Weekly Wire: September 15, 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

Help Us Meet Our #XOfor20 Goal

USBC is 20 years young! To celebrate, we have launcheed #XOfor20, a capital campaign highlighting the power of collective commitment and reaffirming our dedication to creating a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States. We have seen firsthand what can be accomplished when a group of people come together with love and sustained commitment to contribute to a shared vision. That's the wisdom behind our #XOfor20 campaign. We are calling on breastfeeding advocates like yourself to make a monthly donation of any amount for 20 months. Our advocacy efforts are entirely supported by contributions from our supporters, so your gift goes a long way toward helping the USBC serve breastfeeding families and the field. Please join us: www.usbreastfeeding.org/donate.

'Make the Breast Pump Not Suck' Hackathon and Policy Summit Webinar

Join the USBC and Jennifer Roberts on Wednesday, September 19, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET for the next webinar in the Power Tools for Coalitions Webinar Series, to discuss the "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck" Hackathon and Policy Summit.  The summit was convened at the MIT Media Lab in April 2018 for two days of dynamic conversation and exercises focused on expanding access to equitable paid leave. The event stressed taking a systems-based lens for change, e.g. hacking technology but also hacking narratives, policies and other systemic barriers to breastfeeding. A core principle of the convening was centering equity and elevating the voices of those most often left out of "hacking" technological problems, particularly of parents of color, parents from the LGBTQIA community, and low-wage workers. In this webinar, we will be discussing the successes and challenges of designing a space that encouraged equitable design and the lessons learned from the Hackathon & Policy Summit.

Breastfeeding Culture and Hispanic Mothers Webinar

Join the USBC and Ana Maria Linares from the University of Kentucky on Tuesday, September 25, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET for the next webinar in the Racial Equity Webinar Series, titled "Breastfeeding Culture in Hispanic Mothers in the USA." Webinar presenters will identify racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding duration and exclusivity in Hispanic women living in the U.S.; describe the cultural issues associated with Hispanic mothers choosing infant feeding; identify factors that are associated with initiation, duration, and exclusivity of breastfeeding in Hispanic women; identify health risk factors associated with suboptimal breastfeeding in Hispanic mothers and infants; and identify potential interventions to promote breastfeeding in Hispanic women.


Special Section on National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month!

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has launched a ready.gov webpage, highlighting 4 weekly themes:

  • Week 1: September 1-8 Make and Practice Your Plan
  • Week 2: Sept 9-15* Learn Life Saving Skills
  • Week 3: Sept 16-22 Check Your Coverage
  • Week 4: Sept 23-29 Save For an Emergency
  • September 15: National Day of Action

Highlights from the field include: 

  • U.S. Breastfeeding Commitee: The USBC has updated the Breastfeeding and Emergencies webpage with recently released resources and tools on breastfeeding families and emergency situations. The webpage highlights federal resoures, as well as tools from member and partner organizations. 
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: HHS has awarded nearly $60 million to 161 community health centers in six southern states and two U.S. territories that were impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, Capital Assistance for Hurricane Response and Recovery Efforts funding will help ensure continued access to primary health care services at community health centers in areas affected by the hurricanes.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sign up for the CDC's "Public Health Matters" newsletter. Each issue of this free newsletter contains the latest information from experts in public health and what CDC and their partners are doing about public health issues.
  • SafelyFed USA: The SafelyFed USA team is recruiting members to help with education and promotion around natural disasters in the United States and territories. They are recruiting social media volunteers to work with SafelyFed USA to design, edit, and post messages and infographics throughout this and future events. If you have graphic design expertise, are an IBCLC, doula, midwife, CLC, or social media guru and are interested in volunteering, please contact SafelyFed USA through a direct message on their Facebook page. They are especially interested in growing a diverse team including people of color, queer individuals, immigrant rights advocacy experts, and people with local connections (the southeastern United States). 
  • Office of Human Services, Emergency Preparedness, and Response: OHS has produced an infographic with information and resources on infant feeding in disasters.
  • National WIC Association: NWA has published a blog post titled, "Disaster-Planning Resources for WIC."

Special Section on Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15-October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month! This observance celebrates the achievements and contributions of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. 

Highlights from the field include: 


Federal News

Farm Bill Update, from Congress

Farm Bill conference committee meetings have been hosted in the House and Senate. The primary area of difference between the House and Senate passed bills is the Nutrition Title, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Committee members are now working in closed sessions to negotiate the final version of the Farm Bill before the current bill expires on Sunday, September 30.

USBC Insight: The U.S. Census Bureau has published a report titled, "Supplemental Poverty Measure 2017." The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) extends the official poverty measure by taking account of many of the government programs designed to assist low-income families and individuals that are not included in the official poverty measure. Underscoring the positive impact of these programs, the SPM data show that in 2017, SNAP lifted 3.4 million people out of poverty, school lunches lifted 1.2 million out of poverty, and WIC lifted 279,000 people out of poverty.

