Weekly Wire: December 3, 2021

Weekly Wire: December 3, 2021

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 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
    • Technical Assistance Session on Non-Profit Operations
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Opportunity
    • Help us Finish Strong for our Giving Tuesday Campaign!
  • International News
    • 2021 Report Released, summarized from Global Nutrition Report
  • National News
    • Updated Position Statement on Human Milk Use, summarized from AWHONN
    • Statement on Descriptions of Breastfeeding, summarized from LLLI
    • Continuing Resolution Update, summarized from Congress
    • Protecting Moms Who Served Act Signed Into Law, summarized from White House
    • Build Back Better Act Passes House with Paid Leave, summarized from Congress
    • State of Childhood Obesity Report, summarized from RWJF
    • Infant and Maternal Mortality Advisory Committee Meeting, summarized from HRSA
    • MODERN WIC Act Introduced in Senate, summarized from Congress
  • State & Community News
    • State Legislature Holds Interim Study on Breastfeeding Support for Incarcerated Women, summarized from Oklahoma
    • Extended Medicaid and CHIP Postpartum Coverage in Virginia, summarized from CMS
    • Report on Paid Family Leave Implementation in New Jersey, summarized from CWW
  • Equity Lens
    • Listening Sessions on Racial Equity, summarized from NIH
    • Special Supplement on Health Disparities and Public Health Interventions, summarized from JPHMP
    • Article on Inequities in Paid Leave Access, summarized from Health Equity
  • News & Views

  MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg denotes a USBC member organization news item  CollectiveImpact.jpg denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item

USBC Updates

Technical Assistance Session on Non-Profit Operations

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is launching a new Non-Profit Management Technical Assistance Series. We will be collaborating with four leaders from the USBC community, one to support each training session. Register to join the first session on Non-Profit Operations on Wednesday, December 15, from 2-2:45 p.m. ET. During the session, Stephanie Hutchinson and Linda Kopecky will provide a packet of resources and review questions from the field. Registrants are invited to submit questions during registration.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Opportunity

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is hosting a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training titled "Factuality: The Game" on Friday, December 10, from 12:30-2 p.m. ET. Factuality is a facilitated dialogue, crash course, and interactive experience that simulates structural inequality in America. Through a 90-minute facilitated session, Factuality's gamified delivery creates a comfortable environment for participants to engage in meaningful experiential learning. Participants will simulate, discuss, and unpack the structural limitations and advantages that coincide with various intersecting identities. Registration closes on Wednesday, December 8. USBC Membership Manager, Alyssa Speece, published a blog titled "Join USBC on Our Equity Journey" outlining the role of this training opportunity within USBC DEI efforts.

Help us Finish Strong for our Giving Tuesday Campaign!

Thank you to everyone who shared, donated, and connected with us for Giving Tuesday 2021! We are just a few hundred dollars short of our fundraising goal of $10,000. The critical work of the USBC is made possible through the generous support of individuals like you, and every dollar counts. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

We can make a difference for an entire generation of families by investing in the systems that keep us healthy, the strategies that make a difference, and in tomorrow's leaders. If you've not yet made a donation to the USBC this year, we invite you to join us by supporting our vision of thriving families and communities

International News

2021 Report Released, summarized from Global Nutrition Report

The Global Nutrition Report released the "2021 Global Nutrition Report." The Global Nutrition Report is a multi-stakeholder initiative, consisting of a Stakeholder Group, Independent Expert Group, and Report Secretariat. The 2021 Global Nutrition Report provides a concise data-focused update on the state of diets and nutrition in the world. The report sets out progress towards the global nutrition targets, evaluates the impact of poor diets on health and the planet, assesses the nutrition financing landscape, and provides a comprehensive overview of reporting on past Nutrition for Growth (N4G) commitments.

National News

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Updated Position Statement on Human Milk Use, summarized from AWHONN

The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses published an updated position statement titled "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk." The statement underscores AWHONN's position that breastfeeding and the provision of expressed human milk are critical components to ensure the health and well-being of newborns, young children, and childbearing women and highlights the benefits of breastfeeding to each of those groups. It includes disparities in breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity, and the statement examines the role of the nurse in providing assistance and education in support of breastfeeding.

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Statement on Descriptions of Breastfeeding, summarized from LLLI

La Leche League International released a statement titled "Breastfeeding as Described by La Leche League International." The statement highlights and affirms the varied ways babies can receive human milk and the different descriptions that parents might use to describe that process.

Continuing Resolution Passed, summarized from Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate passed the Further Extending Government Funding Act (H.R. 6119), to continue government funding through February 18 and prevent a government shutdown while the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget negotiations continue. Learn more about the status of appropriations bills with the Congressional Research Service "Appropriations Status Table: FY2022."

