The Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire e-Newsletter is a compendium of news, actions, and resources considered to be of interest or relevance to the breastfeeding field. The newsletter aims to support the USBC’s mission "To drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States." Included items are submitted for consideration or identified by the USBC e-news team via extensive online review. Whenever possible, the newsletter utilizes language directly from the primary source of an item without additional analysis or edits. In some cases, the USBC offers additional perspectives through the "USBC Insights," media and partner highlights, and the "News & Views" section. Inclusion of an item in the e-newsletter does not imply endorsement or support by the USBC of an item or organization, unless specifically noted.
USBC-CDC Bimonthly Coalitions Webinar
Join the USBC, Mom2Mom Global, and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots on Tuesday, October 9, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Mom2Mom Global and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots: Breastfeeding Support for Active Military Personnel and Families." Mom2Mom Global is a worldwide network of breastfeeding support and advocacy for military families, with the mission to provide consistent, high-quality peer support through local chapters and liaisons at U.S. military installations, increase access to accredited lactation professionals for all military families, and to provide a channel to raise awareness and solutions for the concerns of military breastfeeding families. Breastfeeding in Combat Boots advocates, educates, and supports all personnel serving in the military (active, reserve or guard) and other non-traditional jobs (police, firefighting, construction) who wish to breastfeed while serving their country. Reflecting the diversity of the U.S. Department of Defense, Mom2Mom Global is committed to inclusion, diversity, and equity as core values. During this session, participants will hear about the many ways Mom2Mom Global and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots provide breastfeeding support, education, and advocacy for the unique needs of military families. We will learn about the action steps being taken to apply an equity lens in leadership development, membership recruitment, actions, policies, and programs.
Story Collector on Utilization of OWH Workplace Resource
The USBC has launched a story collection tool titled, "Help Us Show The Office on Women's Health Why The Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions Resource Should be Fully Reinstated." The Office on Women's Health has made significant revisions to the Supporting Nursing Moms at Work resource. Critical content from the original resource was not included in the update. We are seeking stories about how this resource has been utilized by the field in order to demonstrate why the original format and content should be restored. We are specifically seeking stories from:
- Breastfeeding employees;
- Employers, managers, and human resources staff;
- Individuals and organizations that provide support and technical assistance to breastfeeding employees and their employers;
- Breastfeeding coalitions, businesses, and organizations that were involved in the development and/or launch of this resource
Hispanic Heritage Month Webpage
September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month! The USBC has published a webpage titled, "Hispanic Heritage Month Tools & Resources." The webpage features key information on Latinx and breastfeeding as well as a compilation of resources, tools, and materials from USBC and the field.
Special Section on Proposed Public Charge Rule
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking titled, "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds." This is the step before it is actually published in the Federal Register and the comment period begins. Known as the public charge rule, DHS proposes to prescribe how it determines whether an immigrant is inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. Statements and resources from the field include:
- Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs: "AMCHP Issues Statement on Public Charge Draft Proposed Rule"
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: "Greenstein: Trump Administration's Proposed Rule Will Result in Legal Immigrants of Modest Means Forgoing Needed Benefits"
- National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum: "National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow Condemns DHS' New 'Public Charge' Rule'"
- National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health: "Public Charge Expansion Threatens Immigrant Families"
- National WIC Association:
- "National WIC Association Talking Points on Public Charge"
- "Public Charge and Immigration Participation in WIC: Frequently Asked Questions" (A Spanish translation of the FAQ document is forthcoming)
- National Women's Law Center: "Administration's Proposed Public Charge Rule Undermines Our Core Values as a Nation, Says NWLC"
- Race Forward: "Trump Administration Targets Children & Families in Communities of Color in Latest Immigration Regulation"
USBC Insights: The USBC continues to oppose the separation and detention of families and children at the border. Additionally, we would like to apologize for and clarify the use of the word "aliens" to describe people immigrating to the US in last week's Weekly Wire. The USBC does not condone the use of the word "alien" to describe people immigrating to the US. This word was included solely because it was in the official notice provided by DHS. The language used to describe immigrants is a longstanding debate, one which reflects many racial biases. That said, the USBC prefers not to normalize this hurtful phrase by perpetuating its usage. For additional insights on this subject, see The Huffington Post article, "The Way We Speak About Unauthorized Immigrants Matters."
