Weekly Wire: March 13, 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
- Sign On Letters Urging Support for Workplace Protections for Birthing Families
- Calling All Equity Experts!
- 2021 Conference Award Application Deadline 3/21
- USBC Supports...
- Special Section on COVID-19
- International News
- International Women's Day Statement, summarized from WABA
- Resource on Breastfeeding in Myanmar, summarized from Alive & Thrive
- National News
- mPINC Survey Update and Thank You, summarized from CDC
- National Nutrition Month Campaign Launches, summarized from AND
- Paid Leave Action Tool, summarized from MomsRising
- Black Maternal Health Momnibus Introduced in Senate, summarized from Congress
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans Key Takeaways, summarized from CSPI
- Research Brief on Importance of Paid Family Leave and Affordable Child Care, summarized from Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center
- State and Community News
- Webinar on Lactation Support for Low-Wage Workers in Californica, summarized from CBC
- Announcement of Funding to Support WIC Special Projects, summarized from CSG
- Equity Lens
- Public Comment Opportunity on Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity, summarized from HHS/OMH
- Racial Equity Initiative Announced, summarized from Congress
- Health Care Equity Award Announcement, summarized from The Joint Commission/Kaiser Permanente
- Collective Impact Connection
- Co-Branded Resources on Workplace Breastfeeding Support during COVID-19, summarized from Workplace Support Constellation
- Podcast on Sustaining Collective Impact Work, summarized from CIF
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Sign On Letters Urging Support for Workplace Protections for Birthing Families
The House Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee and Workforce Protections Subcommittee are hosting a joint hearing on Thursday, March 18, titled "Fighting for Fairness: Examining Legislation to Confront Workplace Discrimination." The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act and Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will be included as part of the hearing. Organizations are invited to sign on to joint letters to be submitted for inclusion in the hearing record. Unfortunately, there is a very tight turnaround. The deadline to sign on for inclusion in the hearing record is 3 p.m. ET on Monday, March 15.
- USBC: Joint letter urging support for the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act
- A Better Balance: Joint letter urging support for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Calling All Equity Experts!
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is working to identify a cohort of equity experts to be included in a directory on the USBC website. This new resource will make it easier for individuals and organizations in our network to find the support they need to move forward in their equity journey. Individuals with experience supporting organizations to operationalize equity are encouraged to complete the equity champion form by Friday, April 30.
2021 Conference Award Application Deadline 3/21
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is pleased to invite eligible and interested maternal and child health grassroots workers to apply for an Award for the National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening. Awards are granted in three categories: Emerging Leader, Tribal Trailblazer, and Cultural Changemaker. Award recipients will receive a free full-access registration to the June 9-11 online conference, promotion of their work, and more. The application deadline is Sunday, March 21. Please share this announcement widely with your networks!
The USBC joined the following organizational sign on letter from the field:
- Association of Maternal and Child Health Program: Friends of MCH FY22 Title V Appropriations Letter.
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:
- Congress: The President has signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319). The legislative package addresses the public health and economic consequences of COVID-19 through a wide range of provisions, including $880 million in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) investments, an expansion and extension of the voluntary emergency paid sick and paid leave tax credits that were passed under the Families First Act, and extending Medicaid coverage for pregnant beneficiaries through one year postpartum. Highlights from the field include:
- Congress: Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL-7) and Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) introduced a bill titled "H.R.926 - To provide emergency funding for home visiting programs during the pandemic, and for other purposes." The bill would provide emergency assistance to families through home visiting programs and has been referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.
- USBC Insight: This bill references the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. The MIECHV program provides support for at-risk pregnant women and families, including breastfeeding support.
