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.
In this Issue:
- USBC Updates
- Healthy People 2030 Public Comment Opportunity
- NBCC 2019 Call for Presentation Proposals
- Power Tools Webinar on Communication Strategies
- Federal News
- Partial Government Shutdown Update, summarized from Congress
- ASH Response to Workplace Support Constellation Sign on Letter, summarized from HHS
- Member News
- Birth Equity Leadership Academy Application Open, summarized from HCO
- IBCLC Program Re-accredited for Five Years, summarized from IBLCE
- Partner News
- Invitation to Join Continuity of Care Working Group, summarized from NACCHO
- Equity Elements
- Perspectives on Maternal Safety, summarized from AHRQ
- First Step Act and Incarcerated Women
- Black Maternal Health Week Announcement, summarized from BMMA
- News & Views
Healthy People 2030 Public Comment Opportunity
The Breastfeeding Public Health Partners have released "Background, Rationale & Template Comments for Breastfeeding Objectives within Proposed Objectives for Healthy People 2030" to serve as a resource for individuals and organizations responding to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services public comment opportunity for Healthy People 2030. The proposed objectives for Healthy People 2030 includes one breastfeeding objective on exclusive breastfeeding at six months. This is a steep reduction from Healthy People 2020, which included eight breastfeeding objectives (including four sub-objectives). The Healthy People initiative has helped drive attention to breastfeeding support, and as a result, breastfeeding rates have increased, but stark racial and geographic disparities remain in breastfeeding rates and for associated health outcomes. To ensure continued momentum and progress toward creating a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States, it is critical that Healthy People 2030 maintains a focus on breastfeeding. The Breastfeeding Public Health Partners are coordinating and mobilizing stakeholders to support the continued inclusion of breastfeeding in the Healthy People initiative. Please note that regulatory commenting is not lobbying. Individuals and organizations across the field are encouraged to submit comments by the deadline of Thursday, January 17.
NBCC 2019 Call for Presentation Proposals
The USBC has released the Call for Presentation Proposals for the Ninth National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening to be held on June 14 & 15, 2019, in Bethesda, MD. The theme of the 2019 NBCC is Taking Equity from Theory to Practice: Advancing Inclusive and Collaborative Breastfeeding Support. Submission of proposals are invited to be considered for breakout panel presentations, lunch table discussions, and poster presentations. 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 Thursday, January 31. Please share about your work to support breastfeeding families!
Power Tools Webinar on Communication Strategies
Join USBC on Wednesday, January 16, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Being Heard: Key Communication Strategies for Maternal and Child Health Organizations." Presented as part of the "Power Tools for Coalitions" webinar series, Kimberly Seals Allers will present on key strategies for improving communication efforts and targeting messaging to affected and marginalized communities. The webinar will cover press releases, social media, and community events as communication tools to promote healthy births, maternal health, and optimal infant nutrition. It will walk through completing a basic communication plan focused on improving breastfeeding and maternal child health outcomes and provide opportunities for questions and answers with the presenter. Register for the webinar series.
Partial Government Shutdown Update, summarized from Congress
The partial government shutdown has continued in the absence of a compromise to fund seven unfinished spending bills comprising 25% of the federal government. See last week's issue of the Weekly Wire for a compilation of highlights from the field. Newly released highlights from the field include:
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: "Millions Face Cut in SNAP Food Assistance if Government Shutdown Continues"
- Coalition on Human Needs: "Shutdown Status and a Call to Action"
- National WIC Association: "Washington Update: Shutdown Continues, WIC to Remain Funded through February"
- Trust for America's Health: "Congress and the President Should Act to End the Government Shutdown and Restore Critical Health Services"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: "USDA Announces Plan to Protect SNAP Participants' Access to SNAP in February"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service: Email to WIC State Agencies stating that the Food and Nutrition Service will allocate $248 million in unspent prior year funds to assist State agencies in maintaining normal program operations during January 2019
ASH Response to Workplace Support Constellation Sign on Letter, summarized from HHS
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health has issued a response to the USBC-affiliated Workplace Support Constellation sign on letter to the Office on Women's Health and the Assistant Secretary for Health on the revision/reduction of the Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions resource. The Constellation sign on letter expressed concern about the temporary removal of Spanish language content and videos, removal of photographs showing industry-specific solutions to providing time and space accommodations, and the removal of the majority of the videos from the Supporting Nursing Moms at Work webpages. The HHS response letter states that the revisions were made in order to make the content easily available on mobile devices, outlines the process timeline taken to update the Spanish version of the website, and discusses other content updates.
Birth Equity Leadership Academy Application Open, summarized from HCO
HealthConnect One has announced an open application to the Birth Equity Leadership Academy. The program is looking for community leaders from multiple disciplines, including artists, entrepreneurs, researchers, doulas, community health workers, who want to share their gifts and experience to support moms, babies and families in their community.
IBCLC Program Re-accredited for Five Years, summarized from IBLCE
The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners has announced that the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has re-accredited their International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) certification program for a five-year term. The IBCLC program first received NCCA accreditation in 1988 and has held this third-party accreditation continuously for thirty years. Currently, over 30,000 in 108 countries are certified to use the IBCLC® designation, with approximately half located in the U.S. The IBCLC certification examination is offered in 18 languages.
Invitation to Join Continuity of Care Working Group, summarized from NACCHO
The National Association of County and City Health Officials has issued an invitation for organizations to join a collaborative working group on continuity of care and breastfeeding support. NACCHO's definition of Community Continuity of Care (CCOC) is the process by which families are given consistent high quality breastfeeding education and support and adequate care coordination across all providers and service institutions within their community from the prenatal period through weaning. The main goal of this collaborative group is to develop a blueprint for CCOC, in partnership with other national organizations. Interested organizations are encouraged to fill out the online engagement survey.
Perspectives on Maternal Safety, summarized from AHRQ
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released an article titled "Maternal Safety" as part of its Perspectives on Safety series. The perspective examines the decline in maternal health outcomes in the United States and summarizes recent national initiatives to improve safety in maternity care. The article emphasizes the importance of engaging with community stakeholders when addressing maternal health and taking a broad approach to understanding how bias, discrimination, community relations, and public policy affect maternal safety
First Step Act and Incarcerated Women, summarized from ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union has published a blog post titled "The First Step Act Is a Small Step for Incarcerated Women." The post details new protections for incarcerated women after the passage of the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act (FIRST STEP Act). The legislation ends two gender-specific indignities of federal incarceration: the shackling of pregnant women and restrictions on access to menstrual hygiene products. The article also highlights the rising women's population in state prisons and includes suggestions for additional gender-inclusive prison reform efforts.
USBC Insights: The USBC hosts the Lactation Support for Incarcerated Women Learning Community to support sharing and collaboration. You will need to be logged in to the USBC website to view and join the online community. If you do not yet have a user account, sign up here for instant access. Then, go to the learning community home page and click the "Join Community" button toward the top of the right sidebar.
Black Maternal Health Week Announcement, summarized from BMMA
Join Black Mamas Matter Alliance April 11-17 for the 2nd Annual Black Maternal Health Week, a week of awareness raising, activism, and community building for black mothers. Follow and use hashtags #BMHW19 and #BlackMaternalHealthWeek and sign-up for BMMA's mailing list to receive timely information.
News & Views
Prevention Institute: "Why and how we should all submit feedback on Healthy People 2030"