Weekly Wednesday Wire: February 25, 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.

Federal News

FMLA Definition of Spouse Updated, from DOL

The Department of Labor has announced a rule change to revise the definition of "spouse" under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages, regardless of the state in which the employee resides. The provision is referred to as the "place of celebration" rule because it makes eligibility for federal FMLA protections based on the law of the place where the marriage was entered into, not the law of the state of residency. Media highlights included:

Home Visiting Program Grant Awards, from DHHS

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced $386 million in grant awards to states, territories, and nonprofit organizations to support the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. These funds will allow states to continue to expand voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children. 

Member News

Black History Month Twitter Chat Recap, from MomsRising

MomsRising has posted a storify recap of the #Breastfeeding & #MaternalHealth #WellnessWedness Twitter chat held on February 18. The chat was co-hosted by HealthConnect One, Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, Young Invincibles, and the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color, in celebration of Black History Month.

Oral Health Challenges Webinar, from NAPNAP

Join the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners on February 26 at 12:30 p.m. EST for a webinar on Oral Health Challenges in Pregnancy and Childhood. The webinar will focus on the interprofessional role of nurse practitioners and midwives in promoting oral health during pregnancy and preventing early childhood caries.

Partner News

New National Organization Spotlight, from NAPPLSC

The National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color has formed with the mission to cultivate a community of diverse professional and peer lactation supporters to transform communities of color through policy, breastfeeding, and skilled lactation care. The organization is positioned to serve as the national voice for persons of color and allies who act in professional or supportive frameworks to support breastfeeding women within their communities.

Joint Letter on Sequestration, from NDD United

NDD United has sent a letter signed by more than 2,100 national, state, and local organizations to Congress and the President urging them to work together to end sequestration in the federal budget. The letter emphasizes the importance of nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs, the harmful effects of budget cuts to date, and the equal importance of both defense and nondefense programs in America's security. Read the press release.

Group Coaching Program for Hospitals, from NICHQ

NICHQ (National Institute for Children's Health Quality) has developed a new group coaching program designed to help hospitals improve performance on The Joint Commission perinatal care core measures on breastfeeding, by providing advice, mentorship, and support.

Collective Impact Connection

Coalition Building Webinars Available, from Tom Wolff & Associates

USBC coalitions conference speaker Tom Wolff has announced two free webinars that are now available:

  • Maximizing Community Stakeholders' Engagement (developed for CityMatch for Maternal Child Health programs), goes through the rationale for engaging those most affected by the issues in your work, and lays out a step-by-step method that will lead to successful recruitment and retention; and
  • Coalition Building and Collaborative Solutions (developed for the Society for Research and Action), goes through the materials and exercises Dr. Wolff employs in a typical coalition building workshop.

State/Community News

Bill on Expectant and Postpartum Prisoners, from New Mexico

New Mexico State Senator Lisa Torraco has introduced SB 363, the Expectant and Postpartum Prisoners Act. The bill would require the courts to favor release when determining bond or release eligibility for a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding, and allow female inmates to breastfeed during visitation and express milk for their babies. The bill has passed unanimously through the Senate Public Affairs Committee.

News and Views

Forbes: "Breastfeeding In The Boardroom, Or, Somebody Feed That Baby!"
The Guardian: "Woolly boobs: laughable, sobering and surprisingly useful"
South Carolina Hospital Association blog: "New milk bank provides mother's milk to babies in need"
Our Milky Way (HCP Blog): "Support breastfeeding as a co-parent"
The New York Times: "Generous Republican Benefits"

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