- Journal of Affective Disorders: The Journal of Affective Disorders published an article titled "COVID-19 is associated with traumatic childbirth and subsequent mother-infant bonding problems." Using information collected from online surveys, the authors of the article concluded that women who gave birth in communities with a COVID-19 outbreak were more likely to experience traumatic childbirth when compared to women who gave birth before the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Lancet: The Lancet published an article titled "A public health approach for deciding policy on infant feeding and mother–infant contact in the context of COVID-19." The authors of the article detail an approach for deciding public health policy on infant feeding and mother–infant contact in the context of COVID-19, or for future emerging viruses, that balances the risks that are associated with viral infection against child survival, lifelong health and development, and maternal health.
International Women's Day Statement, summarized from WABA
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has published a statement for International Women's Day 2021 titled "Women Leaders: Champion Breastfeeding For A More Equal World." The statement connects the International Women's Day theme, Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, with WABA's work to advocate for breastfeeding. The statement also highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on breastfeeding around the globe.
Resource on Breastfeeding in Myanmar, summarized from Alive & Thrive
Alive & Thrive released an online photobook titled "The Changing Face of Breastfeeding in Myanmar." The resource follows the stories of eight women in Myanmar, and chronicles their attitudes toward breastfeeding and the barriers they face.
mPINC Survey Update and Thank You, summarized from CDC
CDC knows that the past year has been difficult, especially for hospitals. The mPINC survey helps us to understand the progress and challenges hospitals may face providing maternity care practices supportive of breastfeeding. CDC would like to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all the hospitals that submitted their 2020 mPINC survey and to everyone who helped spread the word. The data are now being cleaned and then analysis will begin. If you are interested in your state's response to the mPINC survey, please see preliminary submission rates for each state below. As data are cleaned and analyzed it is possible these response rates will change. Visit CDC's mPINC website for updates or sign up for the CDC-mPINC-UPDATE listserv to receive periodic updates about the status of the survey. If you would like to sign up please email mPINC@cdc.gov with your name and email address.
National Nutrition Month Campaign Launches, summarized from AND
March is National Nutrition Month and the 2021 theme is Personalize Your Plate. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics hosts the annual nutrition education and information campaign to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. AND released a campaign toolkit that organizations and individuals can use to celebrate the month.
USBC Insight: Breastfeeding provides your child with ideal nutrition and supports growth and development. As babies grow, breast milk changes to meet their nutritional needs.
Paid Leave Action Tool, summarized from MomsRising
MomsRising launched an online action tool titled "Paid Leave for All. Now." Individuals can use the action tool to contact the President and their members of Congress to urge support for permanent paid leave in the United States.
USBC Insight: Research shows that access to paid family and medical leave contributes to improved breastfeeding outcomes. Guaranteed paid leave associated with the birth or adoption of a child is a vital component of maternal and child health and should be available for all parents across the United States.
Black Maternal Health Momnibus Introduced in Senate, summarized from Congress
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and a group of 20 Democratic Senators have introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 (S.346), 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. This is the Senate companion to H.R. 959. Read the press release.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans Key Takeaways, summarized from CSPI
The Center for Science in the Public Interest published a fact sheet titled "The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: CSPI's Key Takeaways." The publication includes several of the recommendations from the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans about specific foods and nutrients, with clarifications from CSPI nutrition experts. The fact sheet also highlights the new recommendations for feeding children under two.
Research Brief on Importance of Paid Family Leave and Affordable Child Care, summarized from Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center
The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center published a research brief titled "Paid Family Leave and Affordable Child Care Are Integral to a Strong Prenatal-to-3 System of Care." The report highlights how access to paid leave from work and affordable child care can work in tandem to support children's development and promote positive family outcomes over the entire early childhood period, from birth through preschool. The brief notes that studies of parents with access to paid leave have found that mothers are more likely to establish and maintain breastfeeding.
State & Community News
Webinar on Lactation Support for Low-Wage Workers in California, summarized from CBC
The California Breastfeeding Coalition is hosting a "CBC Learn Conversation" on Monday, March 29, at 4:30 p.m. ET. California breastfeeding coalitions and lactation advocates are invited to join CBC and their collaborative partners, the California WIC Association, and the California Department of Public Health, to discuss lactation support for low-wage workers.