Special Section on Family Separations at the Border
- The New York Times has reported that DHS has moved hundreds of migrant children out of foster homes and shelters across the country to a tent camp in West Texas, where they are not receiving schooling and have limited access to legal services.
- The Women's Refugee Commission has coordinated a joint letter signed by over 230 organizations to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs urging them to oppose any legislation that would expand the scale and length of immigrant family detention or overturn the child protection principles currently governing the treatment of migrant children in custody.
Breastfeeding Support in FAA Reauthorization Bill Moves Forward, summarized from Congress
The Senate has passed the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill and it is on its way to the President's desk. The bill includes the provisions of the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, requiring all large and medium hub airports to provide a private, non-bathroom space in each terminal for mothers to express breast milk. The space must be accessible to persons with disabilities, available in each terminal building after the security checkpoint, and include a place to sit, a table or other flat surface, and an electrical outlet. FAA reauthorization also requires airports to provide a baby changing table in one men's and one women's restroom in each passenger terminal building.
USBC Insights: USBC has advocated for the FAM Act's passage in two Congressional sessions, including hosting an individual action tool and delivering organizational letters of support this summer. Thank you to the many organizations and individuals who have raised their voices in support of the FAM Act!
Appropriations Update, summarized from Congress
The President has signed an Appropriations "minibus" funding bill which includes the Department of Defense and the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bills for fiscal year 2019, as well as a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to temporarily fund remaining government programs until December 7, 2018. The 2019 Labor-HHS-Education and Defense appropriations bill includes $8 million for the Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program. The legislation is now enacted into law. The short-term Continuing Resolution covers the areas of the federal government not covered by this minibus or prior Appropriations legislation that the President signed into law on September 21. Negotiations on the rest of the funding bills, including the Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration appropriations bill which provides funding for WIC, are currently ongoing.
Webinar on Latino Representation in Research, summarized from OMH
Join the Office of Minority Health on Monday, October 15, from 1-2 p.m. ET for webinar titled, "What's in It for You? The Importance of Latino Representation in Research Studies." The webinar will provide an overview on Hispanic participation in research studies, specifically longitudinal studies and clinical trials. Speakers will explore factors such as culture, acculturation and fear, among others that are a barrier for Hispanic enrollment and retention in research studies. Additionally, the webinar will highlight the importance of Latino participation to help improve science and will highlight the efforts to reach this population.
Healthy Start Initiative Funding Opportunity, summarized from HRSA
The Health Resources and Services Administration has published a grants notice titled "Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health." The purpose of this Healthy Start (HS) program is to improve health outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy, and reduce racial/ethnic differences in rates of infant death and adverse perinatal outcomes. Eligible applicants include any domestic public or private entity. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply. The HS program provides grants to high-risk communities with infant mortality rates at least 1.5 times the U.S. national average and high rates of other adverse perinatal outcomes (e.g., low birthweight, preterm birth, maternal morbidity and mortality). HS works to reduce the disparity in health status between the general population and individuals who are members of racial or ethnic minority groups. Beginning in Fiscal Year 2019, the HS program will serve infants and families for the first 18 months after birth. This is a change from the current program design, which includes support for infants and families up to 2 years after birth. Applications will close on Tuesday, November 27.
MIECHV Program Awards Announced, summarized from HRSA
The Health Resources and Services Administration has announced that approximately $361 million in funding has been awarded to 50 states, five territories, Washington, DC, and nonprofit organizations through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV). MIECHV supports pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, as they raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to succeed. MIECHV's support includes assisting mothers on how best to breastfeed and care for their babies.
