Weekly Wire: June 5, 2020

Weekly Wire: June 5, 2020

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​
    • Centering Equity: Our Mission & Black Lives Matter
    • Template Comments for Written Statements for House Hearing on Disproportionate Impact of Pandemic
    • Welcome Baby Sebastian!
  • Special Section on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) 
  • International News
    • Guidance on Breastfeeding and Tear Gas Exposure, summarized from LLL Asia
  • National News​
    • New Webpage on Relactation, summarized from CDC
    • Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report Launch, summarized from USDA/HHS
  • Equity Lens
    • Webinar Series on Racial Equity, summarized from APHA
    • Webinar on Black Breastfeeding Experience, summarized from MIBFN
    • Call for Papers on Addressing Health Disparities, summarized from Preventing Chronic Disease
  • Collective Impact Connection
    • Interactive Sessions to Develop Continuity of Care Blueprint, summarized from NACCHO
  • News & Views

  denotes a USBC member organization news item   denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item

USBC Updates

Centering Equity: Our Mission & Black Lives Matter

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee stands in solidarity with the Black community and we support the movement for transformation and change. Our nation's long legacy of systemic racism and state-sanctioned oppression have perpetuated pervasive structural inequities that impact the individual and collective work that we do to support babies, families, and communities. 

Our organizational vision of thriving families and communities is not possible in the face of ongoing systemic oppression and structural racism that threaten the lives and vitality of families and communities. George Floyd was a dad, a brother, and an uncle. He was part of a family and a community. Ahmaud Abery was a son, a brother, an uncle, and a nephew. He was part of a family and a community. Breonna Taylor was a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, and a niece. She was part of a family and a community. Their lives mattered! Black families matter! Black communities matter!

Black lives matter! We cannot do our critical work of supporting families and communities, and of supporting Black families and communities, if we do not hold this essential truth firmly in our hearts and minds. 

In peace and power,


Nikia Sankofa
Executive Director
U.S. Breastfeeding Committee

Read the full statement.

Template Comments for House Hearing on Disproportionate Impact of Pandemic

The USBC has released a template for submitting a statement to the House Ways and Means Committee in response to the hearing titled "The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color," held on Wednesday, May 27. Individuals and organizations may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing. Edit or update the template to reflect your insights about the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on communities of color. Prompts are provided throughout the template to help guide the writing process, however, you are encouraged to modify the template content to suit your needs. Comment formatting and submission instructions are included in the hearing announcementComments must be submitted by 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 10. 

Welcome Baby Sebastian!

The USBC is thrilled to introduce our readers to the newest member of the USBC familiy: Sebastian Heinz Schmidt. Sebastian made his arrival in February to happy parents Randolf and Denae Schmidt, USBC's Senior Manager of Membership & Coalitions!

Special Section on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

As communities around the nation respond to the global Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the USBC has continued to serve as a communication hub for the breastfeeding field. View the updated "Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies" webpage for key resources on COVID-19 and infant feeding. See the Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire archive for previous compilations of COVID-19 resources and updates. Submit additional resources for consideration via the online form. Highlights from the field include:

  • CHRR: County Health Rankings & Roadmaps will host a webinar titled "COVID-19: Disproportionate Impact on Black Communities" on Thursday, June 25, at 3 p.m. ET. Speakers will explore how COVID-19 is exposing existing disparities experienced by Black communities, the historical context, institutional and systemic racism, and how communities can begin to address these disparities now and during recovery with policy, systems, and environmental change.

COVID-19 News & Views

ABC News: "New moms face challenge of breastfeeding during coronavirus pandemic"

Maternal & Child Nutrition: "When Separation is not the Answer: Breastfeeding Mothers and Infants affected by COVID‐19"

WSU News: "New collaborative to study impact of COVID‑19 on moms, babies"

International News

Guidance on Breastfeeding and Tear Gas Exposure, summarized from LLL Asia

La Leche League Asia has published a document titled "Suggestions on Breastfeeding for Mothers Exposed to Riot Control Agents/Tear Gas." The document highlights basic breastfeeding pharmacology with regard to riot control agents, like tear gas, and suggestions for decontamination.

National News

 New Webpage on Relactation, summarized from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a webpage titled "Supporting Families with Relactation." Relactation is the process by which a parent reestablishes lactation after having stopped for some time (weeks or months). The page includes information on the process of relactation, timelines for relactation, and reasons a parent may want to relactate.

Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report Launch, summarized from USDA/HHS

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have announced the next meeting of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). The public meeting will be held via webcast on Wednesday, June 17, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. ET. The meeting will include updates on the DGAC's draft conclusion statements and discussion on its draft advisory report. Organized by life stage, the DGAC's draft advisory report summarizes its evidence review and provides overarching advice based on the consideration of all of its conclusion statements. The DGAC will finalize its report based on the discussion at the meeting and submit its final report to the Secretaries of USDA and HHS at the end of June 2020.

USBC Insight: The new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is completing its development, and for the first time ever, these guidelines will include nutrition recommendations for infants, toddlers, and pregnant and lactating parents. The Food and Nutrition Service has released a public comment opportunity, seeking input from individuals and organizations to guide the development of the 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Individuals are invited to use the USBC action tool to submit public comments urging the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to support breastfeeding priorities. The deadline has been extended to Wednesday, June 10

Equity Lens

Webinar Series on Racial Equity, summarized from APHA

The American Public Health Association is launching a webinar series titled "Advancing Racial Equity." The first session, titled "Racism: The Ultimate Underlying Condition," will take place on Tuesday, June 9, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET. The presentation will examine racism and its historic and present-day impact on health and well-being.

Webinar on Black Breastfeeding Experience, summarized from MIBFN

The Michigan Breastfeeding Network has released an on-demand webinar titled "Black Breastfeeding: Trauma and Resilience." The presentation will bring to focus multiple factors that negatively impact breastfeeding, from historical trauma through present day issues, highlight the rise of Black lactation advocates, and outline ways to provide culturally-responsive support for Black women and their infants.

Call for Papers on Addressing Health Disparities, summarized from Preventing Chronic Disease

Preventing Chronic Disease, a peer-reviewed public health journal sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has announced a call for papers on the topic "Addressing Health Disparities and Improving Population Health in Diverse Communities and Settings." Authors are invited to submit manuscripts describing innovative and effective work that addresses factors contributing to health disparities and improvement of population health.

Collective Impact Connection

Interactive Sessions to Develop Continuity of Care Blueprint, summarized from NACCHO

The USBC-affliated Continuity of Care Constellation will host two virtual facilitation sessions titled "Developing a Continuity of Care (CoC) Blueprint Virtual Interactive Session." Hosted by the Constellation Steward, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, participants can expect to identify and define roles and responsibilities of the major community stakeholders within the lactation support landscape. The first session will be held on Tuesday, June 30, from 1-3 p.m. ET. The discussion will center on obstetric/pediatric, public health/community-based organizations, and employer/early childhood education stakeholder groups. NACCHO will also provide background on the preliminary accomplishments of the CoC Constellation and its subgroups. The second session will be held on Tuesday, July 14, from 12:30-2 p.m. ET. The discussion will focus on hospital, clinic, and outpatient lactation support providers, and other affiliated areas of stakeholder groups. Participants do not need to have attended previous CoC Constellation meetings to take part and may attend one or both sessions. Advanced registration is required.

News & Views

World Health Organization news release: "Countries failing to stop harmful marketing of breast-milk substitutes, warn WHO and UNICEF"

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