indigenous women and their families. BCLCA recognizes that there is much work to be done to address racism and discrimination targeted towards Indigenous people when receiving health care, including breastfeeding support, and we are committed to change. BCLCA endorses the 24 recommendations and specifically, we commit to accountability to the Indigenous families we serve. The Board of Directors of BCLCA is considering next steps and will share the actions we are taking in response to this report and its recommendations in a timely manner.
Comments/queries? Contact us.
June 28, 2020 update to Breastfeeding and Covid-19: Time to patch the safety net
BCLCA has been engaged in ongoing communication with the Ministry of Health as follow-up to the position statement and petition that was launched in April. We will continue to engage in this discussion using additional strategies to bring this important issue forward. BCLCA members may go here for further information.
Access to high quality breastfeeding support across regions and within healthcare programming was inconsistent prior to the crisis. The current situation has exacerbated the pre-existing lack of support through re-deploying public health resources and social distancing, making it even more difficult for breastfeeding families to achieve their goals. Yet when breastfeeding is going well, it provides a vital safety net to families by ensuring a safe, secure, reliable food source, providing immunological support to the infant and down-regulating the stress response for the breastfeeding dyad. BCLCA has drafted a position statement outlining the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the families we serve and arguing that increasing support in key areas will minimize the potential for negative effects on the next generation. Please read the letter sent April 20, 2020 to Minister Dix on the issue and sign the BCLCA petition to support change that will benefit all families to achieve their infant feeding goals.
Baby Box (Bed) Programs - December 15, 2017
At BCLCA, all members are committed to promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding and our experience with families tells us that breastfeeding is intertwined with and influenced by nighttime parenting and sleep. Thus, the recent attention that baby boxes are getting has led to both parents and members to ask for more information on the issue. In response, we have prepared 2 documents:
1. An infographic of things that parents might consider. Additionally, practitioners will find that this can be used as a guide for conversation in counselling families.
2. A more in-depth Information brief on the issue for use in conversations with other health care providers and health care organizations.