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
- Advocacy Day at the Capitol Policy Briefing Webinar – June 5
- NBCC Marketing Application Deadline – May 24
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Webpage
- Welcome New USBC Members: Montana State Breastfeeding Coalition and Vital Village Network's Boston Breastfeeding Coalition
- National News
- Webinar on Sustainability and Community Engagement, summarized from CHEER
- Milk Donation Day Promotion Toolkit, summarized from HMBANA
- Report on Pregnancy Accommodation Gaps and Solutions, summarized from ABB
- Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Reintroduced, summarized from Congress
- Family-Friendly Legislation Package Introduced, summarized from Congress
- Webinar on Community-Clinical Linkages, summarized from NACCHO
- Report on Increasing WIC Program Reach, summarized from FRAC
- State/Community News
- Report on Infant Feeding Disparities in Los Angeles County, summarized from BreastfeedLA
- Report on Policies that Support Working Women in Tennessee, summarized from ABB/ThinkTennessee
- Workplace Breastfeeding Accommodation Bill Signed Into Law, summarized from Oregon
- Equity Lens
- Report on Eliminating Racial Disparities in Infant and Maternal Mortality, summarized from CAP
- Article on Supporting Single Mothers in College, summarized from SSIR
- Collective Impact Connection
- Webinar on Power and Privilege, summarized from Tamarack
- Report on Moving from Member-Based to Member-Led Organizations,summarized from MUA/RoadMap
- News & Views
*denotes a USBC member organization news item
Advocacy Day Policy Briefing Webinar
Join us on Wednesday, June 5, for the Advocacy Day Policy Briefing webinar from 2–3 p.m. ET. This webinar briefing informs Advocacy Day attendees about this year's breastfeeding policy priorities, provides tips and event logistics to maximize the experience, as well as offers an opportunity for questions and connections with fellow attendees. During the webinar, attendees will receive online access to Advocacy Day materials and talking points. (Printed materials for distribution at legislative meetings will be provided the morning of Advocacy Day.) No pre-registration is required for the webinar briefing. This training will be recorded and a link to the recording will be sent to all registered Advocacy Day attendees after the presentation. Registered attendees will receive webinar log in information via email. To ensure that you receive communications related to this and other NBCC events, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts list. Learn more and register for the USBC Advocacy Day at the U.S. Capitol.
NBCC Marketing Application Deadline – May 24
USBC has issued a reminder of the upcoming deadline to complete the online application for NBCC marketing opportunities. The conference offers a wide range of options, including exhibits, sponsorship, and advertising opportunities at various price points. Learn more about NBCC marketing opportunities and complete your online application before the deadline on Friday, May 24. Reach out to email@example.com with questions.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Webpage
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! The USBC has published a webpage titled, "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month." The webpage features a compilation of resources, tools, and materials from the field related to breastfeeding, nutrition, health, and culture. Learn about the generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are contributing to its success. Please send additional resources to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome New USBC Members: Montana State Breastfeeding Coalition & Vital Village Network's Boston Breastfeeding Coalition
The Montana State Breastfeeding Coalition is a new coalition member of the USBC with the mission to build and link community partners to support, promote, and protect breastfeeding. Since their founding in 2006, MSBC has facilitated a number of breastfeeding specific activities, including facilitating the Montana Mother-Friendly Worksite Breastfeeding Initiative; facilitating MontanaBreastfeeds!, a project to normalize breastfeeding; and increasing access to breastfeeding training. MSBC actively works to create strong partnerships with key stakeholders, including the local Montana breastfeeding coalitions/ breastfeeding support groups, cultural and tribal breastfeeding organizations, and perinatal nutrition organizations to increase lactation support access across their geographically large, rural state. Among other things, the MSBC has also increased access to lactation training by offering diversity scholarships to Certified Lactation Counselor Training and yearly Montana Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative. Learn more about their work here!
