Weekly Wire: July 20, 2018

Please note: Inclusion of an item in this e-newsletter does NOT imply endorsement or support of such item by the United States Breastfeeding Committee, unless specifically noted.

USBC Updates

Last Chance to Register for the NBCC!

Registration is open for the Eighth National Breastfeeding Coalitions Convening (NBCC) to be held August 4-5, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme for this year, Advancing Public Health Through an Equity-Centered Breastfeeding Movement, highlights the event's unique intersection of public health topics, equity learning sessions, and peer sharing.

If you are involved with breastfeeding advocacy, we want you at NBCC! Conference attendees from coalition, advocacy, and non-profit organizations will all be able to learn from one another and connect with each other. We're also building our first-ever conference app, which will make it easy to stay connected during and after the event. Registration closes Friday, July 27.

Supporting Working Moms Act and Friendly Airports for Mothers Act Sign On Letters Delivered!

USBC has delivered sign on letters to Senator Tammy Duckworth and Representative Steve Knight thanking them for introducing the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act. The letter was signed by 43 national organizations and 31 state/local organizations. In addition, the USBC has delivered a sign on letter to Representative Carolyn Maloney for introducing the Supporting Working Moms Act (SWMA). The letter was signed by 48 national organizations and 34 state/local organizations. The SWMA letter will be delivered to Senator Jeff Merkley in the coming weeks. 

Thank you to all our partners who signed on! Help keep the momentum going by writing to your Members of Congress with our easy action tools in support of the FAM Act and SWMA.


Special Section on WHA Resolution

As reported by The New York Times, this spring, the U.S. Delegation to the World Health Assembly (WHA) undermined a global resolution aimed at supporting breastfeeding, threatening trade sanctions against Ecuador before yielding to a proposal put forth by Russia. Breastfeeding organizations and advocates across the country have raised concerns about the role of industry in international policy and the aggressive tactics of the U.S. delegation. See last week's edition of the Weekly Wire for a list of member and partner statements. Additional highlights include:

Recent media highlights included:

USBC Insight: National, state, and local organizations are invited to sign on to a joint letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Commerce by Monday, July 23. The USBC Board of Directors has released a statement on the actions of the U.S. Delegation to WHA.


Special Section on Family Separations at the Border 

On April 6, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum for federal prosecutors along the southwest border that directed "each United States Attorney's Office along the southwest borderto the extent practicable, and in consultation with DHSto adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy for all offenses referred for prosecution under section 1325(a)." As of June 20, HHS had 2,053 minors separated as a result of the zero-tolerance policy in HHS-funded facilities. A group of 31 Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce have delivered a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking for detailed information from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement on "unaccompanied alien children," including plans for reunification of separated families. Find additional background and a list of member and partner statements in the June 21 and July 11 issues of the Weekly Wire. Additional highlights include:

USBC Insight: National, state, and local organizations are invited to sign on to USBC's joint statement on unlawful family separation. The USBC has released a statement expressing strong opposition to the zero-tolerance policy and also to the separation of children and caregivers. 


Federal News

Systematic Review on Breastfeeding Programs and Policies, from AHRQ

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released their Systematic Review titled, "Breastfeeding Programs and Policies, Breastfeeding Uptake, and Maternal Health Outcomes in Developed Countries." The purpose of the review was to summarize the effectiveness of community, workplace, and health care system–based programs and policies aimed at supporting and promoting breastfeeding, and to determine the association between breastfeeding and maternal health. Key findings included:

  • Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is associated with improved rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration.
  • Health care staff education combined with postpartum home visits may be effective for increasing breastfeeding duration
  • Health care staff education alone (with no additional breastfeeding support services) may not be effective for increasing breastfeeding initiation rates.
  • For women enrolled in the WIC Program, peer-support interventions offered by WIC agencies may improve rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration.
  • Breastfeeding is associated with reduced maternal risk of breast and ovarian cancer, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Workplace, school-based, and community-based interventions and underlying socioeconomic factors need further research.

Congressional Hearing on Paid Family Leave, from Congress

The U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy held a hearing on paid leave on Wednesday, July 11. The hearing included discussion of the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMILY) Act and featured testimony from Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.); Vicki Shabo from the National Partnership for Women & Families; Carolyn O’Boyle, Managing Director of Deloitte Services; and Dr. Andrew G. Biggs, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. 

