Weekly Wire: December 12, 2019
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
- State-Specific Call for Actions Supporting Workplace Lactation Accommodations
- #GivingTuesday Results and Thank You
- National News
- BFHI Assessment Interim Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria, summarized from Baby-Friendly USA
- Lawsuits Filed Against Frontier Airlines for Lack of Pregnancy, Breastfeeding Accommodations, summarized from ACLU
- Dietary Guidelines Public Meeting Announcement, summarized from USDA/HHS
- Paid Leave Collaborative Launched, summarized from Paid Leave for All
- Bill to Support Student Parents Introduced, summarized from Congress
- State and Community News
- Maternal and Infant Health Report, summarized from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia
- Illinois Courthouse Lactation Accommodations Report, summarized from ACLU IL
- Equity Lens
- Language Access and Breastfeeding Equity Webinar, summarized from MIBFN
- Collective Impact Connection
- Transforming Community Engagement Paper, summarized from Tamarack
- News & Views
*denotes a USBC member organization news item
State-Specific Call for Actions Supporting Workplace Lactation Accommodations
The USBC is actively working to ensure strong support in Congress when the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act is introduced. To support that effort, we invite individuals from all states and territories, but particularly constituents in Alaska, Montana, New York, Washington, and West Virginia, to contact their Members of Congress using our action tool titled "Ask your Members of Congress to Support Breastfeeding Employees." The PUMP Act, soon to be introduced in Congress, would ensure all workers have the right to break time and a private space to pump breast milk, as well as a mechanism to ensure that workers can hold their employer accountable if they do not comply. Please take action today!
#GivingTuesday Results and Thank You
Thank you to our entire network for sharing, giving, and connecting with us on Giving Tuesday! We received more than $4,000 in donations, bringing us that much closer to our year-end goal of $6,000! Thank you to all who contributed, and to all who took the next step and became a monthly donor to the USBC. We cannot create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the country without you! If you've not yet made a contribution, we invite you to join us by committing to be a monthly donor to the USBC. Thank you.
*BFHI Assessment Interim Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria, summarized from Baby-Friendly USA
Baby-Friendly USA has released Interim Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria (GEC) for Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative assessments taking place between February 1, 2020 and December 31, 2022. The changes in the interim GEC are intended to add greater clarity, give mothers and families more choices, and encourage more collaborative conversations between parents and providers. Baby-Friendly USA has also published a chart summarizing these changes and additions to the 2016 version of the U.S. Baby-Friendly GEC.
Lawsuits Filed Against Frontier Airlines for Lack of Pregnancy, Breastfeeding Accommodations, summarized from ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union has announced that it has filed two companion lawsuits, Freyer v. Frontier and Hodgkins v. Frontier, against Frontier Airlines. The lawsuits include pilots and flight attendants and claim that Frontier Airlines has discriminatory policies and practices of refusing to provide accommodations to pregnant and breastfeeding pilots and flight attendants, prohibiting breast pumping while on duty, and penalizing pregnancy-related absences. Media highlights include:
- ACLU Press Release: "ACLU Sues Frontier Airlines for Discrimination Against Pregnant and Breastfeeding Employees"
- The Lily: "Frontier Airlines discriminates against pregnant employees, say female pilots and flight attendants. Now they're suing."
- Mother Jones: "It's 2019 and Female Pilots Are Still Fighting Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace"
USBC Insight: Breastfeeding employees need to express breast milk regularly in order to maintain their milk supply and ensure that there is adequate milk for their child. Unfortunately, many workers, like pilots and flight attendants, face challenges trying to find the basic accommodations they need to do so – accommodations such as time and a private, non-bathroom space. The Providing Urgent Maternal Protection (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act, soon to be introduced, would provide a powerful remedy to these challenges by ensuring that all workers are protected by federal legislation that requires workplace accommodations for breastfeeding employees and that workers can hold their employers accountable if they do not comply. Connect with your Members of Congress urging to them to support the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act using our action tool.
