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 Sign On Letter Delivery
USBC has delivered a letter signed by 33 national and 55 state/local organizations raising concerns to Anthem, a major health insurance plan provider, about their recent decrease in reimbursement rates for breast pumps. 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. Reimbursement rates for breast pumps were cut almost in half, effective April 1. National and state organizations from across the country have expressed concern that this decrease will prevent families from obtaining the equipment that they need to establish and maintain breastfeeding. Visit USBC's Anthem webpage. Additional action opportunities include:
- USBC Story Collector: "Tell Us About Your Experience with Your Health Plan's Breastfeeding Coverage..."
- MomsRising Petition: "Tell Anthem to Support Breastfeeding Moms"
NBCC Call for Proposals Launch
The USBC has launched the call for proposals to be considered for breakout panel presentations, breakfast table discussions, and poster presentations for the Eighth National Breastfeeding Coalitions Convening to be held on Saturday, August 4, and Sunday, August 5 in Atlanta, GA. The theme of the Conference is Advancing Public Health Through An Equity Centered Breastfeeding Movement. Breastfeeding coalitions, individuals, and other organizations are invited to submit presentation proposals. Find additional details in the Call for Proposals Guidelines and learn how to quickly and easily submit your proposal by watching the submission process tutorial. The deadline to submit a proposal is Sunday, May 20, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Promotional Materials Available
The USBC hosts a CafePress shop with a variety of promotional products available for purchase. It's never too early to start planning for National Breastfeeding Month! Browse the selection of cards, stickers, mugs, t-shirts and more.
FAM Act Passes House as Part of FAA Reauthorization Act, from Congress
The House of Representatives has passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4), which included provisions from the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act. If passed, the bill would require medium or large hub airports to maintain a lactation area in each passenger terminal building of the airport. The bill defines a lactation area as a room or other location that provides a location for members of the public to express breast milk that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from the public; has a door that can be locked; includes a place to sit, a table or other flat surface, a sink or sanitizing equipment, and an electrical outlet; is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs; and is not located in a restroom. The bill would also require medium or large hub airports to maintain a baby changing table in one men's and one women's restroom in each passenger terminal building of the airport. Read the press release.
USBC Insights: Provisions from the FAM Act are also included in the Senate version of FAA Reauthorization. We need as many individuals as possible to contact their Senators about the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act. Please take action today with the USBC's easy action tool! In addition, organizations are invited to sign the letter thanking Senator Duckworth and Congressman Knight for supporting breastfeeding families by Wednesday, May 16. Complete the sign on form.
Sign-On Letter in Support of REACH Funding, from Congress
Senator Brian Schatz has submitted a Dear Colleague letter to leadership of the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee in support of $57.95 million in funding for the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program for FY19. REACH is the only direct federal investment in eliminating health disparities. Thirteen Senators joined the letter.
WIC Participant and Program Characteristics, from USDA/FNS
The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service has released a report tilted "WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2016 Final Report" (PC 2016). PC 2016 summarizes the demographic characteristics of participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nationwide. The report describes the findings in six main topic areas, including breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC infants and children. In 2012, the proportion of breastfeeding women was higher than the proportion of postpartum women for the first time in the history of WIC. This trend continued through 2016. National breastfeeding estimates are based on data from the 83 State agencies that provided breastfeeding initiation data for at least 75 percent of 6- to 13-month-old infants and children served by the State agency. Breastfeeding was initiated for 71.0 percent of these infants and children. In addition, 68 State agencies provided duration data for at least 75 percent of 6- to-13-month-old infants and children. The median breastfeeding duration for infants and children served by these agencies was 13.0 weeks. The median duration was fewer than 10 weeks for 28 of the agencies, between 10 and 19 weeks for 20 of the agencies, and 20 weeks or more for the remaining 15 agencies.
WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study, from USDA/FNS
The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service has published the "WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2: Second Year Report" (also known as the "Feeding My Baby" Study). This study captures data on caregivers and their children over the first 5 years of the child's life after WIC enrollment to address a series of research questions regarding feeding practices, associations between WIC services and those practices, and the health and nutrition outcomes of children receiving WIC. The report focuses on caregivers' employment, school, and childcare circumstances, as well as the feeding progressions, dietary intake, and weight status of children from birth through around 24 months. The study found that WIC mothers are returning to school and work, and many are continuing to breastfeed while working. By 7 months postpartum 48 percent of mothers are in school, working for pay, or both, and by 24 months it rises to 56 percent. By 7 months, significantly fewer full-time employed mothers are breastfeeding (20 percent) than are those who are not employed (28 percent). Mothers who work full-time and breastfeed also have a shorter median duration of breastfeeding.
