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Recent USBC Activities and Accomplishments

The United States Breastfeeding Committee has many recent activities and accomplishments to celebrate, guided by our five-year strategic plan! This was an exciting and productive year for our work together.

2013 Highlights:

Download 2013 Annual Report as PDF document

Goal A Activities: Ensure that quality breastfeeding services are an essential component of health care for all families.

  • Continuing to partner with NICHQ (National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality) to facilitate building community connections to support hospitals in the Best Fed Beginnings collaborative, by:
    • Convening Advisory Committee on Community Support for Breastfeeding;
    • Funding state coalitions to provide support to participating hospitals to implement prenatal education and post-discharge care strategies;
    • Providing six state coalitions with additional capacity building funding;
    • Developing Electronic Health Records (EHR) Implementation Guide for Documentation of Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding, providing EHR vendors and hospitals/providers with guidelines for a collaborative approach towards quality data capture and reuse downstream;
    • Submitted comments to Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology regarding Stage 3 Definition of "meaningful use" of EHR.
  • Under the USBC Collective Impact initiative funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation:
    • Conducted environmental scan to assess "landscape of breastfeeding support", including: mother-to-mother support and peer counseling; access to services of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants; community-based organizations that promote and support breastfeeding, especially in communities of color; continuity of skilled support between hospitals and community settings;
    • Formed Collective Impact Advisory Panel;
    • Convened nearly 60 stakeholders representing nonprofit, government, business, and citizen sectors, at national, state, and community levels, for first-of-its-kind facilitated dialogue on "Advancing Continuity of Breastfeeding Care for All";
    • Working with USBC leaders, members, stakeholders, and Collective Impact consultants to develop broad buy-in for a common agenda to advance continuity of breastfeeding care, with a focus on racial equity. 
  • Received three-year cooperative agreement award through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opportunity, "National Innovative Partnership for Addressing Obesity through Environmental Supports for Nutrition and Physical Activity"; project work to include collaboration with key stakeholder organizations to increase access to professional and peer support for breastfeeding.
  • In partnership with the National Breastfeeding Center (NBfC), published the Model Policy: Payer Coverage of Breastfeeding Support and Counseling Services, Pumps and Supplies to identify best practices for payers that appropriately meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and ensure adequate delivery of support for breastfeeding.
  • Met with HHS Office of Health Reform, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regarding coverage of breastfeeding support.
  • Revised toolkit on Implementing The Joint Commission Core Measure on Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding to reflect new mandatory Perinatal Care core measure set.
  • Continued promotion of Core Competencies in Breastfeeding Care & Services for All Health Professionals, now endorsed by 42 national organizations.
  • Continued liaison with National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators expert panel on perinatal core measures; joined National Quality Forum and Coalition for Quality Maternity Care (CQMC).

Goal B Activities: Reduce marketing that undermines optimal breastfeeding.

  • Finalizing guidance document for states, cities, and towns to educate elected officials about the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and offer suggestions for relationships with industry.
  • Engaged with state/community initiatives, including meeting with Michigan Governor's Office regarding partnership with Nestle/Gerber.
  • Drafting guidance document for breastfeeding community interactions with infant feeding industry.
  • Continuing to partner with Public Citizen on campaign to "Keep Infant Formula Marketing Out of Healthcare Facilities", including promotion of their study of the U.S. News and World Report "Best Hospitals" formula marketing practices and coordination of outreach with state breastfeeding coalitions.
  • Continued participation on National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA), including its Food Marketing Workgroup.

Goal C Activities: Ensure that women and their families in the workforce are supported in optimal breastfeeding.

  • Continuing to partner on implementation and promotion of federal law:
    • Published online guide for mothers, "What You Need to Know About the 'Break Time for Nursing Mothers' Law".
    • Promoted new informational wallet card from Department of Labor.
    • Developing additional recommendations for Department of Labor FAQs on the law, based on inquiries received from employees, employers, and partner organizations.
  • Continuing to advocate for expansion of the "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law:
    • Worked with Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Carolyn Maloney to name and develop messaging for Supporting Working Moms Act of 2013, informed by feedback from families and partner organizations. 
    • Coordinated sign-on letter and action alert in support of the bill.
  • As part of new three-year cooperative agreement with CDC, project work to include promotion and facilitation of worksite compliance with federal and appropriate state lactation accommodation laws.
  • Continuing to partner to advocate for paid family leave:
    • Participating on Work-Family Coalition (convened by the National Partnership for Women & Families), including outreach to member organizations and state breastfeeding coalitions to support FAMILY Act and State Paid Leave Fund.
    • Published "FMLA: An Essential Piece of the Puzzle" as part of MomsRising blog carnival in celebration of 20th Anniversary of Family and Medical Leave Act.