Announcement of Funding to Support WIC Special Projects, summarized from CSG
The Council of State Governments announced the award of funds to six state and local state and local Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) agencies as part of the WIC Special Project Innovation Grant program. One of the funded projects is titled "Utilizing the CinnaMoms Model to Increase Engagement, Enrollment and Certification of Black Participants at PHFE WIC – Public Health Foundation Enterprises (PHFE) WIC." The project will formalize the evidence base for the CinnaMoms model – a local breastfeeding support program – to be scaled and transferable to other WIC agencies to support successful certification of Black participants and build the Black workforce at WIC.
Public Comment Opportunity on Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity, summarized from HHS/OMH
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health launched a public comment opportunity titled "Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity Supporting Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native Population." Comments are being requested from federally recognized Indian Tribes/American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribes, Tribal organizations, Tribal-serving organizations, Tribal colleges and universities, and AI/AN-serving institutions of higher education on the development of new Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity. Comments must be submitted by Sunday, March 14.
Racial Equity Initiative Announced, summarized from Congress
The House Ways and Means Committee announced the creation of the Committee's Racial Equity Initiative (REI). The creation of the REI follows the release of the "Something Must Change: Inequities in U.S. Policy and Society" report and "A Bold Vision for a Legislative Pathway Toward Health and Economic Equity" framework. The report and framework highlight the policy proposals and the pillars the Committee will focus on as it works to advance equity in this Congress and beyond. Representatives Steven Horsford (D-4-MD), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34), and Terri Sewell (D-AL-7) will lead the REI working group.
Health Care Equity Award Announcement, summarized from The Joint Commission/Kaiser Permanente
The Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente have established "The Bernard J. Tyson Award for Excellence in Pursuing Health Care Equity." The award will annually recognize health care organizations and their partners that led initiatives that achieved a measurable, sustained reduction in one or more health care disparities. Nominations for the award will open Monday, May 17.
Collective Impact Connection
Co-Branded Resources on Workplace Breastfeeding Support during COVID-19, summarized from Workplace Support Constellation
The USBC-affiliated Workplace Support Constellation is working with organizations from across the field to develop co-branded versions of a printable resource for breastfeeding workers titled "Your COVID-19 Workplace Rights: Breastfeeding and Lactation." The handout addresses key questions about workplace rights for breastfeeding employees in the context of COVID-19 including remote working, pumping at work, and childcare facilities. New co-branded resources have been published from a variety of organizations:
- 1,000 Days
- Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research
- La Leche League USA
- Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition
- New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force
- Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition
Breastfeeding coalitions and other interested organizations are invited to work with the USBC and the Center for WorkLife Law to develop co-branded versions of the resource by completing the online form.
Podcast on Sustaining Collective Impact Work, summarized from CIF
The Collective Impact Forum released a podcast episode titled "How Do You Sustain Your Initiative Over the Long Term?" In the episode, a panel from CIF discusses seven factors that can support an initiative's long-term sustainability. The landing page includes several resources related to the topic.
News & Views
1,000 Days/Rudd Center video playlist: "Rudd Center & 1000 Days Greeked Toddler Milk Videos"
Carriage Trader PR release: "Enmarket Encourage Health Live Series Explores Breaking Breastfeeding Barriers on April 1 Livestream"
Forbes Magazine: "Antibodies For Covid-19 Found In Breast Milk After Vaccine"
Kansas City Star: "How doulas can promote better birth outcomes for Black mothers and infants"
REACH Foundation blog post: "REACH Announces New Initiative Highlighting Black-Led Organizations"
The New York Times:
- "How Food Traditions Nourish New Moms"
- "There's a New Pregnancy Discrimination Bill in the House. This Time It Might Pass."
U.S. Army blog post: "Pregnant and a Soldier? Let's Discuss Maternity Uniforms"
USLCA blog post: "Responding to FridaMom"