Recommendations for Research Needs Submitted, summarized from PRGLAC
The Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women has submitted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services final recommendations for research on therapies used by pregnant women and nursing mothers. PRGLAC was established by the 21st Century Cures Act, and is led by the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The task force reviewed current research and focused on specific drugs, formulations and other pharmacological factors that may affect health outcomes for pregnant women and nursing mothers and their children. Members voted on and approved 15 recommendations submitted to the HHS Secretary, including the following: designing research studies to include pregnant women and nursing mothers, unless there is scientific justification not to; expanding the workforce of clinicians and researchers with expertise in obstetric and lactation pharmacology and therapeutics; removing regulatory barriers to pregnant women's and nursing mothers' participation in research.
Webinar on Collaboration Between Researchers and WIC, summarized from NWA
Join the National WIC Association on Thursday, October 11, from 3-4 p.m. ET titled, "The Value of Collaborations between WIC and Academic Researchers: Insights and Experiences from the Field." Webinar panelists will discuss how collaborations between WIC and academic researchers can expand the capacity of WIC programs to conduct rigorous research and evaluation. This webinar will provide insights from a collaboration between academic researchers and the Massachusetts and New York State WIC programs. These collaborations supported evaluation and analysis of a comprehensive, multi-level, multi-setting intervention to prevent and reduce childhood obesity among low-income children.
International Policy on HIV and Breastfeeding Resource, summarized from WABA
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has released a resource titled "Understanding International Policy on HIV and Breastfeeding: A Comprehensive Resource." The publication provides an overview of infant feeding in the context of HIV, based on current evidence. The Kit contains information on HIV transmission, guidelines on HIV treatment, discussion of the importance of breastfeeding to infant and young child health, and actions to take to support women living with HIV.
State Fact Sheets on Economic Security for Women and Families, summarized from CAP
The Center for American Progress has published six "Fast Facts" fact sheets that use state-specific economic and demographic data to illustrate the need for state policies to support the economic security and health of women and families, including guaranteeing access to paid sick days and paid family and medical leave, ensuring fair pay and fair schedules, raising the minimum wage, and more. See below for a list of fact sheets.
- "Fast Facts: Economic Security for Women and Families in Arizona"
- "Fast Facts: Economic Security for Women and Families in Colorado"
- "Fast Facts: Economic Security for Women and Families in Florida"
- "Fast Facts: Economic Security for Women and Families in Nevada"
- "Fast Facts: Economic Security for Women and Families in New Mexico"
- "Fast Facts: Economic Security for Women and Families in Texas"
Taking Action for Health Equity Webinar, summarized from TFAH
Join Trust for America's Health on Tuesday, October 16, from 2:30-4 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Taking Action to Promote Health Equity Series: Breaking Outside of the Box—Innovative Collaborations." Presenters will discuss how they use innovation, collaboration, and a multifaceted approach to benefit not just their organizations, but the surrounding areas they serve, and ultimately improve health equity.
Fact Sheets on Paid Leave Access, summarized from NPWF
The National Partnership for Women and Families has updated several fact sheets to reflect recent paid leave access numbers and newly passed state leave laws.
- "The Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act"
- "The Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act: Frequently Asked Questions"
- "Paid Leave Works in California, New Jersey and Rhode Island"
- "Paid Family and Medical Leave: Good for Business"
Paid Leave Resource for Non-Standard Employees, summarized from ABB
A Better Balance has published a paper titled "Report: Constructing 21st Century Rights for a Changing Workforce: A Policy Brief Series: Brief 2." The brief focuses on paid family and medical leave and nonstandard employees, examining key questions in effectively covering nonstandard employees, including part-time workers, seasonal workers, temporary workers, and domestic workers.