Appropriations Update, from Congress

Congress has been working to move forward with twelve funding bills bundled into three omnibus appropriations packages ahead of the Sunday, September 30, fiscal deadline. The first package included the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction-VA spending bills, and was approved in the Senate on Wednesday, September 12. The second "minibus package" includes Agriculture-FDA, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, and Transportation-HUD spending, and is currently being conferenced. The final spending package includes Defense and Labor-HHS. Complicating the efforts is Hurricane Florence, which could force Congress to cancel votes this week. It is doubtful that there will be agreement to successfully merge the House and Senate versions of the Defense and Labor-HHS package. A Continuing Resolution to extend the deadline until after the mid-term elections in November seems likely.

USBC Insight: Funding for CDC's Breastfeeding Support programs has been included as part of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations since FY2012. For additional information on breastfeeding funding in FY 2019 Appropriations see the September 2 issue of Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire

Call for Nominations for Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, from USDA/HHS

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have released calls for nominations to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The deadline to submit a nomination package is Saturday, October 6, at midnight ET. All complete nomination packages will be reviewed by program staff from USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services; the USDA Research, Education, and Economics; and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. Nomination packages will be considered with the following factors:

  • Educational background
  • Professional experience
  • Demonstrated scientific expertise
  • Obligations under the Federal Advisory Committee Act
  • Requirements regarding a balanced membership

In addition, USDA has published the Call for Nominations Outreach Toolkit with graphics, sample social media posts, and additional resources to make it easy to amplify the call for nominations. 

Emerging Threats to Pregnant Women and Infants Public Health Grand Rounds, from CDC

Join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, September 18, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a Public Health Grand Rounds session titled "Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Pregnant Women and Infants: Data for Action." The presentation will address how pregnant women and infants are particularly vulnerable to emerging health threats, including infection with Zika virus and the opioid epidemic. Presenters will address how timely identification and understanding of emerging health threats and others can allow communities to act early to protect mothers and babies.

Public Health Data Tool, from HRSA

The Health Resources and Services Administration has launched a new website for users to interact with, visualize, and map public health data. Data.hrsa.gov features interactive maps, dashboards, query tools, fact sheets, and downloadable data related to HRSA-funded health centers, grants, loan repayment and scholarship programs, Health Professional Shortage Areas, organ donation, and other programs. The website provides national summary data and users can organize according to state, county, regional, and Congressional district levels.

Public Health Surveillance Report, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have released a report titled "Public Health Surveillance: Preparing for the Future." This report takes an in-depth look at the initiatives, innovation, and partnerships that took place under CDC's Surveillance Strategy from 2014 to today. It also includes a summary of the strategy, a timeline of progress, a look at specific strategic initiatives, a pulse-check of ongoing improvements, and a vision for the future.

Dear Colleague Letter Supporting WIC Appropriations, from Congress

Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) has circulated a Dear Colleague letter to House and Senate appropriations leadership in support of full funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Fiscal Year 2019. The letter reiterates the request for $6.3 billion in budget authority for WIC and full funding of set asides, including the breastfeeding peer counselor program. The letter was sent on Friday, September 7, with over 50 signatory members of the House of Representatives.


Member News

Racial Disparities in Maternal Health Action Tool, from MomsRising

MomsRising has launched an online action tool for individuals to urge Members of Congress to address racial disparities in maternal health and improve hospital protocols. Individuals can use the tool to contact Senators to support the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act (S.3363) and the Modernizing Obstetric Medicine Standards (MOMS) Act (S. 3392).

Clinical Report on Marijuana Use and Breastfeeding, from AAP

The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a clinical report in Pediatrics titled "Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Implications for Neonatal and Childhood Outcomes." The report provides data on the current rates of marijuana use among pregnant and lactating women, discusses what is known about the effects of marijuana on fetal development and later neurodevelopmental and behavioral outcomes, and addresses implications for education and policy. The authors conclude that women need to be counseled about what is known about the adverse effects of THC on brain development during early infancy, when brain growth and development are rapid. They also include ten recommendations about marijuana use and breastfeeding, including recommendations for pediatricians and future areas of research.

Policy Brief on Governors and Babies, from ZERO TO THREE

ZERO TO THREE has released a policy brief titled "It's Time for Governors to Think Babies." The brief makes the case for governors to invest in high-quality programs and policies that both promote positive early child development and support their states' economic futures. It describes specific steps that a governor can take in the first 100 days and beyond, including policy, budget, and administrative actions, to focus state attention and resources on meeting the needs of infants and toddlers.

USBC Insight: Breastfeeding is a proven primary prevention strategy, building a foundation for life-long health and wellness. The evidence for the value of breastfeeding to children's and women's health is scientific, solid, and continually being reaffirmed by new research.