Dietary Guidelines Public Meeting Announcement, summarized from USDA/HHS
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have announced the fourth meeting of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The public meeting will be held on Thursday, January 23, and Friday, January 24 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. ET. This meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible by webcast or by attendance in-person at the USDA Children's Nutrition Research Center in Houston, Texas. Online registration will close at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 15. Both meeting days will include deliberation of the full Committee after presentations by each subcommittee. Presentations will outline the approaches and progress made on scientific reviews covering six topic area subcommittees, including the subcommittee on pregnancy and lactation. The Committee has also issued an invitation for in-person oral comments from the public on the afternoon of day two of the meeting, January 24. Registration to provide oral comments is required, and space is available on a first come, first served basis.
USBC Insight: During the past year, USBC has shared updates on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), released jointly by the USDA and HHS every 5 years. Beginning with the 2020 edition, the DGA will expand to include for the first time, guidance for infants and toddlers (from birth to age 24 months) and women who are pregnant. The USBC is collaborating with partner organizations to engage the First Food field in advocating for these key population groups during the development of the DGAC scientific report as well as the final Dietary Guidelines released by USDA and HHS.
Paid Leave Collaborative Launched, summarized from Paid Leave for All
National and state organizations campaigning for paid leave in the United States have launched a collaborative group titled "Paid Leave for All." The collaborative plans to develop a coordinated strategy to win an inclusive paid family and medical leave policy with bipartisan support. Read their announcement press release here.
Bill to Support Student Parents Introduced, summarized from Congress
Representatives Colin Allred (TX-32) and David Trone (MD-6) have introduced "H.R.5222 - Helping Student Parents Succeed Act" in the House of Representatives. The bill would require higher education institutions to notify students about policies that impact expectant and parenting students. This includes information about lactation accommodations available to students, leaves of absence related to pregnancy and birth, and financial aid eligibility for expectant and parenting students. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
State and Community News
Maternal and Infant Health Report, summarized from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia has released a publication titled "2019 State of the State: Maternal and Infant Health in Georgia Report." The report highlights known data and evidence regarding maternal and infant health indicators in Georgia, key findings, and evidence-based recommendations to improve maternal and infant health in the state. Information about Georgia's breastfeeding rates and demographics, barriers to breastfeeding, Baby-Friendly hospital designation, and breastfeeding laws are included in the report.
Illinois Courthouse Lactation Accommodations Report, summarized from ACLU IL
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois has published a report titled "Where Can I Pump Breastmilk at Court? A Report Card on Lactation Accommodations in Illinois Courthouses." The report summarizes an assessment of compliance with a state law that requires that a private space outside of a restroom be available for members of the public to express breast milk in all Illinois Circuit Court county courthouses. This space needs to contain a chair, a table, and an electrical outlet. Counties were given until June 1, 2019 to ensure the availability of such a lactation space in each courthouse. According to the report, of the 77 facilities surveyed, nearly 25% lacked appropriate lactation accommodations. ACLU IL has also compiled a checklist of best practices for Illinois courthouses to ensure their lactation accommodations are workable and accessible to the public.
*Language Access and Breastfeeding Equity Webinar, summarized from MIBFN
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network is hosting a webinar titled "Language Access: A Breastfeeding Equity Issue" on Tuesday, December 17, from 1-2p.m. ET. Presented as part of the Great Lakes Breastfeeding Webinars series, participants will receive an in-depth look at how peer support can address racial equity in breastfeeding support in relation to language access that can help build bridges, trust, and connections.
Collective Impact Connection
Transforming Community Engagement Paper, summarized from Tamarack
The Tamarack Institute has published a paper titled "Creating the Culture for Engagement: Fear." The author argues that fear is one of the biggest barriers that prevents changemakers from applying authentic community engagement practices. The paper explores the role of fear in the engagement process and provides practical strategies for transforming and applying fear in community engagement.
News & Views
Insights (NICHQ blog): "Children's Health Policy Update: Fall 2019"
*MIBFN Press Release: "MIBFN calls for breastfeeding supportive policy and training at Children's Hospital of Michigan"
Tampa Bay Times: "Tampa airport to add amenities for nursing moms and service dogs"