Weekly Wire: March 23, 2019

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
    • Welcome New USBC Member: New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force!
    • Invitation to Join Sign On Letter in Support of Federal Appropriations for Breastfeeding: Deadline March 29
    • Invitation to Join Sign On Letter in Support of Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act: Deadline March 29
  • Federal News
    • Update to TRICARE Coverage of Breastfeeding Supplies and Banked Donor Milk, summarized from DHA
    • Healthy Families Act Introduced, summarized from Congress
    • Travel Recommendations for Nursing Families, summarized from CDC
  • Members News
    • FAMILY Act Action Tool, summarized from MomsRising
    • Webinar on Efforts to Support Refugees in Greece, summarized from CHEER
  • Partner News
    • County Health Rankings Released, summarized from RWJF
    • Sign On Letter to Support Chronic Disease Funding, summarized from NACDD
  • News from the Field
    • Article on Trends in Breastfeeding Policies, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine
    • Commitment to Stop Accepting Infant Formula Advertisements, summarized from BMJ
    • Action Tool to Support Federal Funding for Maternal, summarized from SMFM
    • Article on Lactation Accommodations on College Campuses, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine
  • State/Community News
    • Funding Opportunity to Support Utilization of Donor Breast Milk, summarized from New Mexico
    • Breastfeeding Support Resource for Child Care Providers, summarized from Kansas
  • Collective Impact Connection
    • Article on Partnering with Marginalized Communities, summarized from SSIR
  • News & Views

USBC Updates

Welcome New USBC Member: New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force!

The New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force is a new Breastfeeding Coalition Member of the USBC dedicated to creating supportive environments in which breastfeeding is the cultural norm. Since their founding in 1989, the NMBTF has worked to address the lack of breastfeeding support in their state. In 2012, NMBTF received the first of two major grants to support hospitals becoming Baby-Friendly, build organizational capacity, and help New Mexico meet the Healthy People 2020 goals surrounding breastfeeding rates. In 2017, NMBTF received funding to continue strengthening infrastructure and to focus on support for hospitals, workplaces, and the community through Chapter engagement. The NMBTF's clinical outreach team continues to work with hospitals statewide to achieve Baby Friendly status while their outreach team works with local chapters to engage in breastfeeding supportive activities in their communities. Learn more about their important work here!

Invitation to Join Sign On Letter in Support of Federal Appropriations for Breastfeeding: Deadline March 29 

USBC has launched a joint letter urging that at least $13 million be directed in Fiscal Year 2020 for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Hospital & Continuity of Care Breastfeeding Support program. The letter notes that funding could be used to facilitate ongoing, critical efforts to build a strong public health infrastructure of breastfeeding support. Starting in Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) and continuing every year since, funding has been allocated to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention breastfeeding programs (FY14-FY19 = $8M/year). Mobilizing funding is a top priority for ensuring the long-term success and sustainability of the First Food field and federal appropriations for breastfeeding comprise a considerable portion of available funding for breastfeeding support efforts. Organizations are invited to sign on by completing the online form. Please share this sign on opportunity widely with the organizations in your network. The deadline to sign on is Friday, March 29. 

Invitation to Join Sign On Letter in Support of Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act: Deadline March 29

USBC has launched a joint letter calling on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works leaders to discharge the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act from committee so that it can go to the Senate floor for a vote. The Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act (H.R. 866/S. 528) would require that certain public buildings that have a public restroom provide a lactation room, other than a bathroom, that is hygienic and is available for use by a member of the public. A building may be excluded from the requirement if the building does not contain a lactation room for employees who work in the building and does not have a room that could be repurposed as a lactation space at a reasonable cost; or if new construction would be required and the cost is unfeasible. The House bill was introduced and swiftly passed, and the Senate bill has been introduced with bipartisan support and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Organizations are invited to sign on by completing the online form. Please share this sign on opportunity widely with the organizations in your network. The deadline to sign on is Friday, March 29. 

