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’s 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
- Take Action Before This Congressional Session Ends!
- Breastfeeding Policy Priorities Survey
- Giving Tuesday Update
- Workplace Support Constellation Letter Delivered
- Federal News
- Infant Mortality Data Brief, summarized from CDC
- Member News
- Funding Award to Support Hospitals Seeking Baby-Friendly Designation, summarized from CGBI
- Resource for Governors on Supporting Families, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
- Partner News
- PWFA Petition Launch, summarized from NWLC
- Pregnant Worker Rights Fact Sheet, summarized from NWLC
- Interactive Paid Sick Time Overview, summarized from ABB
- Post-Election Webinar Briefing, summarized from NACCHO
- Health in All Policies Webinar Series, summarized from NACCHO
- News from the Field
- U.S. Access to Nutrition Index Launched, summarized from ATNF
- PREEMIE Reauthorization Act Action Tool, summarized from NCfIH
- Funding Opportunity for State Collaboratives, summarized from PCI
- State/Community News
- Paid Leave Program Guidance, summarized from Massachusetts
- Collective Impact Connection
- Webinar on Partnerships and Collective Impact, summarized from CIF
- Article on Storytelling for Social Change, summarized from SSIR
- Equity Elements
- Public Charge Comment Strategy Webinar, summarized from PIF
- Report on Gaps in Female Leadership, summarized from CAP
- News & Views
* This year, the USBC Communications Team has been exploring updates to the newsletter format and development process that can help make the Weekly Wire even more meaningful for our readers. This week, we experimented with adding a table of contents (above). Please share your thoughts on this and other aspects of the newsletter by completing the Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire Reader Survey.
Take Action Before This Congressional Session Ends!
The USBC has released a new action tool titled "Ask Congress to Support Breastfeeding Families Before the End of the Congressional Session!". Individuals are encouraged to use the easy action tool to ask their Members of Congress to pass simple breastfeeding policy solutions before the 115th Congressional Session comes to a close, including the Supporting Working Moms Act and the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act. The action alert was launched in response to a series of discussions with key Congressional offices.
Breastfeeding Policy Priorities Survey
The USBC has launched a short online survey titled "116th Congressional Session: Breastfeeding Policy Priorities." Feedback collected from the survey will help USBC identify the top priority issues to focus on in the 116th Congressional session. In addition, the priorities identified by the field will inform the Welcome Letter and materials we prepare for the upcoming virtual "Welcome Congress Week" to be held in February 2019 (details coming soon!). Please share the survey widely with your networks.
Giving Tuesday Update
Thank you to everyone who joined USBC for our Giving Tuesday celebration on Tuesday, November 27. Thanks to your generous support, the USBC has raised $1,920 from 14 donors, greatly exceeding our goal of $500! #GivingTuesday donations contribute to the USBC #XOfor20 campaign which aims to raise $20,000 in 20 months. Our advocacy efforts are entirely supported by donations and every dollar counts. There's still time to contribute to the USBC's #GivingTuesday campaign: please consider making a donation today!
Workplace Support Constellation Letter Delivered
The USBC-affiliated Workplace Support Constellation has delivered a joint letter to the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Office on Women's Health (OWH) on the recent revision of the OWH Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions resource. The letter requests an explanation on why critical content was removed as part of the revision of the OWH resource; urges OWH to immediately reinstate the original resource with content in both English and Spanish; and to take swift steps to develop a dissemination plan to ensure employers are aware of this valuable resource. The letter was signed by 57 organizations—34 international, national, and tribal organizations and 23 regional, state, and local organizations. We are still seeking stories about how this resource has been utilized over the years in order to continue to demonstrate why the original format and content should be restored.