Protecting Moms Who Served Act Signed Into Law, summarized from White House

The Protecting Moms Who Served Act of 2021 (S. 796/ H.R. 958) has been signed into law. The Protecting Moms Who Served Act codifies and strengthens the Department of Veterans Affairs maternity care coordination programs to ensure veterans receive high-quality maternal health care and support. Additionally, the bill would commission the first-ever comprehensive study of the scope of America's maternal health crisis among veterans, with a particular focus on racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes. The bill is endorsed by the USBC and was passed by the Senate and House with bipartisan support. Media highlights include:

Build Back Better Act Passes House with Paid Leave, summarized from Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). The Build Back Better (BBB) agenda included several provisions that specifically address lactation and lactating individuals or would have a significant impact on infant feeding, including establishing a national paid family and medical leave insurance program. Contact your Members of Congress in support of national, comprehensive, and permanent paid family and medical leave with the USBC action tool.

Several member and partner organizations released statements on the potential impact of BBB on families and babies:

State of Childhood Obesity Report, summarized from RWJF

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released its annual report titled "The State of Childhood Obesity." The report includes collated data and trends on childhood and adult obesity from major surveys that track rates at the national and state levels, priority policies for reducing childhood obesity, and state-specific obesity briefs. The publication also highlights the role of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), including breastfeeding support, in reducing obesity. 

Infant Mortality Advisory Committee Meeting, summarized from HRSA

The Health Resources and Services Administration announced that the next meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality (formerly the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality) will be held on Tuesday, December 15, from 12-4 p.m. ET, and Wednesday, December 15, from 12-4 p.m. ET. The ACIMM advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on department activities, partnerships, policies, and programs directed at reducing infant mortality, maternal mortality, and severe maternal morbidity and improving the health status of infants and women before, during, and after pregnancy.

MODERN WIC Act Introduced in Senate, summarized from Congress

Senators Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced the "More Options to Develop and Enhance Remote Nutrition in WIC (MODERN WIC) Act" (S. 3226). The MODERN WIC Act would invest $60 million to make WIC more accessible to low-income families and help ensure more applicants receive needed benefits by allowing them to certify and recertify for WIC services remotely. Media highlights include:

State & Community News

State Legislature Holds Interim Study on Breastfeeding Support for Incarcerated Women, summarized from Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Senate Public Safety Committee, in partnership with the Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates, heard an interim study on breastfeeding support for incarcerated women. The study was requested by Senator Carri Hicks (D-Oklahoma City) and hosted by Senator Jo Anna Dossett (D-Tulsa). The study included information from breastfeeding advocates, experts, and philanthropists.

Extended Medicaid and CHIP Postpartum Coverage in Virginia, summarized from CMS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved extended Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) postpartum coverage in Virginia. The extension will provide access to essential care for an estimated 6,000 Virginians. People enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in Virginia will be able to keep their coverage for 12 months, or regain coverage within that 12-month period, after childbirth. This is intended to help Virginia expand access to needed pregnancy-related care, with the goal of preventing unnecessary postpartum-related illnesses and deaths. Read the press release.

Report on Paid Family Leave Implementation in New Jersey, summarized from CWW

The Center for Women and Work published a report titled "Implementation of Paid Family Leave in New Jersey: A Promising Work in Progress." The report examines the state of paid family and medical leave implementation in New Jersey through the perspectives of employees, employers, advocates, and other stakeholders. It also offers recommendations to improve implementation and uptake of the paid family leave program. The report highlights the ability to establish breastfeeding as one of the benefits of paid family leave identified by employees.

Equity Lens

Listening Sessions on Racial Equity, summarized from NIH

The National Institutes of Health are holding a series of listening sessions on racial equity over the next few months as part of NIH's UNITE initiative. Key stakeholders at all levels of the biomedical research community who work and serve in diverse settings, hold various roles, and partner and collaborate with research teams are invited to share their experiences and insights. The sessions are broken into organizational affiliations, including Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Advocacy Organizations; Health Centers and Systems; and Foundations and Professional Societies.

Special Supplement on Health Disparities and Public Health Interventions, summarized from JPHMP

The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice released a special supplement entitled “Public Health Interventions to Address Health Disparities Associated with Structural Racism.” The supplement includes first-person commentaries, research reports from public health departments, articles on maternal and child health. The guest editor of the special supplement is Dr. Mary Bassett, the incoming director of public health for the State of New York and former commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Article on Inequities in Paid Leave Access, summarized from Health Equity

Health Equity published an article titled “Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Paid Parental Leave Access.” Through analysis of a survey of mothers who gave birth in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016–2017, the authors aimed to characterize racial/ethnic inequities in access to paid leave after the birth of a child. They found that non-Hispanic (NH) Black and Hispanic women had significantly less access to paid leave through their employers or through government programs than their NH white and Asian counterparts.

News & Views

Alive & Thrive blog post: "Q&A: The manufacture of breastmilk substitute products is pumping tons of CO2 into the atmosphere"

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg CHEER blog post: "CHEER Champion of the Week: Pa Houa Shasky"

The Day That Changed Everything podcast: "Amy VanHaren – pumpspotting"

Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants: "The Original Superfood | Breastfeeding and Lifelong Health with Dr. Meghan Azad"

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg The Lamaze Podcast: "Pregnancy Challenges and Navigating Parenthood During a Pandemic"

Maternal Health Innovation podcast: "The fight for lactation rights, with Stevie Merino and To-wen Tseng"

Yahoo! News: "Military parents foot the bill to ship breast milk to their infants. That's about to change."

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