Federal News

Update to TRICARE Coverage of Breastfeeding Supplies and Banked Donor Milk, summarized from DHA

The Defense Health Agency has released updates to the TRICARE Policy Manual to clarify what types of breast pumps and supplies are covered by the Defense Department's health program. The revised policy limits coverage to one breast pump kit per birth event. In addition, breast pumps with "luxury or deluxe" features, such as smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, enhanced/expanded rechargeable batteries, or unnecessary accessories, such as luxury tote bags, car adapters, or nipples for use with bottle feeding are excluded. Beneficiaries may elect to purchase luxury or deluxe pumps and pay for the difference between TRICARE's maximum benefit and the actual cost of the pump. The Defense Health Agency has also released an update which adds coverage for Banked Donor Milk (BDM) from accredited milk banks. Banked Donor Milk may be cost-shared as a medically necessary food when certain conditions are met. BDM must be prescribed by a TRICARE authorized individual professional provider. Coverage shall be extended for as long as medically necessary, not to exceed 12 months of age, and must be procured through a Human Milk Banking Association of North America accredited milk bank.

Healthy Families Act Introduced, summarized from Congress

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) have reintroduced the Healthy Families Act in both of houses of congress. The Healthy Families Act would allow workers at businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to 56 hours, or seven days, of paid sick leave each year. This would allow workers to stay home when they are ill, to care for a sick family member, seek preventive medical care, or seek assistance related to domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Businesses that already provide paid sick leave would not have to change their current policies, as long as they meet the minimum standards of the Healthy Families Act.

Member and partner highlights included:

USBC Insights: Paid sick days make it possible for breastfeeding employees to access preventive services, including breastfeeding support and counseling, when needed.

Travel Recommendations for Nursing Families, summarized from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a webpage titled "Travel Recommendations for Nursing Families." The webpage features information and considerations for traveling with a breastfeeding baby as well as for traveling without a breastfeeding child, including information on the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act provisions requiring all medium and large airports in the U.S. to have clean, private, non-bathroom lactation spaces in each terminal for expressing breast milk. 

USBC Insights: In addition to the FAM Act, breastfeeding travelers are supported through the Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act (BABES Act) which requires the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide ongoing training to ensure its officers consistently enforce TSA Special Procedures related to breast milk, formula, and infant feeding equipment across all airport security checkpoints.

Member News

FAMILY Act Action Tool, summarized from MomsRising

MomsRising has released an action tool titled "Tell Congress: It's time for the FAMILY Act!" The FAMILY Act is an insurance program that would provide workers—including those who are self-employed and/or work part time—with income while they, or a family member, deal with the arrival of a new baby or a serious health issue. The new, self-sustaining fund would be created through small, shared costs to employees and employers.

Webinar on Efforts to Support Refugees in Greece, summarized from CHEER

Join the Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research on Wednesday, April 17, from 1-2 p.m. ET for the "Infant Feeding in Emergencies: CHEER's work with refugees in Greece" webinar. Presenters will discuss important considerations for infant feeding in emergency situations and their recent work with refugee populations in Greece.

Partner Updates

County Health Rankings Released, summarized from RWJF

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin have released the 2019 County Health Rankings. The annual Rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. The What Works for Health database provides evidence summaries and ratings for policies, programs, and systems changes that can improve health, including breastfeeding promotion programs, workplace supports for breastfeeding, and paid family leave. Join RWJF on Tuesday, April 23, from 3-4 p.m. ET for the "County Health Rankings & Roadmaps 101" webinar to learn more. 

Sign On Letter to Support Chronic Disease Funding, summarized from NACDD

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors has launched a sign on letter urging Congress in FY 2020 to continue to support the current funding mechanisms at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and to not support the President's recommendation for the America's Health Block Grant. National and state-level organizations are invited to sign on via the online form. The deadline to sign on is Wednesday, March 27.

News from the Field

Article on Trends in Breastfeeding Policies, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine

The journal Breastfeeding Medicine has published an article titled "Trends in Hospital Breastfeeding Policies in the United States from 2009–2015: Results from the Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care Survey." The article describes a study to determine the trends of model policies and receipt of free infant formula among hospitals with maternity care in the United States. The study found that the proportion of hospitals with a model breastfeeding policy increased from 14.1% in 2009 to 33.1% in 2015. More hospitals incorporated policy elements on limited use of pacifiers (+21.0% points), early initiation of breastfeeding (+15.5% points), and limiting non-breast milk feeds of breastfed infants (+14.1% points). Fewer hospitals disseminated policies by word of mouth (−2.0% points), whereas, more posted policies (+8.1% points). The percent of hospitals not receiving free infant formula increased from 7.4% in 2009 to 28.7% in 2015.

