||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.
Goal A Activities: Ensure that quality breastfeeding services are an essential component of health care for all families.
- Received W. K. Kellogg Foundation grant to build and sustain national and state coalitions to generate collective action to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes needed to increase breastfeeding rates and eliminate disparities. The initiative will apply the "Collective Impact" model on the national level with a specific focus on increasing access to and continuity of skilled support for breastfeeding between hospitals and community health settings.
- Partnering with the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality to support the Best Fed Beginnings initiative to help hospitals improve maternity care and increase the number of Baby-Friendly hospitals; engaging with the initiative by:
- Providing support to state coalitions to develop systems to advance continuity of lactation care to support implementation of Step 3 (prenatal education) and Step 10 (post-discharge care) of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding;
- Implementing a process to draft and promote recommendations to Electronic Medical Record (EMR) vendors to guide capture of data on infant feeding practices.
- Hosted July 2012 meeting of national partners to enhance coordination of multiple efforts for state- and community-level implementation of the Ten Steps; also conducted outreach to:
- American Hospital Association (August 2012 meeting)
- Joint Commission Liaison Network (member)
- National Quality Forum (applied for membership)
- Partnership for a Healthier America (ongoing discussions)
- Continued discussions with National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI); serving on new expert panel for perinatal core measures.
- Continued promotion of toolkit on Implementing The Joint Commission Core Measure on Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding and Core Competencies in Breastfeeding Care & Services for All Health Professionals.
Goal B Activities: Reduce marketing that undermines optimal breastfeeding.
- Convened focus group of national organization leaders to discuss how the breastfeeding community interacts with the infant feeding industry; forming work group to prepare guidance.
- Partnered with Public Citizen on campaign to "Keep Infant Formula Marketing Out of Healthcare Facilities", including letter sent to 2600 hospital executives, co-signed by 100+ organizations, and petition to three major formula companies.
- Engaging with state and community initiatives, including:
- Michigan: Sent letter to Governor regarding Pure Michigan FIT partnership with Nestle/Gerber (meeting date pending);
- Newark, NJ: Sent letter to Mayor and Newark Now regarding Nestle partnership (meeting date pending);
- Preparing guidance document for states, cities, and towns to educate elected officials about the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and offer suggestions for relationships with industry.
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 "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law:
- Providing additional feedback on Department of Labor resources; where more guidance needed (July 2012 meeting);
- Implementing project funded by the DHHS Office on Women's Health to enhance the coordination and reach of effective messaging to mothers via outreach on consumer websites, blogs, and social media.
- Advocated for expansion of the "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law:
- Action alert on the Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2011 garnered almost 13,000 letters to Congress;
- Highlighted the Breastfeeding Promotion Act as priority focus for August 2012 Advocacy Day;
- Strategizing and planning for 113th Congress; consulting with partners and professional lobbyist.
- Partnering to advocate for paid family leave as a member of the Work-Family Coalition:
Goal D Activities: Ensure that USBC is a sustainable and effective organization, funded, structured, and aligned to do its work.
Maintain a strong partnership with, and provide support for, a network of state, territory, and tribal breastfeeding coalitions.
Serve as an expert voice and a clearinghouse of breastfeeding information.
- Responded to TIME magazine article with joint letter, "We are all mom enough", co-signed by MomsRising and National Partnership for Women & Families.
- In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, hosted "20 Action in 20 Days" campaign inviting social media conversations to spread the word about how, in the words of the Surgeon General, "Everyone can help make breastfeeding easier."
- Redesigning USBC website to match structure of Surgeon General's Call to Action; enhancing/expanding social media presence.
- Sent representatives to other meetings and summits, including:
- W. K. Kellogg Foundation "First Food" National Fieldbuilders Gathering (September 2012)
- Fourth Annual Summit on Breastfeeding hosted by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (July 2012)
- Breastfeeding Summit: Reclaiming an African American Tradition, hosted by Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (July 2012)
- Association of State & Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors Annual Meeting (June 2012)
- CDC's Weight of the Nation Conference (May 2012)
- Served on various groups and expert panels, including the Weight of the Nation Planning and Awards Advisory Committees, the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA), and the Coalition on Children and Disasters.
- Relaunched e-newsletter with weekly news briefs: Staying Abreast: Weekly Wednesday Wire.
Coordinate advocacy to ensure that federal legislation and policy protects, promotes, and supports breastfeeding.
- Met with Surgeon General to discuss implementation of the Call to Action, including opportunities in the Affordable Care Act, National Prevention Strategy (January 2012).
- Met with leadership of federal agencies to discuss coordination and collaboration:
- Federal Interagency Work Group on Breastfeeding (April 2012)
- Office of Human Services, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Administration for Children and Families, DHHS (June 2012)
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, USDA (July 2012)
- Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health, Public Affairs, DHHS (September 2012 briefing on "It's Only Natural" campaign)
- Hosted Advocacy Day with 85+ advocates visiting Congressional offices (August 2012).
- Hosted Tweet Your Candidates campaign, providing tools for advocates to ask candidates to stand up for breastfeeding families, while also educating policymakers about how "Breastfeeding is Bipartisan."
- Created the Breastfeeding Advocacy HQ on the USBC website, a central place to highlight action campaigns and resources from the USBC, member and partner organizations, and state coalitions.
- Participated in the "What's in it for Women?" campaign celebrating the inclusion of breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling in the list of preventive services that all new insurance plans must cover without cost sharing.
- Continuing to advocate for breastfeeding on multiple fronts, with actions on the Breastfeeding Promotion Act, WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Funding, Congressional appropriations, and the Prevention and Public Health Fund.