Weekly Wednesday Wire: January 14, 2015

USBC News

Welcome and Ask the 114th Congress to "Make Change" for our Nation's Families!

Big changes are taking place on Capitol Hill as the 114th Congress takes office, so it's more important than ever that legislators understand their role in supporting breastfeeding families. Help us welcome the new Congress, remind them that "Breastfeeding Saves Dollars and Makes Sense," and ask them to help "make change" for our nation's families: sign our welcome note today! The priorities identified in the welcome note were compiled from YOUR feedback on our December Virtual Town Hall Meeting, and informed by input from our national member and partner organizations and network of breastfeeding coalitions. Now on Thursday, January 22, MomsRising and U.S. Breastfeeding Committee volunteers will deliver the welcome message with your signatures and personal notes to each member of Congress, as part of a very special welcome kit! (Sign up here to join us for the delivery day...)


Federal News

Pregnant Worker Employment Protections Webinar, from DOL

Join the Department of Labor Women's Bureau on Tuesday, January 27, from 2-3:15 p.m. ET for a webinar entitled "Know your Rights: Employment Protections for Pregnant Workers." The webinar is the second in a series that explores key policies and programs for working women. This installment showcases the Women's Bureau's work on educating workers about pregnancy protections provided under the law and also highlights recent developments at the state level. 

CACFP Proposed Rule, from USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a proposed rule for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The proposed rule would revise the infant meal patterns to allow service of only breast milk and/or infant formula to infants through 5 months of age, allow the introduction of additional meal components at 6 months of age (as developmentally appropriate), prohibit the service of fruit juice to infants through 11 months, and require the service of a fruit or vegetable in the infant snack pattern. In addition, as an incentive for encouraging breastfeeding and to better align program rules, this proposed rule would allow reimbursement for meals served to infants under 6 months of age when the mother directly breastfeeds her child at the child care facility. Meals containing breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula supplied by the parent or the facility are already eligible for CACFP reimbursement. USDA is seeking input on the proposed rule from the public and will be accepting comments for 90 days. Read the press release.

Report on Infant Formula Sales, from GAO

The Government Accountability Office has released a report indicating that additional guidance from USDA could assist states in reducing the risk of online sales of infant formula. The report recommends that USDA require state agencies to inform WIC participants that selling WIC formula is against program rules and describe in their state plans how they identify attempted sales. GAO also recommends that USDA assess online sales, including techniques states can use to monitor them. USDA has agreed with these recommendations.

Workplace Partner Resources, from OWH

The HHS Office on Women's Heath has released new partner resources to help spread the word about the Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions initiative, including sample social media posts, infographics, and web badges.


Member News

Open Letter to Medolac Laboratories, from BMBFA

The Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association has released a joint open letter calling on Medolac Laboratories to meet with a coalition of mothers, lawmakers, and activists in the Detroit area regarding recent targeting of African American mothers to sell their breast milk. Organizations are invited to sign on to the open letter.


Partner News

Report on Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing, from Childbirth Connection / NPWF

Childbirth Connection, a program of the National Partnership for Women & Families, has released a new study entitled Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care. The report synthesizes scientific research on how hormone systems function from late pregnancy through the early postpartum period, concluding that commonly used maternity interventions—such as labor induction, epidural analgesia, and cesarean section—can disturb hormonal processes and interfere with the benefits they offer.

Equity Special Issue, from Journal of Human Lactation

The Journal of Human Lactation has released a special issue focused on Equity in Breastfeeding with guest editors Rafael Pérez-Escamilla and Dan Sellen. The special issue examines workplace accommodations, military considerations, peer counseling among low-income women, and pathways to increase diversity within the field, among other issues.


Collective Impact Connection

Reflections on Culture, from Tamarack Institute

The Tamarack Institute has published an article entitled "'Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast': Lessons from 2014," reflecting on the importance of paying attention to the internal context and dynamics amongst leaders in collaborative work as much as we do external forces.


News and Views

The Atlantic: "What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a Mother"

U.S. Department of Labor blog: "Four Ways the ACA Helps Working Women"

JDNews.com: "N.C.'s First Breastfeeding-Friendly Designations Go To Eight Child Care Centers"

The Missourian: "Columbia Public School District plans to upgrade lactation rooms"

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