Coalition Spotlight: Read the First Installment & Submit Your Stories
Please tell us how your breastfeeding coalition is making a difference. We look forward to sharing stories that demonstrate how inequities in breastfeeding protection, promotion, and support are being identified and addressed, and how communities are building resilience by improving the lives of women, children, and families. We invite your coalition to be highlighted through a weekly spotlight via social media and a new monthly e-newsletter called "Coalition Spotlight." This month's article features the inspiring work of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington: read it now!
Please send us your stories using the simple submission form.
American Health Care Act Dies in the House, from Congress
In spite of a number of proposed amendments—including threats to repeal the Essential Health Benefits (EHB)—furious negotiations last week failed to pass the American Health Care Act through the House of Representatives. A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score was released based on the committee amendments, with some similar results to the prior assessment: savings estimated at $186 billion less, but with a relatively unchanged number of individuals expected to lose coverage. (Note that the CBO update did not address the late-stage revisions being considered, including the repeal of the EHB.) Polling data also showed strong public opposition: just 17 percent of the public approved of the bill, while 56 percent disapproved. Late Friday afternoon, House Republican leaders pulled the bill from consideration before a planned vote on the House floor. Speaker Paul Ryan remarked at the ensuing press conference, "We're going to be living with Obamacare [the Affordable Care Act (ACA)], for the foreseeable future."
Systematic Review of Breastfeeding Outcomes, from AHRQ
The Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) Program at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will be developing a "Systematic Review of Breastfeeding Programs and Policies, Breastfeeding Uptake, and Maternal Health Outcomes in Developed Countries." The purpose of the review is to examine the benefits and harms for maternal health outcomes among women who breastfeed, formula feed, and mixed feed. The research protocol is now posted online, and there will be an additional announcement about the opportunity to comment on the draft report when the public comment period opens.
Infant Mortality Data, from CDC
The National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released an updated Infant Mortality Data Brief. This report examines the 2014 linked birth/infant death data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to describe trends in infant mortality in the United States by race and Hispanic origin, state, and leading causes of infant deaths from 2005 through 2014. Over the past decade, the overall infant mortality rate in the United States has improved, declining 15% from 6.86 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005, a recent high, to 5.82 in 2014.
Community Resilience Funding Opportunity, from SAMHSA
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Center for Mental Health Services, have launched applications for the fiscal year 2017 Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST Program) grants. The purpose of this program is to assist high-risk youth and families and promote resilience and equity in communities that have recently faced civil unrest through the implementation of evidence-based, violence prevention, and community youth engagement programs, as well as linkages to trauma-informed behavioral health services. The goal of the ReCAST Program is for local community entities to work together in ways that lead to improved behavioral health, empowered community residents, reductions in trauma, and sustained community change. For this FOA, civil unrest is defined as demonstrations of mass protest and mobilization, community harm, and disruption through violence often connected with law enforcement issues.
Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Prevent Maternal Deaths, from Congress
U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), Ryan Costello (R-PA), and Diana DeGette (D-CO) have introduced the bipartisan Preventing Maternal Deaths Act to help save women's lives and improve the quality of healthcare and health outcomes for moms and babies. This legislation would prevent maternal deaths by helping states establish or support Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) to examine pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths and identify ways to reduce these tragedies. It would also improve data collection and address disparities in maternal health outcomes, as well as help identify solutions to improve health care quality and health outcomes for mothers. Read the Press Release.
Population Health Data for Large Cities, from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced the launch of the interactive web application for the 500 Cities Project, a partnership between the CDC Division of Population Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the CDC Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This public, interactive website allows users to retrieve, view and explore uniformly-defined selected city and census tract-level data for the largest 500 US cities for conditions, behaviors, and risk factors that have a substantial impact on population health. The release of the interactive web application complements the December 2016 release of the project map books and data. The project represents the first-of-its kind data analysis for the 500 largest American cities, and the census tracts within these cities, to identify, analyze and report data for 27 chronic disease measures.
Updated Clinical Protocol, from ABM
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has released an updated Clinical Protocol #3: Supplementary Feedings in the Healthy Term Breastfed Neonate. A central goal of ABM is the development of clinical protocols for managing common medical problems that may impact breastfeeding success. These protocols serve only as guidelines for the care of breastfeeding mothers and infants and do not delineate an exclusive course of treatment or serve as standards of medical care.
Strengthening Community Investments, from CCI & RWJF
The Center for Community Investment and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have released a new report entitled, "Improving Community Health by Strengthening Community Investment," on the role of hospitals and health systems in the community investment system. The authors conducted hundreds of interviews with stakeholders from community organizations, government agencies, foundations, banks, and nonprofits. In this paper, they provide case studies of eight pioneering institutions engaging in community investment.