USBC Insight: The National Partnership for Women & Families coordinated a coalition letter supporting the FAMILY Act that was sent to Members of Congress ahead of the hearing. The USBC joined more than 290 organizations who signed on to the letter.  

Family Medical Leave Modernization Act Introduced, from Congress

Representative Carolyn Maloney has introduced the Family Medical Leave Modernization Act of 2018 (H.R. 6098) in the House. The bill would update the current Family and Medical Leave Act by lowering the employer threshold, adding parental involvement leave to the list of eligible caregiving purposes, and updating the family definition to cover a broader range of family relationships, including chosen family.

Report on Expanding Work Requirements, from White House

The White House has released a report titled, "Expanding Work Requirements in Non-Cash Welfare Programs." The report was commissioned by an April 2018 Executive Order that required federal agencies to review all programmatic requirements and submit recommendations to the White House identifying opportunities to strengthen work requirements. The report calls for an expansion of work requirements in non-cash benefits programs, specifically SNAP and Medicaid, including CHIP. 

USBC Insight: The National WIC Association has published an update and analysis on the report in the July 16 Weekly WIC Policy Update. NWA advocated against recommending any changes to the structure of WIC, given the program's time-limited, efficient delivery of services to a targeted population, as well as innovative elements of WIC (like breastfeeding peer counselors) that promote self-sufficiency. The report does not include recommendations for structural changes to WIC. 


Member News

Amicus Brief on ACA Individual Mandate, from APHA

The American Public Health Association along with leadership at schools of public health has submitted an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to maintain the Affordable Care Act in the current case Texas v United States. The amicus brief states that public health would be adversely affected if the court decides to invalidate, in whole or in part, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The brief highlights the law's many public health benefits, including establishing the Prevention and Public Health Fund. A coalition of 20 states is using the elimination of the tax penalty in 2012 as their core argument in the lawsuit filed against the federal government alleging that the ACA is unconstitutional.

USBC Insight: There are three provisions of the ACA that impact breastfeeding: breastfeeding support as a preventive service, workplace breastfeeding support, and funding for CDC breastfeeding programs via the Prevention and Public Health Fund. 

Webinar on Breastfeeding-Friendly Environments in WIC Clinics, from NWA

Join the National WIC Association on Thursday, August 16, from 3-4 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Within and Outside the WIC Clinic: Collaboration to Promote Breastfeeding-Friendly Environments." Panelists will discuss the importance of breastfeeding initiatives on the individual and policies, systems, and environmental levels; describe ways in which Minnesota WIC supports and promotes breastfeeding for participants and staff; describe community partnerships which can improve support for breastfeeding outside the WIC environment; and discuss how mentoring of students can strengthen breastfeeding support efforts within and outside of WIC.

Issue Brief on Patient Engagement and Postpartum Care, from AMCHP/NICHQ

The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs and the National Institute for Children's Health Quality have published an issue brief titled "Aligning Title V, Healthy Start, and Families to Increase New Mother Wellness in New Jersey." The brief examines the role family and patient engagement plays in improving maternal and infant health outcomes. By looking at how New Jersey engaged mothers in its efforts to improve postpartum visit rates, and increase new mother wellness, the brief provides a road map for using patient and family engagement to optimize interventions.


Partner News

World Breastfeeding Week Social Media Kit, from WABA

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has published a social media kit for World Breastfeeding Week 2018. The kit includes infographics and GIFS to share, as well as sample Instagram and Twitter posts. Join the conversation August 1-7 at hashtag #WBW18.

Video Quiz on Safe Sleep Practices, from NICHQ

The National Institute for Children's Health Quality has developed a short video quiz that reviews recommended safe sleep practices. The quiz is an interactive teaching tool to help health professionals and parents engage in conversations about what safe sleep looks like.


Collective Impact Connection

Blog Post on Fostering Creativity, from Tamarack

Tamarack Institute has published a blog post titled "How to Stifle Creativity." The author breaks down ways in which leaders unintentionally stifle creativity and discusses how to avoid common pitfalls.


State & Community News

Parental Leave Bill Signed Into Law, from Delaware

Delaware Governor John Carney has signed a paid parental leave bill into law. Beginning on April 1, 2019, state employees and teachers who work full time will have 12 weeks of paid parental leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.


News & Views

The Hill: "Lawmakers pitch dueling plans for paid family leave"  

WAFB: "Hurricane preparedness for pregnant women, families"

USA Today: "Breastfeeding runway model Mara Martin was a hit with Instagram users"

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