Adjusting to COVID-19 and Supporting Breastfeeding Moms

By Melody M. Cunningham, CLC, ALPP, CLE 3/30/2020

Here we are in the middle of Coronageddon, you, your spouse and children are home and life as we knew it all but came to a grinding halt. My own three youngest children are at home doing their homeschool thing, the transition to distance learning has actually been pretty smooth. I guess I’m lucky in that respect, my childrens’ school really rose to this unforeseen challenge.

From the empty toilet paper shelves to the seemingly always open nail salons being deserted, things are definitely different. I don't know about you but I can do without almost everything non-essential being shut down but I may have shed a tear when I realized that included movie theatres. That one hurt.

The one thing that has remained constant is my phone ringing non-stop and my emails being bombarded with frantic moms. Aaaaaaaaah...the constants in life. It's very common for new moms or even experienced moms to have lots of questions about their little ones. Coronavirus has not interrupted that. If anything, there are even more questions. I would have never thought that possible. Covid-19 has pushed my lactation consultant business (and my ability to stand my ear pods for extended periods) to the limit.

Outside of practicing safe social distancing and employing good hygiene practices (which we should have been doing all along) there isn’t much we have to do differently. Rest assured moms, you can continue to confidently breastfeed your babies. Dads, it’s ok for you to keep going skin to skin, just make sure you’re washing your hands and taking precautions if you are exhibiting signs of the virus or have been around someone who contracted it.

This is certain to go down in history but it can't last forever. Well...it can in the books but with smart and proactive measures, we can and will return back to normalcy. Until then, I’ll continue to Zoom, GoToMeeting, Join.me, Roundee, Adobe Connect and Microsoft Teams myself into oblivion and you continue to enjoy this probably much needed time off with yourself, your family, your pregnancy, breastfeeding and/or going skin to skin with your sweet little baby.

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Melody M. Cunningham, CLC, ALPP, CLE

Melody is a mother of 5 who, purely by a serendipitous Facebook post, fell into the wonderful world of lactation education and support and has never looked back.  She was inspired to become a Certified Lactation Consultant and determined to serve disenfranchised women after partnering with a wonderful organization in Boston called the Vital Village Network. 

Having nursed her own 5 children with little to no support with the challenges she faced, Melody is very familiar with the complexities of breastfeeding as a black woman and wanted to use herself and her experiences to help and inspire other mothers.

While she has over 20 years of cumulative practical breastfeeding experience, she has been providing professional breastfeeding support and counseling since 2016.  She is committed to providing moms with the tools and confidence they need to overcome their breastfeeding obstacles and meet their breastfeeding goals by any means necessary.

In addition to providing breastfeeding support and counseling Melody has been a public speaker in the world of lactation.  Most recently she has spoken at the USBC annual conference, Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition’s yearly Breastfeeding in the Baystate conference, Vital Village Network under the auspices of Boston Medical Center's annual leadership conference and more.

Melody is racist and homophobic and goes by @MeloAunty on Twitter