Infographic on Children's Healthy Weight CoIIN, from ASPHN

The Association of State and Public Health Nutritionists has published an infographic that highlights the work of the Children's Healthy Weight CoIIN. The infographic includes CoIIN's purpose, partners, work streams and key drivers and underscores how ASPHN and public health nutritionists are addressing childhood obesity. Eleven breastfeeding state teams are establishing new policies or practices that address social and ecological barriers to breastfeeding.

Public Health Funding Action Tool, from APHA

The American Public Health Association has released an online action tool for individuals to contact their Members of Congress to support public health funding. Individuals can use the online tool to tell their Representative and Senators to build upon the important increased investments Congress provided to public health in FY 2018 by supporting robust funding for key public health agencies and programs, and urge them to reject any controversial policy riders that threaten public health. Individuals are encouraged to take action before the fiscal year ends on September 30. 


Partner Updates

Applications Open for Center for Creative Leadership, from WKKF

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership has opened applications for their fellowship program. This is an innovative fellowship for local leaders to connect, grow, and lead transformational change toward a more equitable society. The 18-month program offers hands-on training, personalized coaching and mentoring, and a practicum experience. CCL is looking for diverse candidates who demonstrate high-potential to be a transformational leader, and are at a pivotal moment in their careers to benefit from this type of fellowship program. Applications close on Sunday, September 30. The fellowship will run from March 2019 through August 2020. 


News From the Field

Brief on Home Visiting Program Spending, from NCSL

The National Conference of State Legislators has published a brief titled "Home Visiting: Improving Children's and Families' Well-Being." The publication discusses the latest research on the benefits of home visiting, including return on investment, and summarizes how different states are expanding access to quality home visiting. The report concludes that federal and state spending on home visiting programs is a good investment.

Pre- and Postnatal Homelessness and Health of Young Children, from Pediatrics

The journal Pediatrics has published an article titled, "Timing and Duration of Pre- and Postnatal Homelessness and the Health of Young Children." The article presents findings from interviews with 20,571 low-income caregivers of children under four years old in urban pediatric clinics and/or emergency departments in five US cities. The authors concluded that the stress of prenatal and postnatal homelessness was found to be associated with an increased risk of adverse pediatric health outcomes relative to those who were never homeless. Children who experience homelessness both pre- and postnatally for more than six months were at the highest risk of negative health outcomes.

Guide on Breast Health Education, from Prevent Cancer Foundation

The Prevent Cancer Foundation has released an education guide titled "Breast Health Education for Young Women Facilitator's Guide." The guide has also been published in Spanish titled "Educación sobre la salud del seno para las jóvenes." The report is designed to increase young women's knowledge about breast health and breast cancer. The guide was developed to use in interactive group sessions and to encourage information sharing with female relatives who are age-appropriate for screening. Breastfeeding is listed as a healthy lifestyle choice to support breast health.

Public Charge 101 Webinar, from PIF

Join the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign on Wednesday, September 18, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Public Charge 101 Training." The speakers will describe public charge, how it would harm health and well-being, and what individuals need to know if working with immigrant families.

Farm Bill Impact on SNAP Microsimulation, from MPR

Mathematica Policy Research has published an Issue Brief titled, "Simulating Proposed Changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Countable Resources and Categorical Eligibility." The authors conducted a microsimulation on the impact of the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2) on households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This issue brief, the first in a new series of briefs analyzing the impact of proposed changes to SNAP, provides insight into how changes to SNAP eligibility requirements could impact SNAP participants, including children, seniors (age 60 or older), and people with disabilities. Using SNAP data from fiscal year 2015, the analysis found that about one in 11 households, nearly 2 million participating households, would lose eligibility for SNAP.


Collective Impact Connection

Webinar on Community Abundance, from Tamarack

Join Tamarack on Tuesday, September 25, from 12-1 pm ET, for a webinar titled, "Creating Abundant Community in Neighbourhoods." Webinar presenters will speak to the concept of a neighbourly economy and offer insights on how to create self-sustaining structures in local communities that reveal and mobilize existing gifts to create a more supportive social and economic fabric for prosperity. 


News & Views

Institute for InterGroup Understanding: "Racism Is The Toxin That Triggers Far Too Many Preterm Births In America — New Powerful Data Presented For California Births"

The Intercept: "Nursing Mother Describes Forced Separation From Infant at the Border: 'They Said It Wasn't Their Problem the Baby Wasn't Eating'"  

Gates Notes: "What kangaroos can teach us about saving lives "   

Politico: "Perdue: USDA will look into immigrants dropping from nutrition program"

Los Angeles Times: "Healthcare isn't a game. The Texas ACA lawsuit could be catastrophic for public health

Vogue: "The Breastfeeding Movement Is Experiencing a Tech Revolution—Here's How It's Helping New Moms"  

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