Breastfeeding Program Evaluation Issue Brief, summarized from NACCHO
The National Association of County and City Health Officials has released an issue brief titled "Breastfeeding in the Community: Setting Up Your Own Monitoring and Evaluation Plan." The brief describes steps to develop monitoring and evaluation plans for community-level breastfeeding programs and shares lessons learned from the NACCHO Breastfeeding Project evaluation.
News from the Field
Infant and Youth Mortality Trends by Race/Ethnicity, summarized from JAMA Pediatrics
The journal JAMA Pediatrics has published the results of a descriptive study that analyzed death certificate data from the US National Center for Health Statistics, Statistics Canada, and the UK Office of National Statistics for all deaths among individuals younger than 25 years. The researchers found that mortality rates in the United States have generally declined for infants and youths from 1999 to 2015 owing to reductions in sudden infant death syndrome, unintentional injury death, and homicides. However, U.S. mortality rates remain higher than Canada and England/Wales, with particularly elevated rates among black and American Indian/Alaskan Native youth.
Call for Manuscripts on Breast Health/Breastfeeding, summarized from JMWH
The editors of the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health are soliciting manuscripts about breast health across the lifespan and breastfeeding for upcoming JMWH continuing education offerings. The deadline for submission is Thursday, November 15.
Latina Maternal & Child Health Review, summarized from Urban Strategies
Urban Strategies has published a report titled, "2018 Latina Maternal & Child Health Review." This review contains 11 chapters organized to address key areas in Latina maternal and child health (MCH). Each chapter contains U.S. data in combination with peer review, and the review includes an overview of Latina MCH in the United States and a number of critical areas identified as strategic opportunities for improvement.
Webinar on Public Health and Equity, summarized from ChangeLab Solutions
Join ChangeLab Solutions on Tuesday, October 16, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Preemption, Public Health, and Equity: The Search for Local Solutions." Presenters will explore the effects of states' placing limits on local government power and how preemption both hinders and advances health equity.
Website with Paid Leave Resources for Businesses, summarized from BANPL
Businesses Advancing National Paid Leave have launched a website spotlighting the 75-plus businesses and business leaders that have endorsed the need for a strong, inclusive national paid leave policy like the FAMILY Act. Business leaders, policymakers, advocates and issue experts have come together to endorse key principles for a national paid leave fund that would meet the needs of working people, their diverse families and America's large and small businesses alike. The website features a variety of paid leave resources for businesses.
Study on Health Outcomes Based on Feeding Method, summarized from Pediatrics
The journal Pediatrics has published an article titled, "Infant Feeding and Weight Gain: Separating Breast Milk From Breastfeeding and Formula From Food." The authors investigated the method of breast milk feeding, type of supplementation, or feeding in hospital in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort. The article concluded that breastfeeding is inversely associated with weight gain velocity and BMI. These associations are dose dependent, partially diminished when breast milk is fed from a bottle, and substantially weakened by formula supplementation after the neonatal period.
Collective Impact Connection
Evaluating Progress in Policy Change, summarized from Tamarack Institute
The Tamarack Institute has published an article entitled "What We Know So Far About Evaluating Progress in Policy Change." The author presents a framework and a variety of design elements for planning and assessing your policy change efforts.
State & Community News
Breastfeeding and Maternity Care Toolkit, summarized from Michigan
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network has published the "Breastfeeding and Maternity Care Toolkit." The guide provides tools for implementing evidence-based, culturally sensitive maternity care to improve breastfeeding outcomes statewide. It includes a current Baby-Friendly designation map for the state, several promotional flyers, and a platform for sharing stories. Maternity Care fliers are available in Arabic, Burmese, English, Japanese, and Spanish.
News & Views
AAP blog: "Breast is Best Again and Again"
The American Homefront Project: "A Challenge For Military Moms: Breastfeeding And Pumping On Duty"
The Conversation: "For mothers who lose their babies, donating breast milk is a healing ritual"