Weekly Wire: September 30, 2020

Weekly Wire: September 30, 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​
    • Action Alert: Make Babies a Priority in Emergencies!
    • Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month
  • Special Section on COVID-19
  • International News
    • Joint Statement on Regulation of Breast Milk Substitutes in Cambodia, summarized from HKI/UNICEF/WHO
    • Review of National Paid Leave Policies, summarized from INLP
  • National News​
    • State Licensing Scorecards for Obesity Prevention in Early Care and Education, summarized from CDC
    • Webinar on BFHI Impact on Breastfeeding Rates and Experiences, summarized from NWA
    • Report on the Need for Paid Leave in the U.S., summarized from 1,000 Days
    • Continuing Resolution Passed in House, summarized from Congress 
    • Bill on Investigation of Sudden Unexpected Death Passes House, summarized from Congress
    • CBO Report on Protections for Pregnant Women in Custody, summarized from CBO
    • New Data on Access to Paid Family and Medical Leave, summarized from BLS
    • 2020 State of Obesity Report, summarized from TFAH
    • SIDS Awareness Month Digital Toolkit, summarized from NICHD
  • State and Community News
    • Breastfeeding Friendly Business Designation, summarized from Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition
  • Equity Lens
    • Webinar on Healthy People 2030 and Social Determinants of Health, summarized from APHA
    • Report on WIC Role in Reducing Maternal Mortality, summarized from NWA
    • Award to Fight Chronic Disease and Advance Healthy Equity, summarized from CDC/ASTHO/NACCHO
    • Organizational Guide on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion summarized from WKKF
    • Call for Proposals for Community Solutions for Health Equity, summarized from RWJF
  • News & Views

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

USBC Updates

Action Alert: Make Babies a Priority in Emergencies!

Raise your voice! The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought to light devastating shortfalls in domestic emergency preparedness and response, including major gaps related to infant and young child feeding in emergencies. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is urging individuals to use the "Tell Policymakers: Infant Feeding is a Vital Part of Emergency Preparedness & Response" online action tool to call on policymakers to take three swift actions to integrate infant and young child feeding into emergency preparedness and response efforts. Even if you have already taken action, please contact your legislators again today, and share widely with your networks!

Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month

October is Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month. The USBC has published the "Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month" webpage with resources, tools, and materials from the field. Please submit additional materials via our online form.

Special Section on 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:

COVID-19 News & Views

Journal of Human Lactation: "Ready, Set, BABY Live Virtual Prenatal Breastfeeding Education for COVID-19"

* National WIC Association blog: "What Does the USDA Waivers Decision Mean For WIC?"

Parents: "Know Your Rights: Everything You Need to Know About Hospital Birth During the Pandemic"

Slate: "Can Babies Get COVID-19 From Breast Milk?"

The New York Times: "Coronavirus May Increase Premature Births, Studies Suggest"

International News

Joint Statement on Regulation of Breast Milk Substitutes in Cambodia, summarized from HKI/UNICEF/WHO

Representatives from Helen Keller International, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization released a statement titled "Joint Statement Supporting Stronger Regulation of Infant Foods to Protect the Health and Nutrition of Children in Cambodia." The statement commends the actions taken by the Royal Government of Cambodia in regulating Breast Milk Substitutes and responding to parents' complaints. The statement highlights concerns about recent investigations of infant formula milk powder and affirms the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.

Review of National Paid Leave Policies, summarized from INLP

The International Network on Leave Policies and Research published the "16th International Review of Leave Policies and Related Research 2020." The review includes a comparative overview of 45 countries' paid leave policies, including notes on leave policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as specific workplace provisions related to breastfeeding. The report states that the United States is the only country included in the report that makes no provision nationally for paid leave for women at the time of pregnancy and childbirth.