The Vital Village Network's Boston Breastfeeding Coalition is a new coalition member of the USBC, committed to maximizing child, family, and community well-being. The BBC's mission is to improve access to breastfeeding support for every caregiver in Boston and promote social connections and optimal child enrichment in early life. They are committed to: improving access to breastfeeding support for every parent in Boston, promoting connections between individuals and organizations that promote breastfeeding advocacy, supporting pathways for professional lactation counselors, and ultimately shifting the breastfeeding culture in Boston and beyond. Since the beginning, equity has been embedded into BBC's operations and today, over 87% of peer counselors in the Boston Breastfeeding Coalition at Vital Village Network (VVN) are women of color who provide support to their breastfeeding peers in formal & informal ways. The groups are held in community spaces that are free and accessible. Peer counselors speak multiple languages to meet the diverse populations living in Boston. Learn more about their work here!
*Webinar on Sustainability and Community Engagement, summarized from CHEER
Join the Center for Health Equity, Education, & Research on Wednesday, June 19, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Sustainability and Community Engagement." The webinar will be provided as part of CHEER's Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices (CHAMPS) initiative which promotes best practices in maternity care and will be presented by speakers from Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere.
*Milk Donation Day Promotion Toolkit, summarized from HMBANA
Milk Donation Day is Sunday, May 19! The Human Milk Banking Association of North America has launched a media resource kit that it is promoting together with the European Milk Bank Association, with a focus on donor milk equity and the healing power of human milk. The resource kit is available upon request. Contact email@example.com or message HMBANA via Facebook or Twitter. Join the conversation on social media at hashtag #MilkDonationDay.
Report on Pregnancy Accommodation Gaps and Solutions, summarized from ABB
A Better Balance has released a new report, titled "Long Overdue: It Is Time for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act." The report highlights that, in spite of Young v. UPS, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that set new standards for pregnant workers' federal protections, today's pregnant workers, especially women in low-wage and physically demanding jobs, are still forced to choose between a paycheck and a healthy pregnancy. In an extensive review of post-Young pregnancy accommodation cases conducted for this report, ABB found that in over two-thirds of cases, despite the new Young standard, courts held employers were permitted to deny pregnant workers accommodations under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This report includes an analysis of state legislative histories, centering the voices of those state lawmakers, as well as business groups, who worked to pass pregnancy accommodation laws. The report identifies supporting lactation as a public health issue.
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Reintroduced, summarized from Congress
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) has been introduced in the House with bipartisan support. The bill would protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination by addressing legal ambiguities and helping ensure that pregnant women are treated fairly on the job. The bill is modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and would require employers to make reasonable accommodations, such as a minor job modification, that would allow pregnant workers to continue working and prevent them from being forced out on leave or out of their jobs. The bill also prohibits employers from denying employment opportunities to women based on their need for reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including lactation. Highlights from the field include:
- A Better Balance:
- Employer Benefit News:
- National Partnership for Women and Families:
- National Women's Law Center:
Family-Friendly Legislation Package Introduced, summarized from Congress
Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL) has introduced a package of bills to make workplaces more family-friendly, improve childcare services, make it easier for low-income and middle-class families to obtain diapers for their children and close loopholes that prevent many educational support staff from being able to take medical leave through the Family Medical Leave Act. The package includes four pieces of legislation: the End Diaper Need Act, the ESP Family Leave Act, the Honoring Family-Friendly Workplaces Act, and the Expanding On-Campus Child Care to Help Parents Succeed Act.
Webinar on Community-Clinical Linkages, summarized from NACCHO
Join the National Association of County and City Health Officials on Wednesday, May 22, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Knitting a Lactation Safety Net: Community-Clinical Linkages: Why These Connections Matter for Breastfeeding." Presenters will discuss how communities are effectively connecting with birthing facilities and local medical providers to improve continuity of care from the prenatal period until breastfeeding weaning. Participants will also learn from local organizations that are effectively partnering with clinical partners to close the critical gap that many families fall through, pre- and post-discharge.