Infant Mortality Data Brief, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics has published a data brief titled "Infant Mortality by Age at Death in the United States, 2016." Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, the report examines infant mortality rates for the United States by age at death in 2016, by maternal age and race and Hispanic origin, and for the five leading causes of neonatal and postneonatal mortality. Key findings included: the total infant mortality rate declined from 6.75 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 2007 to 6.07 in 2011, but did not change significantly from 2011 through 2016 (5.87). In 2016, neonatal mortality rates were highest among infants of non-Hispanic black women (7.41). Postneonatal mortality rates were highest among infants of non-Hispanic black (3.81) and American Indian or Alaska Native (3.93) women.
Funding Award to Support Hospitals Seeking Baby-Friendly Designation, summarized from CGBI
The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute has been awarded $530,700 in funding from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to continue its work to promote safe breastfeeding and education services and support 61 North Carolina hospitals in their journeys to receive Baby-Friendly designations. The CGBI grant is part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's investment of $2.2 million to improve maternal and infant health across the state.
Resource for Governors on Supporting Families, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE has released a resource titled "It's Time for Governors to Think Babies™." The document outlines the important role of Governors in the lives of babies and families and offers a plan for their first 100 days in office and beyond.
PWFA Petition Launch, summarized from NWLC
The National Women's Law Center has published an online petition titled "Tell Congress to Support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act." Individuals are invited to sign the petition calling on the incoming Congress to promptly pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The bill would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers.
Pregnant Worker Rights Fact Sheet, summarized from NWLC
The National Women's Law Center has published a fact sheet titled "Pregnant at Work? Know Your Rights." The publication answers common questions from pregnant workers, including defining pregnancy harassment and pregnancy discrimination. The fact sheet also outlines several relevant laws, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act.
Interactive Paid Sick Time Overview, summarized from ABB
A Better Balance has launched an interactive overview of paid sick time laws in the United States. Users can view information about state, county, and city paid sick time laws and create comparison charts of different paid sick time laws.
Post-Election Webinar Briefing, summarized from NACCHO
Join the National Association of County & City Health Officials on Thursday, December 6, from 12-1 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Post-2018 Midterm Election Webinar." Speakers will provide an update about the recent election and share NACCHO's federal advocacy agenda for 2019. Attendees will have a chance to learn how NACCHO will engage with members of the new Congress and ask questions about election results and NACCHO strategy.
Health in All Policies Webinar Series, summarized from NACCHO
Join the National Association of County & City Health Officials on Wednesday, December 12, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "HiAP Evaluation Strategies." NACCHO is hosting a new Health in All Policies (HiAP) webinar series for local health departments. The goal of the webinar series is to provide an open, informal space for dialogue and peer-to-peer sharing about challenges and best practices. The theme of the December webinar is HiAP evaluation strategies. Dr. Lauren Gase will provide a short presentation on tips and tools for developing HiAP evaluations, followed by a long segment for discussion and dialogue to address challenges participants face when evaluating their initiatives.
U.S. Access to Nutrition Index Launched, summarized from ATNF
The Access to Nutrition Foundation has published the "U.S. Access to Nutrition Spotlight Index 2018." The index tracks major food and beverage manufacturers' responses to important nutrition and food industry trends in the United States by assessing the policies, practices and disclosure of the ten largest food and beverage manufacturers. The U.S. Spotlight Index also assesses the extent to which companies market breast milk substitutes (BMS) in line with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The BMS marketing policies of each of the three largest baby food companies in the United States were assessed. ATNF's analysis demonstrates that the three major BMS manufacturers do not market their products in the United States in line with The Code. ATNF recommends that, alongside other stakeholders such as government, health professionals and non-profit organizations, each of the BMS manufacturers intensify its efforts to support breastfeeding rates by curtailing BMS marketing that does not align to the recommendations of The Code, to contribute to improving the health of mothers and babies.