National News

* State Licensing Scorecards for Obesity Prevention in Early Care and Education, summarized from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the first "State Licensing Scorecards for Embedding High-Impact Obesity Prevention Standards in Early Care and Education (ECE)" for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The scorecards reflect how well each state's licensing regulations met 47 obesity prevention standards. The scoring system includes indicators on breastfeeding support and infant feeding practices. The reports include overall scores for each state and a national average score.

* Webinar on BFHI Impact on Breastfeeding Rates and Experiences, summarized from NWA

The National WIC Association is hosting a webinar on Thursday, October 1, at 3 p.m. ET titled "The Impact of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in Maryland on Selected WIC Agency Breastfeeding Rates and Maternal Experiences of Breastfeeding Support." The panel of speakers will discuss the results of their three-pronged approach to assessing the impact of Baby-Friendly Hospital Designation on breastfeeding practices in Maryland through state administrative data, postpartum telephone surveys, and in-depth interviews.

* Report on the Need for Paid Leave in the U.S., summarized from 1,000 Days

1,000 Days released "Qualitative Paid Leave Report 2020: Furthering Our Case for Paid Leave in the United States." The report includes findings from a qualitative study of 20 women in five states that do not require workers to have access to paid leave and features videos from the women in the study.

Continuing Resolution Passed in House, summarized from Congress 

The House passed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (H.R. 8337). This bill provides Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 continuing appropriations to federal agencies through December 11, 2020. It is known as a continuing resolution (CR) and prevents a government shutdown that would otherwise occur when FY2021 begins on October 1, 2020. Learn more about the status of appropriations bills with the Congressional Research Service "Appropriations Status Table: FY2021." Read the press release.

USBC Insight: In order to avoid a government shutdown, the Senate must pass and the President must sign today a continuing resolution which extends current funding levels. The bill is expected to pass. The continuing resolution only gives Congress a few months to pass a federal budget and we anticipate that negotiations for FY21 will resume after the November election. Watch for news and action opportunities as this unfolds in the Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire.

Bill on Investigation of Sudden Unexpected Death Passes House, summarized from Congress

The House passed Scarlett's Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act (H.R. 2271). The bill would establish various programs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to award grants to states, local agencies, and nonprofit organizations to address sudden unexpected infant and childhood deaths. The bill would provide grants for training medical examiners, and other appropriate personnel, about standardized investigative practices, including the infant or child's medical history, and other circumstances surrounding the death. The bill would require the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to provide grants to states to develop the capacity for local governments to comprehensively review 100% of all infant and child deaths and maintain the National Fatality Review Case Reporting System. Additionally, the bill would require the ACF to award grants to promote evidence-based best practices, support prevention efforts, provide safe-sleep products, and support the provision of services to families who have had an infant or child die from sudden unexpected death. Read the press release.

USBC Insight: Scarlett's Sunshine Act grants could open the way to improve consistency of investigation and reporting criteria for SUID across municipalities. This lever for change has been identified in the First Food field as an important mechanism for data improvement that would significantly contribute to breastfeeding research and safe sleep messaging for families.  

CBO Report on Protections for Pregnant Women in Custody, summarized from CBO

The Congressional Budget Office has published "CBO's Estimate of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Effects of H.R. 7718, The Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women in Custody Act." The Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women in Custody Act (H.R. 7718) would allow pregnant women in federal custody to file suit in federal court for grievances concerning prison conditions without first exhausting administrative remedies. CBO estimates that the number of additional suits filed each year would be small. The bill has been placed on the House Calendar. 

New Data on Access to Paid Family and Medical Leave, summarized from BLS

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, has published a report titled "National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2020." The report demonstrates a small increase in access to paid family and medical leave in the United States, from 19% of workers in 2019 to 21% of workers in 2020.

USBC Insight: This number reflects a positive trend in access to paid family leave as a result of a growing number of states and localities that have implemented paid family leave programs. The 2013 version of this BLS report found that only 12% of workers had access to paid family and medical leave through their employer.  