Breastfeeding and Performance Measures Webinar, from NACCHO
The National Association of County and City Health Officials will host the fifth webinar in the Public Health Breastfeeding Series. The webinar will explore how breastfeeding has been woven into the performance measures of national public health programs, such as Title V, Healthy Start, Early Head Start, and Maternal Infant and Early Childhood and Home Visiting, and how frontline public health professionals can engage these programs to advance breastfeeding initiatives at the community level. Public health practitioners will provide insight from their organizational experience supporting the implementation of local breastfeeding initiatives through national public health programs.
News from the Field
WIC Program Summary, from Today's Dietitian
Today's Dietitian has published a background and update on the WIC program. The article details eligibility requirements, benefits, food packages, nutrition education and breastfeeding promotion, overall outcomes, and opportunities for registered dietitians.
Attitudes on Paid Family and Medical Leave, from Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center has published the results of a study conducted about American attitudes toward paid family and medical leave. The study found that large shares of adults express support for paid family and medical leave, and most supporters say employers should cover the costs, while about half of Americans say the federal government should require employers to provide this benefit. The study also found that the experiences of Americans who have taken family or medical leave in recent years–including the amount of time they took off, whether they received pay, and how they coped with the loss of wages and salary if they didn't receive full pay during their leave–vary sharply by income. These findings are based on two nationally representative online surveys conducted by Pew Research Center with support from Pivotal Ventures. The key findings and shareable graphics are also available.
Breastfeeding and Cognitive Development, from Pediatrics
The journal Pediatrics has published the results of a study investigating the impact of breastfeeding on children's cognitive and noncognitive development at 3 and 5 years of age. Participants included approximately 8,000 families from the Growing Up in Ireland longitudinal infant cohort, who were identified from the Child Benefit Register and randomly selected to participate. Parent and teacher reports and standardized assessments were used to collect information on children's problem behaviors, expressive vocabulary, and cognitive abilities at age 3 and 5 years. Breastfeeding information was collected via maternal report. Propensity score matching was used to compare the average treatment effects on those who were breastfed. No support was found for statistically significant gains at age 5 years, suggesting that the earlier observed benefit from breastfeeding may not be maintained once children enter school.
State and Community News
Court Ruling On Workplace Lactation Accommodations, from Puerto Rico
In Siaca v. Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club, LLC et al., the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico has held that employers in Puerto Rico should provide a safe, private, and hygienic place for working nursing mothers to extract breast milk during the nursing period as provided under Act No. 427-2000. The Supreme Court further held that, given certain conditions, failure by an employer to provide a safe, private, and hygienic place to extract breast milk may be a constitutional violation of the working mother's right to privacy under the Constitution of Puerto Rico if the working mother's decision to breastfeed her child is affected by the employer's violation of Act 427.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Bill Passes, from DC
The District of Columbia City Council approved a paid family and medical leave plan for the district in December 2016. Although the mayor opposed the bill, she ultimately declined to veto it and allowed it to take effect in February without her signature. The plan, funded by modest business contributions under DC law, will enable those who work for firms in the District to take up to eight weeks parental leave: six weeks to care for a seriously ill family member, and two weeks for a serious personal illness. Partner highlights included:
- Family Values @ Work: "Victory for DC Paid Leave Campaign!"
- National Partnership for Women & Families: "Mayor Bowser Has 'Done the Right Thing, Accepted the Will of D.C. Residents and Lawmakers' by Allowing Paid Family and Medical Leave to Advance"
Employment Law Overhaul, from Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has overhauled its employment law regime through the enactment of the Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act. The act extends the right to a safe, private and hygienic place to nurse or extract breast milk to part-time female employees who work more than four hours per day. Previously, the benefit was for full-time employees only. In addition, a penalty of at least $3,000 has been established for violations of the Law to Regulate the Period to Breastfeed or Express Breast Milk. Media highlights included:
- JDSupra Business Advisor: "Puerto Rico Approves Major Reform of its Employment Laws"
- SHRM: "Puerto Rico Overhauls Employment Regime"
Collective Impact Connection
New Resource on Community Engagement, from Collective Impact Forum
The Collective Impact Forum has released the Community Engagement Toolkit for individuals and organizations considering how to embed community engagement practices into their collective impact work. The toolkit shares a series of tools for planning community involvement to be more purposeful, equitable, transparent, and strategic so that community members are real partners for achieving impact. Read the blog post.
News & Views
The Salt (NPR Eating and Health blog): "Breast-Fed Kids May Be Less Hyper, But Not Necessarily Smarter, Study Finds"
Shots (NPR Health blog): "States Give New Parents Baby Boxes To Encourage Safe Sleep Habits"
The Huffington Post: "Video Highlights The Kind Of Breastfeeding Shaming We Don't Really Talk About"