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.
Anthem Reimbursement Rate Change: Take Action to Help Breastfeeding Families!
Anthem, a major health insurance plan provider, has cut reimbursement rates for breast pumps almost in half, effective April 1. An independent licensee of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem provides coverage for about 1/3 of individuals and families in the U.S., including 40 million Medicaid enrollees, 40 million Private Insured members, and millions of others on affiliated plans. The USBC has joined national and state organizations from across the country in raising concerns that this decrease will prevent many families from obtaining the equipment that they need to establish and maintain breastfeeding. Visit USBC's Anthem webpage to find background information, action opportunities, breastfeeding coalition updates, and media highlights. Action opportunities include:
- Organizational Sign On Letter: Sign on to USBC's letter to Anthem expressing concern about this rate change
- Story Collector: "Tell Us About Your Experience with Your Health Plan's Breastfeeding Coverage..."
- MomsRising Petition: "Tell Anthem to Support Breastfeeding Moms"
Collaboration Platform Utilization Resources
The USBC has published the recording of the most recent webinar in the CDC-USBC Bi-monthly Coalitions Webinar Series entitled, "The Ins and Outs of USBC's Collaboration Platform." During the webinar, USBC Staff presented on the USBC's website and collaboration platform, highlighting its features, demonstrating how the platform works, and lifting up the ways that the platform can help support and promote the work of coalitions and organizations. In addition to the webinar recording, the USBC has developed three new website tutorials to help you learn, connect, and act within the USBC Website:
- Managing Your Individual Profile
- How to Join Learning Communities
- Managing Your Organizational Profile
Senate Rule Change Allows Infants on the Senate Floor, from Congress
The United States Senate has unanimously agreed to allow all Senators to bring their infant children onto the Senate floor, if necessary, during votes while their children are under the age of one. The Senate had previously banned all children from entering the Senate floor, which could have prevented Senators who are new parents from executing their constitutional responsibility of voting on issues of national importance. The rule change took place nine days after Senator Tammy Duckworth became the first U.S. Senator to give birth while in office. Read the press release.
Black Maternal Health Week Resolution Introduced, from Congress
Congresswoman Alma Adams and Senator Kamala Harris have introduced Congressional resolutions recognizing Wednesday, April 11, through Tuesday, April 17, as Black Maternal Health Week. The resolutions aim to bring national attention to the maternal health care crisis in the Black community and the importance of reducing the rate of maternal mortality and morbidity among Black women. The House resolution included 48 original cosponsors and the Senate resolution included 12 original cosponsors.
FAQs on Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave, from IRS
The Internal Revenue Service has published a series of Frequently Asked Questions on Section 45S in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. This section was added to the Internal Revenue Code under the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," signed in December 2017. Under the new Code provision, an employer that voluntarily offers paid family and medical leave to its employees may be entitled to a tax credit for 2018 and 2019. This is the first guidance that the IRS has issued on this new provision.
State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program Funding Announcement, from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Program. The NOFO will fund up to 15 state health departments and/or the District of Columbia to work with state and local partners that support communities to improve nutrition and to support safe and accessible physical activity. This five-year program provides state health departments the support and flexibility to work on systems at the state and local levels to implement evidence-based strategies and to leverage resources from multiple stakeholders and sectors (e.g., agriculture, transportation, education, business, commerce, housing) to improve the nutrition and physical activity status of Americans.
Pregnant Women in Clinical Trials Comment Opportunity, from FDA
The Food and Drug Administration have released a draft guidance for industry entitled "Pregnant Women: Scientific and Ethical Considerations for Inclusion in Clinical Trials." This draft guidance discusses the ethical and scientific issues when considering the inclusion of pregnant women in clinical trials of drugs and biological products. The draft guidance is intended to advance scientific research in pregnant women, and discusses issues that should be considered within the framework of human subject protection regulations. The public is invited to submit comments and suggestions regarding this draft document by Friday, June 8, 2018.
Invitation to Join Black Breastfeeding Caucus, from BMBFA
The Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association, along with other Black Breastfeeding Caucus (BBC) members, has issued an open invitation to individuals to join the BBC. Interested individuals should self-identify as a black person with an international purpose of working on behalf of the community. The BBC is a safe space for black people to address and advocate for racial equity in breastfeeding support. The mission of the BBC is to mobilize families, communities, and public/private institutions to create strategies, make decisions, and implement action steps that result in equitable breastfeeding support for black families.