2020 State of Obesity Report, summarized from TFAH

Trust for America's Health has published the 17th annual "State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America" report. The report is based in part on newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and analysis by TFAH to provide an annual snapshot of obesity rates nationwide. The authors found that the U.S. adult obesity rate stands at 42.4%, the first time the national rate has passed the 40% mark. The report highlights the role that breastfeeding programs can have in addressing obesity, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, and programs through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.

SIDS Awareness Month Digital Toolkit, summarized from NICHD

The Safe to Sleep Campaign from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has released a digital toolkit for SIDS Awareness Month 2020. The #SafeSleepSnap activity encourages safe infant sleep advocates and infant caregivers to come together on social media to share safe infant sleep images and messages, help normalize safe sleep practices, and celebrate the role that all caregivers have in keeping baby safe during every sleep.

State & Community News

* Breastfeeding Friendly Business Designation, summarized from Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition

The Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition launched its "Breastfeeding Friendly Business" designation. Recipients of this designation receive breastfeeding friendly promotional material to display, recognition on the coalition's website, and a certificate that is valid for 3 years. Businesses of all sizes and types are encouraged to apply to share creative solutions to support breastfeeding mothers and employees. Applications may be submitted at any time. 

Equity Lens

* Webinar on Healthy People 2030 and Social Determinants of Health, summarized from APHA

The American Public Health Association is hosting a webinar titled "Using Healthy People to Address Social Determinants of Health and Achieve Health Equity" on Tuesday, October 6, from 2-3 p.m. ET. Speakers from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and APHA will discuss how local governments, non-profit organizations, and national organizations can use Healthy People 2030 to address the social determinants of health in their communities.

* Report on WIC Role in Reducing Maternal Mortality, summarized from NWA

The National WIC Association released a report titled "The Role of WIC in Reducing Maternal Mortality." The National WIC Association's (NWA) Maternal Mortality Task Force created the report to consider ways in which maternal mortality is addressed and discussed with program participants throughout the WIC appointment, as well as explore opportunities for additional focus on the topic. The report highlights current strategies and promising suggestions for tackling maternal mortality in WIC at the local, state, and federal levels, including through breastfeeding support and education. In addition, NWA published a position paper with 12 recommendations for addressing maternal mortality in WIC.

* Award to Fight Chronic Disease and Advance Healthy Equity, summarized from CDC/ASTHO/NACCHO

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it has awarded $7 million to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Association of County and City Health Officials to fund a pilot project that will identify up to 50 high-burden communities working to advance health equity by addressing social determinants of health. In October, ASTHO and NACCHO will release a funding opportunity for up to 50 communities to reduce health disparities through strategies focused on social determinants of health.

Organizational Guide on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion summarized from WKKF

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation published an organizational guide titled "One Journey: Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation." The guide explores WKKF's own racial equity journey as a resource for other organizations. Highlights include the role of board leadership; reviews of internal policies and practices; and how and where to leverage networks, research and voice.

Call for Proposals for Community Solutions for Health Equity, summarized from RWJF

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched a call for proposals titled "Community Solutions for Health Equity." The program is focused on elevating the voices of communities of color and other communities often left out of discussions when local health care systems in the United States are creating policies. Letters of Intent must be submitted by Wednesday, October 7.

News & Views

* ABM blog: "ABM Candid Conversations: A Virtual Interview with Protocol Authors Helen Johnson, MD and Katrina Mitchell, MD IBCLC"

Air Force Times: "How one airman's experiences gave birth to new policy on maternity uniforms"

* CHEER news release: "CHAMPS Receives New Funding from the Kellogg Foundation to Continue Breastfeeding Work in Mississippi"

Mississippi Today: "Breastfeeding is stigmatized in Mississippi. This Delta program is working to change that."

MSU Department of Geography press release: "Grant Will Support Native American Breastfeeding Initiative in Michigan"

NICHQ Insights: "Bringing Breastfeeding Support to More Mothers and Caregivers"

* Our Milky Way (Healthy Children Project blog): "This Labor Day, Zooming in on the work of motherhood"

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