USBC Insight: USBC's Interim Executive Director, Amelia Psmythe, attended the launch event for this resource. ATNF has conducted assessments in many countries, and this is the first Spotlight Index for the United States. ATNF follows a rigorous methodology to provide a report on a population's access to nutrition, given the behavior of leading food and beverage companies in categorical indicators such as: nutritional content, policies, marketing practices, and lobbying. They engage the companies throughout the assessment process in order to glean the best possible information, while supporting the company's interest in improving their scores. The ATNF U.S. Spotlight Index when compared to that of other nations clearly demonstrates that these same breast milk substitute companies are capable of improved behavior in countries with WHO Code enforcement. The Index will be a strong tool for the First Food Field. See Amelia's updates from the event on Twitter at hashtag #USNutritionIndex.
PREEMIE Reauthorization Act Action Tool, summarized from NCfIH
The National Coalition for Infant Health has launched an online action tool titled "Support the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act - H.R. 6085." Individuals can send a message to their Representative asking them to support the PREEMIE (Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early) Reauthorization Act, which reauthorizes research and funding to explore the causes of preterm birth and reduce infant and maternal mortality.
Funding Opportunity for State Collaboratives, summarized from PCI
The Pritzker Children's Initiative, a project of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, has opened the application for its Prenatal-to-Age-Three State Grant Competition. The purpose of the Planning Grant will be to establish a coalition of partners inside and outside of government working at both the state and local level to develop a robust prenatal-to-age-three policy agenda and action plan focused on expanding statewide access to high-quality programs designed to support children's healthy development and build a strong foundation for learning. State collaboratives that include cross-sector/cross-system leaders from state and local government, state and local nonprofit leaders, advocates, philanthropies and other likely and unlikely allies should apply collaboratively. Only one application will be accepted per state. Letters of intent are due by Tuesday, January 15, 2019, and proposals are due by Friday, February 15, 2019.
Paid Leave Program Guidance, summarized from Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has issued its first guidance documents on the Paid Family and Medical Leave program: "Paid Family Medical Leave for employers FAQ" and "Paid Family Medical Leave for employees FAQ." Beginning in January of 2021 most workers in Massachusetts will be eligible to obtain up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave. The program will be funded by premiums paid by employees, employers, and the self-employed. Contributions to the program will begin on July 1, 2019, and will be managed through the Department of Family and Medical Leave.
Webinar on Partnership and Collective Impact, summarized from CIF
Join the Collective Impact Forum on Thursday, December 6, from 3-4 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Aligning Partners in Collective Impact." Speakers from the Elizabeth River Project, a long-running initiative that works collaboratively to restore the Elizabeth River to the highest practical level of environmental quality through government, business and community partnerships, will discuss their practices related to building and sustaining long-term partnerships with stakeholders.
Article on Storytelling for Social Change, summarized from SSIR
The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an article titled "The Secret to Better Storytelling for Social Change: Better Partnerships." The article discusses how storytelling campaigns can benefit from creative partnerships between storytellers, conveners, and funders.
Public Charge Comment Strategy Webinar, summarized from PIF
Join the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign on Friday, November 30, from 2:30-4 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "PIF Campaign: Comment Strategy 2.0." Speakers will include the National Immigration Law Center and the Center for Law and Social Policy. Participants can share updated arguments and ideas for public charge comments. The comment period on the public charge rule ends on Monday, December 10.
Report on Gaps in Female Leadership, summarized from CAP
The Center for American Progress has published an updated version of a document titled "The Women's Leadership Gap." The fact sheet examines women's representation in leadership positions. Although they hold almost 52 percent of all management- and professional-level jobs, American women lag substantially behind men in terms of their representation in leadership positions. However the report also highlights how the 2018 elections brought a surge of new women to local and statewide offices, with notable gains for young women and veterans; historic wins in Senate and governors' races; and major breakthroughs for women of color in the House of Representatives.
- "A View from Washington"
- "Developing Solutions to Reduce Maternal Mortality: Lessons from the Every Mother Initiative"
The New Yorker: "The Lasting Trauma of Mothers Separated from Their Nursing Children"
ZERO TO THREE: "What the Elections Mean for Babies"