Weekly Wire: October 9, 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
- Announcing the 2020-2021 USBC Board of Directors!
- USBC Membership Meeting Summary
- USBC Executive Director Celebrated by Mamava
- National Preparedness Month Blog
- Special Section on COVID-19
- Special Section on Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding
- International News
- Advocacy Brief on Skilled Breastfeeding Support, summarized from GBC
- National News
- Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act Advances, summarized from Congress
- Continuing Resolution Signed into Law, summarized from Congress/White House
- WIC Breastfeeding Check-In Tool, summarized from USDA
- Collective Impact Connection
- Webinar on Transformative Change Practices, summarized from Tamarack
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Announcing the 2020-2021 USBC Board of Directors!
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is thrilled to introduce the 2020-2021 Board of Directors. Elected by our Voting Member organizations, the USBC Board of Directors is a talented cohort of breastfeeding advocates dedicated to supporting the organization's mission and vision. Board members bring a wide range of expertise and experiences to their board service, and the composition of this group directly reflects the organization's deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and representation. The USBC is proud that its Board is among the youngest and most diverse of any national organization. Learn more in the USBC blog titled "Introducing the 2020-2021 Board of Directors!"
USBC Membership Meeting Summary
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee hosted a Special Membership Meeting on Thursday, September 24. The Membership Meeting included a Mission Moment delivered by Immediate Past Secretary of the Board, Brenda Reyes, the transition of the USBC Board, a business meeting, and a governmental partner panel featuring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity; Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau; Indian Health Service; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Office on Women's Health; and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.
Would you like your organization to have a seat at the table? Learn more about the five membership categories and submit an application!
USBC Executive Director Celebrated by Mamava
Mamava published an interview with USBC Executive Director, Nikia Sankofa, titled "Nikia Sankofa on Thriving Families and Communities." Nikia discusses important proposed legislation, the role of the USBC in public health, and what individuals can do to support mothers and families. Nikia is recognized by Mamava as one of the "Change Makers in Maternal Health + Equity."
National Preparedness Month Blog
September was National Preparedness Month, and the 2020 theme was Disasters Don't Wait. Make Your Plan Today. USBC Deputy Director, Amelia Psmythe Seger, released a blog post titled "Disasters Don't Wait: We Must Make Babies a Priority in Emergencies" that discusses her family's experience with emergency preparedness and response and the critical work of the USBC-affiliated COVID-19 and Infant and Young Child Feeding Constellation.
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:
- CHAMPS/CHEER: Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternal Practices, in partnership with the Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research, and the Mississippi Department of Health, is hosting a fall webinar series with weekly presentations on maternal and child health and breastfeeding. Webinars will occur Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m. ET.
- Congress: Members of Congress released an updated version of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES) Act (H.R. 8406) in the House of Representatives. The revised version totals $2.2 trillion, a reduction from the $3.4 trillion total in the original HEROES Act (H.R. 6800), which passed the House in May. The emergency spending bill includes $400 million in additional funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, $100 million in additional funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, $2.3 billion to address health care needs related to coronavirus for Native Americans, including broadband infrastructure and telehealth services, $7 billion in additional funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and provisions to extend and expand emergency paid leave and paid sick days. In addition, the bill would direct the National Institutes of Health to conduct a longitudinal study on the full impact of COVID-19 on infected individuals, including pregnant and lactating women. View the bill summary. The bill does not have the votes to pass in the Senate and it is unlikely that any new COVID-19 relief bills will pass until after the November election, but negotiations continue. Highlights from the field include:
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: "Greenstein: New Relief Proposal Well Designed, Urgently Needed"
- House Committee on Appropriations: "House Democrats Release Updated Version of The Heroes Act"
- National Association of County and City Health Officials: Letter to House and Senate leadership reiterating the need for additional support for local health departments
- National Partnership for Women & Families: "National Partnership Applauds House Passage of the HEROES Act"
- National WIC Association: "In Bid for Bipartisan Deal, House Democrats Release Compromise COVID Relief Proposal"
- Forward Together: Forward Together published "We Keep Each Other Safe: A Guide By and For Black, Indigenous, Latinx, POC and LGBTQ Communities Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic." The guide includes information on pregnancy and childbirth in the context of COVID-19 and is available in English and Spanish.