'May is Miracle Milk Month' Campaign, from Best for Babes
Best for Babes has launched the May is Miracle Milk® Month campaign to harness the power of individuals, groups, influencers and Friend Organizations to cheer on, coach and celebrate ALL parents and the Miracle Milk® only moms can make for their own and other babies. The campaign aims to end "parent shaming" and the Breastfeeding Booby Traps® by delivering essential, positive, encouraging, evidence-based information into the hands of as many new parents, providers, hospitals and the public as possible. All month long, individuals can participate by registering as celebrants on the Miracle Milk website, posting graphics on social media, and sharing information with their networks. The USBC, along with several member and partner organizations, are participating as Friend Organizations.
Sign-on Letter Opportunity, from ACOG
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has launched two national sign-on letters asking Congressional leadership to bring the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (H.R. 1318) and the Maternal Health Accountability Act (S. 1112) to a vote in honor of Mother's Day. The bills would authorize new funding at CDC for the development and support of state maternal mortality review committees. Read the Senate version and the House version of the letter. Organizations are invited to sign on via the online form by Thursday, May 10.
Paid Leave Brief, from 1,000 Days/PL+US
1,000 Days, in partnership with Paid Leave for the United States, has published a brief on paid family leave specifically addressing that one in four new moms in the United States return to work within ten days of giving birth. The issue brief highlights the public health impact of paid family leave (and lack thereof), and calls on our nation's leaders to support paid family leave policy that is adequate, accessible and equal for all. This is the latest in their series of issue briefs on the urgent need for action on paid family leave.
'Fourth Trimester' Recommendations, from ACOG
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has published "ACOG Committee Opinion No. 736: Optimizing Postpartum Care" in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. The Committee Opinion has been revised to reinforce the importance of the "fourth trimester" and to propose a new paradigm for postpartum care. It recommends ongoing postpartum care, beginning within three weeks of birth and focusing on maternal physical, social, and psychological well-being, including breastfeeding. The Committee Opinion notes that optimizing care and support for postpartum families will require policy changes. Changes in the scope of postpartum care should be facilitated by reimbursement policies that support postpartum care as an ongoing process, rather than an isolated visit. Obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should be in the forefront of policy efforts to enable all women to recover from birth and nurture their infants.
FNS Program Collaboration Webinar, from NWA/ASPHN
Join the National WIC Association and Association of State Public Health Nutritionists on Thursday, May 10, from 3-4 p.m. for a webinar titled "Working Together to Better Serve Families: Collaboration Across FNS Programs." The webinar will discuss food insecurity and nutrition-related health condition statistics, describe multiple Food and Nutrition Service nutrition programs, explain collective impact as a model for addressing health, and apply lessons learned to partnership building in communities.
Podcast Series on Public Health Issues, from ASTHO
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials has launched the podcast series "Public Health Review." The series addresses current public health issues and delivers timely perspectives on the value of public health through the lens of state and territorial health officials and other subject matter experts.
Community Engagement for Health Equity Webinar, from NACCHO
Join the National Association of County and City Health Officials on Thursday, May 10, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Implementing Model Practices in Your Community: Health Equity and Access to Healthy Foods Through Community Engagement Efforts." The webinar will address innovative approaches to community engagement that lead to equity and access to healthy food, with presentations from county and city health departments. The presentations will highlight how public health and community organizing groups can work more efficiently and in tandem due to clearly defined mutual objectives.
News from the Field
Importance of Child Care at Conferences, from PNAS
The Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences of the United States of America has published an article titled "Opinion: How to tackle the childcare-conference conundrum." The authors discuss the challenges and issues parents face when attending conferences without child care, including access to lactation accommodations. They posit that collective and structural ideas for addressing child care and conferences could lead to more impactful, efficient, and equitable solutions that help women with children thrive in science and offer solutions for creating parent and child-friendly conferences.
County-Based Health Coverage for Immigrants Report, from Washington
Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA) has published a report titled "County-Based Health Coverage for Immigrants: A Proposal for Counties in Washington State." The report makes recommendations about how the Washington counties of King and Yakima could fill the gaps in coverage that remain for the counties' close to 51,000 uninsured immigrants. The report also explores how Washington state can implement a county-based health insurance program to provide comprehensive health coverage to immigrants who would otherwise remain uninsured and offers initial recommendations for health insurance program components for Washington counties.
Collective Impact Connection
Webinar on Public Health Landscape and Collective Impact, from Region IV PHTC
Join the Region IV Public Health Training Center on Monday, June 18, from 12-1:30 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Becoming the Health Strategist – Putting your Skills into Action." The webinar will look at the context of concepts like Public Health 3.0, the Health Impact Pyramid, and the Collective Impact Model and discuss how and why public health leaders can learn to think and act as chief health strategists.
News & Views
Women's eNews: "MIT Shows How to 'Make the Breast Pump Not Suck' for Women of Color"
Albuquerque Journal: "MDC among first to have inmate breastfeeding policy"
NPR Illinois: "Illinois Legislators Have History Of Bringing Babies To Work"