Commitment to Stop Accepting Infant Formula Advertisements, summarized from BMJ

The BMJ has released an editorial titled "Calling time on formula milk adverts." The editorial announces that The BMJ and their sister journals will no longer carry ads for breast milk substitutes. The article states that BMJ has recently been reminded of the substantial harms caused by promotion of breast milk substitutes and the biases introduced into research and clinical practice by industry influence and gained a greater understanding of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes that seeks to reduce these harms. As a result, the journal has decided to stop carrying these advertisements in The BMJ and other BMJ journals, including GutFrontline Gastroenterology, and Archives of Diseases in Childhood, as soon as possible. The journal has chosen a complete ban because previous attempts to implement a due diligence approach have failed. The article notes that the decision will have a substantial effect on revenues—a loss of an estimated $400,000 in 2020. The journals will honor existing contracts for formula milk advertising, but the final advert will appear later this year. 

Action Tool to Support Federal Funding for Maternal Health, summarized from SMFM

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine has launched an action tool for individuals to contact their Representative and urge them to sign on to the Congressional letter prioritizing federal funding for programs to address maternal mortality and improve maternal health, including Title V. The letter will be sent to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK) and calls for robust funding for the programs that support the prevention of maternal deaths and improved health outcomes for mothers and children in fiscal year 2020. 

Article on Lactation Accommodations on College Campuses, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine

The journal Breastfeeding Medicine has published an article titled "An Exploration of Lactation Facilities and Planning in U.S. Higher Education Campuses." The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) invited 684 U.S. SCUP member campuses to participate. Participants were asked about their knowledge of lactation accommodation policies for staff and students; guidelines around the creation and selection of locations for lactation spaces; and whether the lactation room use was tracked. Of the 105 respondents, 94% reported at least one dedicated lactation space, 68% reported having a policy for creating/identifying lactation spaces, and 28% reported that the lactation space was included in campus construction standards. Over 80% of spaces were structurally enclosed, lockable, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, and had open electrical outlets and in-room light control. Campus/facility planning was involved in lactation space planning at 77% of institutions and in funding for creation and maintenance at 59%. 

USBC Insights: While the article provides helpful information about support for breastfeeding students, the study results are from a small, self-selected group of colleges and universities. 

State/Community News

Funding Opportunity to Support Utilization of Donor Breast Milk, summarized from New Mexico

The New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force, a new USBC Member Organization, has issued a Request for Proposals for a $20,000 grant to accomplish the following goal: In collaboration with a nationally recognized milk bank, within one year, develop, pilot and implement a replicable enhanced pasteurized donor milk program which ensures racial and economic equity and decreases barriers to utilization of donor breast milk in a New Mexico Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with demonstrated measurable outcomes and potential for program expansion. The deadline to submit a grant application is Friday, April 26. 

Breastfeeding Support Resource for Child Care Providers, summarized from Kansas

The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, a new USBC Member Organization, has published a new resource titled "Breastfeeding Support in the Child Care Setting." The new resource is a 2-page summary of what child care providers need to know to support breastfeeding families, including national and state guidelines and regulations for breastfeeding support in the child care setting. 

Collective Impact Connection

Article on Partnering with Marginalized Communities, summarized from SSIR

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an article titled "Equitable Big Bets for Marginalized Communities." The article states that to effectively address systemic social issues, we must create equitable partnerships with the communities that have firsthand experience with injustice, and thus have the most expertise on how to address it.

News & Views

Lincoln Journal-Star: "Led by new senator mom, women push for nursing station in the Capitol"

Orlando Sentinal: "Bill aims to get Medicaid coverage for donor breast milk: 'Something like this makes smart policy'"

Public Health Institute blog: "Getting Your Op-Ed Published: Lessons From A Media Advocate"

The Muse: "What the Laws Say About Pumping at Work (and How to Navigate Them at Your Office)"

WAMU: "The Largest Employer In D.C. — The Federal Government — Doesn't Offer Paid Family Leave"

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