Weekly Wire: February 12, 2021
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
- Conference Presentation Proposal Deadline: Monday, 2/15
- Show Your Love Social Media Campaign Debuts
- USBC Supports...
- Special Section on COVID-19
- National News
- Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey Closing Soon, summarized from CDC
- Five-Year Funding Announcement, summarized from ACOG/WPSI
- Report on Heavy Metals in Baby Food, summarized from U.S. House of Representatives
- New Committee Opinions on Breastfeeding, summarized from ACOG
- Black Maternal Health Momnibus Introduced, summarized from Congress
- FAMILY Act Introduced, summarized from Congress
- Webinar on Post-Partum Care, summarized from CMS
- Fact Sheet on Paid Leave Data and Research, summarized from CAP
- State & Community News
- Bill Supporting Lactating Students Introduced, summarized from Kentucky
- Equity Lens
- Legislation Addressing Structural Racism Introduced, summarized from Congress
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Conference Presentation Proposal Deadline: Monday, 2/15
The deadline to submit a proposal for the National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening is Monday, February 15, 2021.
The three-day online event (June 9-11) will include engaging presentations and opportunities for engagement with breastfeeding-focused representatives throughout the country. We are currently seeking proposals for concurrent session presentations under three learning arcs:
- Resilience: Power of Community
- Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Advocacy in Practice
Show Your Love Social Media Campaign Debuts
This Valentine's Day, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is recognizing the day with a "Show Your Love" social media campaign inviting donations in honor of loved ones.
With a series of warm graphics, the brief campaign invites you to show your love for someone special by making a donation supporting advocacy efforts that create a better world for breastfeeding families. Donate in honor of a baby, a breastfeeding parent, family member, supporter, or mentor in your life! Give a gift with impact by making a one-time or monthly recurring donation to the USBC in their honor. The campaign runs through February 22, 2021.
The USBC joined the following organizational sign on letter from the field:
- Letter urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to extend the postpartum coverage period for individuals who were enrolled in Medicaid while pregnant
The USBC endorsed several bills included in the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021:
- Justice for Incarcerated Moms Act
- Social Determinants for Moms Act
- Perinatal Workforce Act
- Protecting Moms Who Served Act
- Maternal Health Pandemic Response Act
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:
- Frontiers in Sociology: The journal, Frontiers in Sociology, published an article titled "Pregnancy, Birthing, and Postpartum Experiences During COVID-19 in the United States." The article includes qualitative and quantitative data and aims to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum experiences in the United States. The authors report that respondents perceived that early release from the hospital reduced access to lactation support, and many respondents reported receiving free samples of breastmilk substitutes through a variety of sources.
- MomsRising: MomsRising launched an online action tool titled "Congress Must Include Permanent Paid Leave in the Next COVID-19 Relief Package." Individuals can use the tool to contact their members of Congress in support of passing the President's American Rescue Plan and in support of making paid family leave permanent in the United States.
- PATH: PATH released an information brief titled "Aligning best practices and addressing misinformation for optimal infant feeding during the COVID-19 pandemic." The publication includes information on protecting yourself from misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, and FAQs about breastfeeding and COVID-19.
- The White House: The White House published an emergency legislative package called the "American Rescue Plan." The package includes plans for a national vaccination program, economic proposals to support working families, and support for communities impacted by the pandemic. The plan includes emergency paid family and medical leave as well as a multi-year investment in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Last week, both the House and Senate approved a budget resolution that establishes the rules for considering the American Rescue Plan.
COVID-19 News & Views
Lactation Matters (ILCA blog): "Critical Contact: Helping Ensure Parents and Infants Stay Together During COVID-19"
Women's Health Magazine: "'I'm A Breastfeeding Mom And An Emergency Room Doctor: This Is Why I Got Vaccinated Against COVID-19'"
Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey Closing Soon, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2020 national survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) will close on Friday, February 26. Thank you to hospitals that have already submitted their survey! To receive an individualized Hospital Report and be included in state and national level reports, hospitals must complete and submit their survey. For questions, visit the CDC mPINC website or email mPINC@cdc.gov.
Five-Year Funding Announcement, summarized from ACOG/WPSI
The Women's Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) announced that the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) a five-year cooperative agreement to continue the work of the WPSI. WPSI is a coalition of national health professional organizations and consumer and patient advocates with expertise in women's health across the life span to develop, review, and update recommendations for preventive health care services, including the Health Resources Service Administration sponsored Women's Preventive Services Guidelines. The Women's Preventive Services Guidelines require insurer coverage of breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.
Report on Heavy Metals in Baby Food, summarized from Congress
The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Committee on Oversight and Reform released a report titled "Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury." According to internal company documents and test results obtained by the Subcommittee, commercial baby foods are tainted with significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Exposure to toxic heavy metals causes permanent decreases in IQ, diminished future economic productivity, and increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior in children. Toxic heavy metals endanger infant neurological development and long-term brain function.
