Letter to HHS Secretary on Breastfeeding Coverage, from Congress
Forty-four Members of Congress have written a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, requesting that the Department immediately issue guidance to clarify that lactation services and supplies are covered by insurance plans. The letter highlights the recent reports indicating that insurance companies are not complying with the Affordable Care Act's mandate to provide this coverage.
Drug Labeling Rules Take Effect, from FDA
The Food and Drug Administration's updated rules for prescription drug labeling for pregnancy and lactation will take effect on June 30. The "Lactation" subsection, formally the "Nursing Mothers" subsection, now offers information about using labeled prescription drugs while breastfeeding, including how much of the drug is present in breast milk and the potential effects on the infant. Labeling for over-the-counter medications will not change.
Final Rule on Selenum in Formula, from FDA
The Food and Drug Administration has announced a final rule to add selenium, which is found is human milk, to the list of required nutrients for infant formula, and to establish both minimum and maximum levels. U.S. manufacturers began adding selenium to infant formula after the Institute of Medicine recognized it as an essential nutrient for infants in 1989, and currently all infant formulas on the U.S. market contain selenium.
Expanded Threshold for Reporting Perinatal Care Measure Set, from TJC
The Joint Commission has announced that, effective with January 1, 2016 discharges, the threshold for mandatory reporting of the Perinatal Care (PC) performance measure set will change from a minimum of 1,100 births annually to a minimum of 300 births per year. This expanded threshold means that all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals with 300 or more births per year will be required to collect data and report on all five measures in the PC core measure set, including PC-05, "Exclusive breast milk feeding." This new threshold will encompass more than 80 percent of accredited hospitals with birthing units.
World Breastfeeding Week Updates, from WABA
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is August 1-7. The 2015 theme—Breastfeeding and Work: Let's Make it Work!—will highlight the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding in the workplace. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action provides a free downloadable action folder and calendar, and has also announced the winners of its photo contest.
Nationwide Survey, from LLL USA
La Leche League USA has launched a one-month, nationwide survey to better understand the demographics of those served or touched by La Leche League through meetings, social media, email, in-person visits, and telephone. A similar survey has been sent to accredited LLL USA Leaders in order to better understand the demographics of those providing support. Both surveys will remain anonymous. Data will be used to create a clearer picture of both those receiving and providing support, and to help determine potential action steps for increasing diversity on all levels to better reach populations currently underserved by La Leche League USA.
Father Support Google Hangout, from WKKF
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has released a recording of the recent "First Food: Building Father Support" Google Hangout. The discussion focused on fathers as an essential part of a support system that helps babies, women, and communities benefit from breastfeeding.
Collective Impact Connection
Principles for Solving Complex, Systemic Problems, from SSIR
The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published a blog post entitled "Operating When You Can't See the Full Picture," highlighting three of nine principles for evaluating complexity and solving complex, systemic problems such as improving community health. The post emphasizes that complex problems require an emergent strategy, one that evolves over time as initial intentions and plans collide with, and accommodate, an ever-changing reality. All nine principles are contained in a full report published by FSG.
Project of the Year Award, from Kansas
The Kansas Business Case for Breastfeeding, a program of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition to help breastfeeding mothers with the transition to work, has received the 2014 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award from the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. Based on the national "Business Case" initiative, the program was expanded in Kansas in 2011 with grant support from the Fund and a new "grassroots to treetops" approach. Congratulations to USBC Board member Brenda Bandy and the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition on this achievement!
News & Views
The Huffington Post: "Fatherhood and Maternal Health: An Overlooked but Lifesaving Connection"