Special Section on Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding
October is Safe Sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. Approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths, including SIDS. Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and SIDS disproportionately impact families of color, especially Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and low-income families. Consistent, integrated messaging about safe infant sleep and breastfeeding is important for all caregivers. The USBC hosts the "Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month" webpage. Please submit additional tools and resources via the online form. Highlights from the field include:
- NICHD: The Safe to Sleep Campaign from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development will host the Safe Infant Sleep Social Media Block Party, Monday, October 26, through Friday, October 29. Each day will feature a short Facebook Live event on safe infant sleep topics.
- NICHQ: The National Institute for Children's Health Quality published the "National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month Social Media Toolkit." The toolkit includes sample social media posts and graphics.
- USBC: The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee released a free on-demand webcast titled "Combined Breastfeeding and Safe Sleep Messaging." The session includes a presentation on the work of the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network to make safe infant sleep and breastfeeding a national norm.
- This session has been approved for continuing education by the CDC. Please review the after accreditation information before participating in this session. This session also qualifies for a number of L-Cerps provided by Lactation Education Resources.
Advocacy Brief on Skilled Breastfeeding Support, summarized from GBC
The Global Breastfeeding Collective published an advocacy brief titled "Skilled Breastfeeding Counselling." The brief urges government leaders, policymakers, implementers, and funders to invest in providing access to skilled breastfeeding counseling for mothers — at least six times between pregnancy and the child's first two years — with no additional cost to the families. The report highlights key messages and facts about skilled breastfeeding counseling.
Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act Advances, summarized from Congress
The Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act (S. 2638) has been passed/agreed to in the House. The bill would require small hub airports to maintain a lactation area for nursing travelers and a baby changing table in at least one men's and one women's restroom in each passenger terminal building of the airport. These requirements are already in place for large and medium hub airports through the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act. The House version of this bill, Small Airport Mothers' Rooms Act of 2019 (H.R. 3362), passed the House in December 2019. The bill now moves to the President's desk.
USBC Insight: In July 2019, the USBC delivered a joint letter in support of H.R. 3362 that was signed by 27 international, national, and tribal organizations and 33 regional, state, and local organizations. The letter was included in the Congressional Record in support of the House bill before passage. Thank you to all our partners who signed on!
Continuing Resolution Signed into Law, summarized from Congress/White House
The Senate passed and the President signed 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 prevented a government shutdown that would have otherwise occurred when FY2021 began on October 1, 2020. Learn more about the status of appropriations bills with the Congressional Research Service "Appropriations Status Table: FY2021."
USBC Insight: 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.
WIC Breastfeeding Check-In Tool, summarized from USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the "WIC Breastfeeding Check-In" reference tool. The tool includes information for WIC agencies on common concerns among breastfeeding women. It also highlights information tailored to four stages of breastfeeding: learn, start, overcome, and thrive.
Collective Impact Connection
Webinar on Transformative Change Practices, summarized from Tamarack
The Tamarack Institute will host a webinar titled "People, Practice, and Transformational Change" on Wednesday, October 21, from 1-2 p.m. ET. John Kania will discuss the launch of the Collective Change Lab and what it takes to achieve deep and durable systems change and impact.
News & Views
1,000 Days blog: "What We're Watching in Congress – Fall 2020"
CHOP Policy Lab blog: "Paid Leave: Will COVID-19 be a Catalyst for This Essential Policy?"
HRSA press release: "HHS Awards Nearly $360 Million To Programs Supporting Maternal and Child Health"
Illinois State University blog: "Improving community health through breastfeeding research"