Weekly Wire: October 19, 2018

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 Updates

Breastfeeding Legislation and Policy Toolkit Update

The USBC has published an updated edition of the "Breastfeeding Legislation and Policy Update." The toolkit provides advocates across the First Food field with information, talking points, and action opportunities on a variety of policy topics that impact breastfeeding families. The toolkit features background information, status updates, key messages, sample tweets, and individual and organizational action opportunities. Complete the short form to download the policy toolkit.

New Weekly Wire Section

Editor's Note: The Weekly Wire has launched a new section titled "Equity Elements." News items and newly published resources that relate to health equity, racial equity, gender equity, and other related topics can be found there. Be sure to submit any relevant news from your organization using our online form.


Special Section on SIDS Awareness Month

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of sudden infant death and to promote safe sleep for babies.

Highlights from the field include: 

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
    • The CDC has published an online feature titled "Helping Babies Sleep Safely." The publication highlights steps to help babies sleep safely and reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including SIDS.
    • Join the CDC on Tuesday, October 23, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a session of the Public Health Grand Rounds titled "Safe Sleep for Infants."
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: NICHD, in partnership with the CDC, has launched a social media campaign to encourage people to share photos of babies (up to 12 months of age) in a safe sleep environment to help educate others about safe infant sleep. Social media users are encouraged to post using #SafeToSleep. Learn more about a safe sleep environment on NICHD's webpage: "What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like?. " 

Federal News

Loving Support of Excellence Award Application Opened, summarized from FNS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, has opened applications for the "Loving Support of Excellence" program. This award was developed to recognize and celebrate local WIC agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding programs and support services. Local WIC agencies that have operated a peer counseling program for at least one year and meet all of the required core components of the WIC Breastfeeding Model for peer counseling are eligible to apply. The application period is open until Friday, December 14. 

Reports on WIC Food Package and Program Participation, summarized from FNS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service has published a report on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food Package titled, "Fiscal Year 2014 WIC Food Package Costs Final Report." The report supplements FNS administrative data on food package costs by estimating the average monthly food costs for each WIC participant category and food package type. This report is an update to the previous WIC Food Package Cost Report for FY 2010. In addition, FNS has released a report titled, "WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2016: Food Package Report," Since 1988, FNS has produced biennial reports on WIC participant and program characteristics. This information is used for general program monitoring and managing WIC information needs such as estimating budgets, submitting civil rights reports, identifying research needs, and reviewing current and proposed WIC policies and procedures. 


Partner Updates

Conversations About Breastfeeding Webinar, summarized from NICHQ

Join the National Institute for Children's Health Quality on Wednesday, November 7, from 3-4 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Improving Our Approach: Better Conversations About Breastfeeding." The webinar will provide approaches and strategies health professionals can use to help mothers open up about the challenges they face when breastfeeding. Speakers will address the supports and barriers facing breastfeeding mothers, methods to identify breastfeeding concerns, conversational approaches to better identify and engage with breastfeeding concerns, and methods for inspiring behavioral change.

Report on Health Community Engagement and Paid Leave, summarized from ABB

A Better Balance has released a report titled "For the Health of Our Families: Engaging the Health Community in Paid Family Leave Outreach and Education." The report provides an overview of research on health benefits of paid family and medical leave, information about New York's paid family leave program, and expert recommendations about how to engage health organizations, health care providers and other direct service providers in outreach and education about paid leave, based on discussions with a broad range of stakeholders.

Report on Access to Maternity Care, summarized from MOD

March of Dimes has released a report titled, "Nowhere to Go: Maternity Care Deserts Across the U.S." A maternity care desert is a county in which access to maternity health care services is limited or absent, either through lack of services or barriers to a woman's ability to access that care. This report begins to identify these areas by looking at the availability of hospitals, health care providers, and means to pay for that care through health insurance.

Updated Fact Sheets on Paid Sick Days summarized from NPWF

The National Partnership for Women & Families has updated several fact sheets about paid sick days with current access rates, current information about existing paid sick days laws and new research on the relationship between paid sick days, poverty and health care costs.

USBC Insights: Paid sick days make it possible for breastfeeding employees to access preventive services, including breastfeeding support and counseling, when needed.


News from the Field

Special Issue on MIECHV Evaluation, summarized from MCHJ

The Maternal and Child Health Journal has published a special issue titled "Taking Home Visiting to Scale: Findings from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program State-Led Evaluations." The issue includes an introduction to the MIECHV program and 11 articles on state-led evaluations on the program.


Equity Elements

Public Charge Updates, summarized from Various

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has published a public comment opportunity in the Federal Register titled, "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds." 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. The public comment period is open until Monday, December 10. Updates and resources from members and partners include:

City-Based Initiative to Reduce Maternal Mortality, summarized from Merck for Mothers

Merck for Mothers has announced a new multi-city initiative to reduce maternal mortality, improve health outcomes and narrow disparities in maternal health, and is seeking expressions of interest from eligible city-based organizations across the country. The Safer Childbirth Cities initiative will support US cities with a high burden of maternal mortality and morbidity to implement evidence-informed interventions and women-centric, innovative approaches to reverse the country's increase in pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths and life-threatening complications. Expressions of Interest are due on Wednesday, October 31. A limited number of applicants will then be invited to submit a full proposal to the Safer Childbirth Cities initiative in early 2019.

Maternal Mortality Investigation Announcement, summarized from Congress

The House Ways and Means Committee has announced that an investigation into rising death rates among mothers during and after childbirth will be launched. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), and Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) have launched an investigation to determine why maternal mortality and morbidity rates are rising in America and what federal agencies, states, and hospitals are doing and can do to address this issue.


News & Views

People: "Goodbye Bathroom Breastfeeding! New Law Requires Lactation Rooms in All Major U.S. Airports"

NICHQ Insights: "An African-American Fraternity Alliance is Changing Infant Health Outcomes "  

Bloomberg: "Breast Pumping at Work Makes the Gender Pay Gap Worse"

Forbes: "The Women-Centric Conference We Actually Needed"

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