Weekly Wednesday Wire: February 4, 2015

Please note: Inclusion of an item in this e-newsletter does NOT imply endorsement or support of such item by the United States Breastfeeding Committee, unless specifically noted.

USBC Updates

FY16 President’s Budget

The President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2016 was released this week, including flat funding of $8 million for CDC's Baby-Friendly Hospitals/Breastfeeding programs. It also includes flat funding for the USDA WIC (Women, Infants & Children) Program, with continuation of $60 million for WIC breastfeeding peer counselors, and flat funding of $637 million for the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant. As in previous years, the budget includes a call for continued expansion of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), to $500 million.

A Note on Sequestration (courtesy of AMCHP): Notably, the budget also includes proposed provisions to eliminate the looming threat of sequestration, paid for with spending cuts, program integrity measures, and closing some tax loopholes. The White House describes this as "a compromise proposal intended as a show of good faith to spark additional negotiations with Congressional Republicans about the nation's long-term deficits and debt and to encourage all parties to come together to remove the economically-damaging sequestration cuts." Unless sequestration is resolved, overall funding levels would revert back to below 2006 levels and certainly set back progress in key programs that impact breastfeeding support.

USBC continues to support the efforts of the Coalition for Health Funding to keep up the drum beat against sequestration. With the release of the President's Budget stating the Administration's priorities, the action now moves to Congress through the spring and summer. Congress will now begin their process to draft appropriations bills reflecting their priorities with the goal of passing a final budget by the start of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2015. Stay tuned for future alerts on how you can make sure your voice is part of this process.

Federal News

#PumpingatWork Blog Post & Partner Resources, from OWH

HHS Office on Women's Health Director Dr. Nancy Lee has published a blog post featuring tips to support nursing moms. The new OWH Partner Resources webpage also features new materials to help spread the word about the Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions online resource, including sample social media posts, infocards, and web badges for easy sharing with managers, human resource directors, coworkers, and employees.

Proposed Updates to Sex Discrimination Guidelines, from DOL

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed new sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors and subcontractors. The recommended changes would revise the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' guidelines, including clarifying that sex discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, with lactation specifically included as a related medical condition. Read the press release. Media highlights include:

2015 WIC Program Report, from USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2015 Edition, a report explaining how WIC works, examining program trends, and discussing some of the major economic issues facing the program. The report includes an analysis of the effects of providing free formula on breastfeeding and the impact of the revised WIC food packages on breastfeeding.  

Chronic Disease Indicators Update, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control has updated the Chronic Disease Indicators and launched an updated, interactive website. The key indicators for chronic diseases, conditions, and risk factors have been expanded to include reproductive health, with several indicators related to breastfeeding including: formula supplementation within the first two days of life among breastfed infants, infants breastfed at 6 months, mean mPINC score (Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care), live births occurring at Baby Friendly facilities, and state child care regulations that support onsite breastfeeding.

Member News

Black History Month Micro-Documentary, from BMBFA

The Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association has unveiled a new micro-documentary—You Don't Know My Story—in celebration of Black History Month. BMBFA invites mothers to share their stories by creating a 15-30 second video and sending a direct message on Instagram or Facebook messenger. BMBFA will share submitted videos using the hashtag #BWDBF. 

Partner News

Discrimination Case Update, from ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union has published a blog post about a breastfeeding mother who alleged that she was denied a place to pump breast milk and coerced into resigning by her supervisor. In January, the Supreme Court rejected her petition for a review of the dismissal of her case by a lower court.

Breastfeeding Articles, from NICHQ

The NICHQ (National Institute for Children's Health Quality) January 2015 newsletter includes two breastfeeding articles: "How to Spread Breastfeeding Best Practices from One Hospital to an Entire System" and "Six Keys to Success for Addressing Obesity at the Community Level." Both articles contain case studies from communities and hospital systems.

Collective Impact Connection

Grant-making Strategy to Maximize Impact, from SSIR

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an blog post entitled "Beyond the Check," highlighting a new grant-making strategy to engage nonprofit organizations in communities of learning to maximize impact. The article identifies six best practices for creating and launching a community of learning.

News from the Field

Breastfeeding Issue Brief, from UNICEF

The United Nations Children's Fund has published a breastfeeding issue brief, making the case for why breastfeeding is a critical part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The brief highlights the World Health Assembly target to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months to at least 50% by 2025.

State/Community News

Infant Mortality Report, from New York City

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has published its annual review of infant death statistics. The report demonstrates that infant mortality rates reached an historic low in 2013, yet racial disparities continue. The agency's key initiatives to reduce infant mortality rates include breastfeeding support, safe sleep, and women's health. Read the press release.

News and Views

UNICEF Connect blog: "Why nutrition and breastfeeding are crucial to sustainable development"

Yahoo! News: "Black breast-feeding gatherings battle troubling health gaps"

The Washington Post: "Why I breastfeed my son until he was 3"

The Huffington Post: "Birthing While Black: An Experience I'll Never Forget"

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