National Breastfeeding Month Updates
The National Breastfeeding Month 2014 "Breastfeeding in Six Words" campaign is in its last week, but it's not too late to join in! All month long individual advocates, coalitions, member/partner organizations, and other interested supporters have been sharing six word stories on what breastfeeding means to them. Participants are posting "selfie" photograph on Facebook and/or Twitter, holding a sign with their six word story and using the hashtags #NBM14 and #SixWords. Each week the campaign is focusing on a specific sector/system of support, with Twitter chats and advocacy tools to inspire education and action to support breastfeeding families from the grassroots to the treetops. Take action on the web pages for:
- Workplaces: Tell Congress to Support ALL Breastfeeding & Working Families
- Hospitals / Health Care: Tell Congress to Fund CDC Breastfeeding Programs
- Communities: Tell Elected Officials to Act on Deceptive Formula Labeling & Marketing
- Families: Tell Congress to Provide Breastfeeding Benefits for Military Families
From Black Breastfeeding Week
This week Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association, Mocha Manual, and the Free to Breastfeed project are hosting the second annual Black Breastfeeding Week. Celebrations are all week long, in partnership with Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), MomsRising, SongBooth app, and more. Activity and media highlights include:
- Black Breastfeeding Week: shareable graphics
- Black Breastfeeding Week blog: "Top Five Reasons We Need A Black Breastfeeding Week"
- The Huffington Post: "Why Black Women Are Statistically Less Likely To Breastfeed"
- My Brown Baby blog: "Black Breastfeeding Week 2014: Celebrating Black Families and the Best First Food"
- Lactation Matters (ILCA blog): "Seven Ways To Support Black Breastfeeding Week"
- African American Breastfeeding Project: mini documentary
- African American Health Program video: "Black Women Celebrate the Beauty & Benefits of Breastfeeding"
- Clinical Lactation journal: special issue on lactation inequities and health disparities in breastfeeding
- The Boob Geek blog: "Supporting Black Breastfeeding Week as a White Ally"
- Every Child is a Blessing blog: "Black Breastfeeding Week Matters"
- HHS Office on Women's Health: It's Only Natural campaign
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Racial Disparities in Access to Maternity Care Practices That Support Breastfeeding — United States, 2011. The report shows that maternity care practices that support breastfeeding are less likely to be implemented in zip code areas with a higher percentage of black residents. Media highlights include:
- Medline Plus: "Racial Disparities in Breast-Feeding May Start With Hospitals, Study Suggests"
- Think Progress blog: "Hospitals Less Likely To Encourage Black Mothers To Breastfeed"
WebMD Collaboration on Affordable Care Act Requirements, from OWH
WebMD has published an article entitled "Affordable Care Act: Coverage for New Mothers," outlining preventive service requirements for new mothers as well as information on the "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law. The content was developed as part of an educational collaboration between WebMD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health.
Health Care Innovations Exchange Highlights, from AHRQ
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has created the Health Care Innovations Exchange to provide health professionals and researchers a variety of opportunities to share, learn about, and ultimately adopt evidence-based innovations and tools suitable for a range of health care settings and populations. The latest issue, Innovative Approaches To Promote Breastfeeding, describes three initiatives to promote breastfeeding, including a Baby-Friendly hospital designation for which participating hospitals adopt standard policies aimed at reducing formula feeding and encouraging breastfeeding; a breastfeeding education program to support low-income, minority women; and a voluntary citywide initiative for public and private hospitals to support breastfeeding mothers and eliminate practices that interfere with breastfeeding.
Paid Leave Incentive Bill Introduced
Senators Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) and Angus King (I-Maine) have introduced the Strong Families Act, a bill that would create a tax credit for employers who voluntarily offer paid leave. Read a bill summary from National Partnership for Women & Families.
Women's Equality Day, from NPWF
In celebration of Women's Equality Day on August 26 (the anniversary of the day Congress stopped denying women the right to vote), the National Partnership for Women & Families has launched #WEmatter, bringing together individuals, organizations, and coalitions to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. The unified call for action and accountability is aimed at linking activity happening across the country and raising awareness of urgently needed policy and cultural changes. Follow the conversation on social media at hashtag #WEmatter and see the #WEmatter graphic on maternity care and breastfeeding. Read the press release.
Pregnancy Discrimination Law, from IL
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed a measure into law to address workplace discrimination against pregnant women. The plan extends workplace protections to pregnant women, requiring employers to consider accommodations, including limits on manual labor, time for more frequent bathroom breaks, and space to breastfeed. The law also says a pregnant woman can't be forced to take a leave of absence when another workplace accommodation is available and an employer can't refuse to hire a qualified applicant because of a required accommodation.
News and Views
L.A. Parent magazine: "Ten Tips: Breastfeeding and Back to Work!"
USDA blog: "Supporting WIC Breastfeeding Moms and Improving Infants' Health"
Culture of Health (RWJF blog): "To Build a Culture of Health, There Is No Place Like Home"
Stanford Social Innovation Review: "Aligning Collective Impact Initiatives"