Report on Increasing WIC Program Reach, summarized from FRAC
The Food Research & Action Center has published a report titled "Making WIC Work Better: Strategies to Reach More Women and Children and Strengthen Benefits Use." This report highlights proven and innovative strategies to effectively reach and serve more of those who are eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
*Report on Infant Feeding Disparities in Los Angeles County, summarized from BreastfeedLA
BreastfeedLA has published a report titled "Taking Action to Reduce Infant Feeding Inequities in Los Angeles County: Our Collective Responsibility." The report summarizes research that identifies discrepancies in breastfeeding outcomes among racial/ethnic groups in Los Angeles County, and among various geographic regions and particular hospitals. It identifies three priority areas for improving breastfeeding outcomes and equity: inequities in hospital experience, access to paid family leave, and postnatal breastfeeding support and supplies. The authors also provide specific recommendations for each priority area.
Report on Policies that Support Working Women in Tennessee, summarized from ABB/ThinkTennessee
A Better Balance and ThinkTennessee have released a policy brief titled "Tennessee's Economy is Hampered by a Lack of Pro-Family Policies that Support Working Women." The report examines how a lack of pro-family policies like paid family leave, workplace pregnancy accommodations, breastfeeding protections, and access to affordable and quality child care have a negative effect on Tennessee's families and economy. It also includes examples of the impact pro-family policies have had in other states and Tennessee-specific recommendations to better support working women and their families.
Workplace Breastfeeding Accommodation Bill Signed Into Law, summarized from Oregon
Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed House Bill 2593 into law, amending existing Oregon workplace breastfeeding protections. Oregon Revised Statute § 653.077 requires employers to provide reasonable break time and a private space for breastfeeding employees to express milk during the work day. HB2593 amended this statute by limiting eligibility for an undue hardship exemption to employers with 10 or fewer employees. The undue hardship exemption was previously available to employers with 25 or fewer employees. The bill also removes gendered language around expression of milk in the workplace. The law will take effect 91 days after the Oregon Legislative Assembly's 2019 session adjourns.
Report on Eliminating Racial Disparities in Infant and Maternal Mortality, summarized from CAP
The Center for American Progress has published a report titled "Eliminating Racial Disparities in Maternal and Infant Mortality." The report provides a comprehensive policy framework to eliminate racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality. Because of the interdependence of pregnancy and birth outcomes, the authors consider solutions that address racial disparities in both maternal and infant mortality. The report outlines policy strategies in several areas and makes recommendations in each to address the ongoing threat to African American mothers and their infants. Recommendations include: strengthen existing health programs and support reproductive health care, including breastfeeding support; invest in and expand access to policies and programs that support families' basic needs, including paid family leave and workplace breastfeeding support; and invest in home visiting.
Article on Supporting Single Mothers in College, summarized from SSIR
The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an article titled "Support Single Mothers in College to Make Education More Equitable for All." The author highlights that to address the pressing issues of equity, access, affordability, and completion facing higher education, a growing movement of researchers, philanthropists, student activists, and college administrators are working to integrate family caregiving and support services into a 21st-century vision of college. They also name five actions that can help further combine family caregiving and support services and college.
Collective Impact Connection
Webinar on Power and Privilege, summarized from Tamarack
The Tamarack Institute is hosting a webinar titled "Overcoming Power and Privilege in Community Change." Speakers will address the mechanics of power and how to wield it with care in community change efforts. Although the live webinar is full, participants can sign up to receive the recording.
Report on Moving from Member-Based to Member-Led Organizatons, summarized from MUA/RoadMap
Mujeres Unidas y Activas and RoadMap have released a report titled "Shifting Power from the Inside Out: Lessons on Becoming Member-Led from Mujeres Unidas y Activas." The report offers a new framework for community-based organizations on the evolution from member-based to member-led organizational structure, culture, and practice.
News & Views
San Francisco Examiner: "SF to launch Office of Racial Equity"
The Huffington Post: "Pregnant Women Are Still Struggling To Keep Their Jobs"