Goal D Activities: Ensure that USBC is a sustainable and effective organization, funded, structured, and aligned to do its work.

As part of deepened commitment to achieving racial equity in breastfeeding support, forming new CRASH Committee (CRASH: Culture, Respect, Assessment/Affirmation, Sensitivity/Self-Awareness, Humility); this group will work to enhance USBC governance, membership, personnel, and coalitions' ability to build structures, systems, and a culture of inclusiveness and mutual support for all peoples.

Maintain a strong partnership with, and provide support for, a network of state, territorial, and tribal breastfeeding coalitions.

  • Conducted extensive needs assessment for all state and territorial coalitions, including assessment of existing structural models, current activities, and "markers of effective coalitions."
  • Based on assessment results, designing and implementing customized technical assistance and training plan for breastfeeding coalition leaders.
  • Continuing to host and maintain bi-monthly webinars, online coalitions directory, communications lists, and framework for coalitions regional representatives.
  • Met with HRSA/Maternal & Child Health Bureau leadership to discuss opportunities to better integrate breastfeeding support into Title V MCH Block Grant programs, and to promote alignment between state MCH directors/programs and state breastfeeding coalitions.

Serve as an expert voice and a clearinghouse of breastfeeding information.

  • In celebration of Black History Month, partnered with Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) and MomsRising to host "Blk BFing: Making HERstory" social media campaign and blog carnival.
  • In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, hosted "Action Across America: A Social Media Advocacy Campaign to Support Breastfeeding Families"; each week of August assigned different topic focus, including: Peer Counseling, Paid Family Leave, Maternity Care Practices, and Employer Support.
  • Hosted webinar launch of new CDC document: Strategies to Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases: The CDC Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies.
  • Continued to enhance/expand social media presence, especially on Twitter and via participation in partners' Tweet chats.
  • Continued publication of Staying Abreast: Weekly Wednesday Wire e-newsletter, regarded as a crucial resource for national, state, and local advocates.
  • Partnered with Blue Mountain to develop and promote Mother's Day e-card.
  • Updated "Breastfeeding and Emergencies" web page to include comprehensive compilation of resources from key national agencies and organizations; continued participation on Coalition on Children and Disasters; met with HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).
  • Preparing to launch redesigned and enhanced website to provide expanded collaboration tools and resources for USBC members, coalitions, and other affiliated communities.
  • Participated in other meetings and summits, including:
    • W. K. Kellogg Foundation First Food Forum: Growing a Movement So All Children Thrive
    • 8th UNC Breastfeeding & Feminism Symposium: It Takes a Village
    • Workshop: Champions for Change: Leading a Backbone Organization for Collective Impact
    • Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association Seminar: Innovations in Breastfeeding Support
    • Interstate Collaborative for Widespread Implementation of the Ten Steps, hosted by Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute
    • Inequity in Breastfeeding Support Summit, hosted by WithinReach's Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington, Mahogony Moms Breastfeeding Coalition, & Native American Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington
    • Fifth Annual Summit on Breastfeeding: First Food: The Essential Role of Breastfeeding, hosted by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
    • Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere 2013 Breastfeeding Summit: Organizing for Action: An African American Breastfeeding Campaign
    • Association of State Public Health Nutritionists Annual Meeting: Empowering Public Health Nutritionists in Times of Change

Coordinate advocacy to ensure that federal legislation and policy protects, promotes, and supports breastfeeding.

  • Engaged first national lobbyist for breastfeeding to develop first USBC Strategic Advocacy Plan, with the following priorities identified for 113th Congress:
    • Work to extend the protections in "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law to exempt employees (executive, administrative, and professional) who are nursing mothers. 
    • Work to obtain continued funding for CDC breastfeeding activities at or above the FY12 level.
    • Work to find ways to decrease misleading labeling and advertising claims about infant formula and to bring pressure on infant formula manufacturers to comply with International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
  • Partnered with MomsRising to host day of action to welcome 113th Congress, delivering "Welcome" packages to all Congressional offices; members of Congress from 32 states received personalized letter from their state breastfeeding coalitions.
  • Hosted National Breastfeeding Month (NBM) social media/advocacy campaign (see preceding section); partnered with MomsRising, National Partnership for Women & Families, and National WIC Association to host NBM "Action for the Summer Recess" webinar briefing. 
  • Met with representatives of CDC Washington Office and Office of the Surgeon General to discuss opportunities for implementation of The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding.
  • Continued to advocate for breastfeeding on multiple fronts, including continuation of CDC Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey, WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor funding, and Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Prior Year Activities & Accomplishments