Highlights from the field include:
- American Academy of Pediatrics: "Heavy Metals in Baby Food"
- National WIC Association: "Congressional Report Finds Toxins in Baby Food Products"
- The New York Times: "Some Baby Food May Contain Toxic Metals, U.S. Reports"
New Committee Opinions on Breastfeeding, summarized from ACOG
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released two Committee Opinions:
- "Barriers to Breastfeeding: Supporting Initiation and Continuation of Breastfeeding" was developed by the Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women and the Breastfeeding Expert Work Group. The Committee Opinion describes hospital and societal barriers to breastfeeding, as well as challenges faced by specific populations.
- "Breastfeeding Challenges" was developed by the Breastfeeding Expert Work Group and the Committee on Obstetric Practice. The Committee Opinion includes information on engorgement, persistent pain, low milk supply and galactogogues, mastitis, special concerns for preterm and early-term infants, medication use, guidelines for breastfeeding and substance use disorder, and palpable breast mass.
Black Maternal Health Momnibus Introduced, summarized from Congress
Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Alma Adams (D-NC-12), Senator Cory Booker (D-CA), and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus have introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, a legislative package to address the United States' urgent maternal health crisis. The Momnibus builds on existing maternal health legislation and the Black Maternal Health Momnibus of 2020 with 12 bills to comprehensively address the drivers of the maternal health crisis. The Momnibus makes critical investments in addressing social determinants of health, funding community-based organizations, growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce, and improving data collection processes. The Momnibus also includes new legislation to address the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change on maternal and infant health. Highlights from the field include:
- Essence: "The U.S. Maternal Mortality Crisis Demands Action—From All Of Us"
- Representative Lauren Underwood: "Underwood, Adams, Booker Unveil the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act to Address America's Maternal Health Crisis"
- U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: "Racial Disparities in Maternal Health Briefing"
FAMILY Act Introduced, summarized from Congress
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) have reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY) Act (S. 248/H.R. 804). The FAMILY Act would ensure that workers can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a pregnancy, the birth or adoption of a child, to recover from a serious illness, or to care for a seriously ill family member. The House bill was introduced with 196 original cosponsors and the Senate bill was introduced with 35 original cosponsors. Member and partner highlights include:
- A Better Balance: "28 Years Since the FMLA, National Paid Leave Is More Necessary Than Ever"
- National Partnership for Women & Families: "National Partnership for Women & Families Applauds Introduction of the FAMILY Act on the Anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act"
- Senator Kristen Gillibrand: "Gillibrand, DeLauro Introduce Family Act, Urge Congress To Pass Permanent Paid Leave Solution To Spur Economic Recovery"
- ZERO TO THREE: "Think Babies and Act for Paid Leave"
Webinar on Post-Partum Care, summarized from CMS
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will host a webinar titled "Improving the Content of Care During the Postpartum Period" on Wednesday, February 17, at 2:30 p.m. ET. This webinar will focus on the changing concept of postpartum care and the emphasis on risk reduction for maternal health, both in the immediate postpartum period and in the extended postpartum period up to one year after delivery. Speakers will present state best practices to improve the content of care including contraceptive care and management of chronic diseases as well as opportunities for value based care. The presentation will also highlight the need to address risks in specific populations, including older women and women from racial and ethnic minority populations.
Fact Sheet on Paid Leave Data and Research, summarized from CAP
The Center for American Progress released a fact sheet titled "Quick Facts on Paid Family and Medical Leave." The fact sheet includes information on who has access to paid leave; how lack of access to paid leave costs workers, families, and the economy; and how paid leave improves health outcomes. It also spotlights how paid leave is good for businesses, making the case for a permanent and national paid family and medical leave program.
State & Community News
Bill Supporting Lactating Students Introduced, summarized from Kentucky
Kentucky State Representatives Kelly Flood and Josie Raymond introduced House Bill (HB) 181. HB181 would require lactation accommodations for students of public institutions of postsecondary education. It would help lactating college students receive time and space accommodations similar to those of working mothers and protect them from academic disciplinary actions. The Kentuckiana Lactation Improvement Coalition, a USBC member organization, released an infographic highlighting the benefits of supporting lactating students and how to take action in support of HB181.
Legislation Addressing Structural Racism Introduced, summarized from Congress
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) re-introduced the Anti-Racism in Public Health Act (S. 162/H.R. 666), a bicameral bill to declare structural racism a public health crisis. The bill would create a National Center for Anti-Racism at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to further develop the research base and knowledge in the science and practice of anti-racism. Read the press release.
News & Views
The New York Times: "I Miss a Lot of Things About the Office. My Breast Pump Isn't One."
Valley News: "New Hampshire legislation calls for lactation spaces at work"