Revised 'Ten Steps' Guidance, from WHO/UNICEF
The World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund have published new implementation guidance titled, "Protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services: the revised Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative 2018." This updated implementation guidance is intended for all those who set policy for, or offer care to, pregnant women, families and infants: governments; national managers of maternal and child health programmes in general, and of breastfeeding- and Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)-related programmes in particular; and health-facility managers at different levels (facility directors, medical directors, chiefs of maternity and neonatal wards). The document presents the first revision of the Ten Steps since 1989. The topic of each step is unchanged, but the wording of each one has been updated in line with the evidence-based guidelines and global public health policy. The steps are subdivided into (i) the institutional procedures necessary to ensure that care is delivered consistently and ethically (critical management procedures); and (ii) standards for individual care of mothers and infants (key clinical practices). Read the press release.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Network of Industrialized Nations, Central and Eastern European Nations and Independent States (BFHI Network), International Baby Food Action Network, International Lactation Consultant Association, La Leche League International, and World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action have published a joint statement titled, "2018 Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) Revised Implementation Guidance: A Collaborative Statement from Five Global Breastfeeding Promotion Organizations."
Workplace Breastfeeding Support Webinar, from BPHP
Join the Breastfeeding Public Health Partners on Monday, May 14, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET for the third webinar of the Charting the Course Together webinar series titled, "Charting the Course Together: Supporting Breastfeeding at Work." The webinar will provide public health context on the importance of workplace support to increase breastfeeding duration rates, the return on investment for supporting both employers and employees to make breastfeeding work at work, and share useful and practical resources for supporting breastfeeding employees and their employers. In addition, the BPHP will shed light on current federal and state workplace breastfeeding legislation, past successes and the important role each one can play in advocacy, and describe outcomes of a national project supporting Title V programs to advance workplace breastfeeding accommodation.
Paper on Standard of Holistic Care for Black Women, from BMMA
The Black Mamas Matter Alliance has published a Black Paper titled, "Setting the Standard for Holistic Care of and for Black Women." The paper provides a summary overview of holistic care recommendations using a reproductive justice and human rights framework. Holistic care for Black women requires that providers, practices, and medical staff understand the cultural context, historical richness and complexity that Black women embody and live with every day. Black women's leadership is key to advancing holistic care and achieving good maternal health outcomes.
Black Maternal Health and Mortality Resources, from NPWF
The National Partnership for Women & Families has released a fact sheet and issue brief exploring multi-faceted approaches aimed at reducing black maternal mortality and disparities in maternal health complications as well as increasing access to high-quality maternal care.
News from the Field
World Breastfeeding Week 2018 Action Folder, from WABA
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has launched the 2018 World Breastfeeding Week Action Folder. The Action Folder includes data, case studies, and actions that can enhance advocacy efforts during World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), as well as information on the four WBW objectives.
Study on Breastfeeding Behavior and Psychological Factors, from Obesity Reviews
The journal Obesity Reviews has published an article titled "The association between psychological factors and breastfeeding behaviour in women with a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg m−2: a systematic review." Five psychological factors were associated with breastfeeding behaviours in women with a BMI ≥30 kg m−2: intentions to breastfeed, belief in breast milk's nutritional adequacy and sufficiency, belief about other's infant feeding preferences, body image and social knowledge. The authors conclude that patient care should include encouraging women to breastfeed infants, providing information to correct inaccurate beliefs, and addressing body image and social knowledge issues.
Collective Impact Connection
When Collective Impact has an Impact Webinar Series, from Tamarack
Join the Tamarack Institute for a webinar series exploring ORS Impact and the Spark Policy Institute's report "When Collective Impact has Impact: A Cross-Site Study of 25 Collective Impact Initiatives." Join the first webinar in the series on Tuesday, April 24, from 1-2 p.m. ET titled "Getting to Impact: The Collective Impact Fieldwide Evaluation." Webinar speakers will review the process of the report and the lessons learned from the evaluation effort.
News & Views
The New York Times: "Why America's Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis"