Weekly Wire: August 20, 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 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
- New Action Tool: Urge Congress to Support Paid Leave!
- USBC Supports...
- Special Section on National Breastfeeding Month
- International News
- Breastfeeding and the Global Food System, summarized from Various
- National News
- Data Released on Breastfeeding Rates Among Babies Born in 2018, summarized from CDC
- Updated Recommendations on COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant or Breastfeeding People, summarized from CDC
- Notice of Data Collection on WIC Program, summarized from FNS
- Toolkit on Breastfeeding Continuity of Care in Child Care Settings, summarized from CGBI
- Campaign in Support of Care Infrastructure Policies, summarized from MomsRising
- Tracker on Federal Maternal Health Bills, summarized from AMCHP
- Funding Opportunity on Human Milk and Systems Biology, summarized from NICHD
- Medicare and Medicaid Services Final Rule, summarized from CMS
- Toolkit on MCH Emergency Planning, summarized from HHS/ASPR
- Research Letter on Levels of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Breast Milk of mRNA-Vaccinated Women, summarized from JAMA Network Open
- Bill Introduced to Provide Paid Leave For Childbearing Related Losses, summarized from Congress
- State and Community News
- Funding Opportunity for Local Breastfeeding Projects, summarized from Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition/Advancing Breastfeeding Colorado
- City Council Approves Expansion of Paid Leave Program, summarized from DC
- California Hospital Breastfeeding Rates Available, summarized from CDPH
- Equity Lens
- On-Demand Webinar on Gender Neutral Language and Lactation, summarized from MIBFN
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
New Action Tool: Urge Congress to Support Paid Leave!
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee launched an individual action tool titled "Call on Congress to Support Paid Leave." Research clearly shows that access to paid family and medical leave makes a significant difference for lactating parents and their families, but only a small portion of workers in the United States have any paid leave. Individuals can use the tool to contact their members of Congress to ask them to support establishing a comprehensive and inclusive national paid family leave program.
The USBC joined the following organizational sign on letters from the field:
- Community Catalyst: Letter to Congressional leadership in support of addressing maternal health inequities
- Physical Activity Alliance: Letter to the Senate in support of funding for CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
Special Section on National Breastfeeding Month
August is National Breastfeeding Month! The theme of National Breastfeeding Month 2021 is Every Step of the Way. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is sharing and celebrating lactation-focused events and resources in each edition of the Weekly Wire newsletter. Submit your National Breastfeeding Month events, news, and resources so we can share them in USBC communication channels throughout the month.
- APIBTF: The Asian Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Task Force launched a community breastfeeding survey. The survey aims to reach families in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities to learn more about the landscape of infant feeding. The deadline to complete the form is Tuesday, August 31.
- APIBTF/USLCA: In celebration of the first national Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week, the Asian Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Task Force is taking over the United States Lactation Consultant Association's social media channels.
- BBW: Black Breastfeeding Week posted a video titled "Why 'The Big Pause'?" with the founders and organizers of the week. The panelists describe the founding of Black Breastfeeding Week and this year's theme.
- Black Breastfeeding 365: Black Breastfeeding 365 is participating in a social media campaign titled "Share the Mic Now." During the month of August, Black lactation professionals are taking over dominant culture social media platforms for one week.
- CHOICES: CHOICES: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health is hosting a breastfeeding panel in celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month on Friday, August 27, at 1 p.m. ET. Panelists will address myths and common concerns associated with chest/breastfeeding, highlight outlets for support, discuss chest/breastfeeding statistics in the Mid-South, and answer questions from attendees.
- IMMC: Indigenous Milk Medicine Collective hosted a Facebook live presentation titled "Workplace Advocacy for Indigenous Lactation." Native lactation advocates discussed their experiences with creating workplace lactation policies and breast/chestfeeding safe workplaces.
- HCO: HealthConnect One will host a webinar titled "Lactation Across Borders: Breastfeeding & Lactation Culture and Practice within Immigrant Communities" on Monday, August 30, at 2 p.m. ET. Panelists who work on improving maternal and child health outcomes within immigrant communities across America will share their insights on supporting breastfeeding within these communities.
- MBC: The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition is hosting a conversation on ZipMilk via Facebook Live on Monday, August 23, at 12 p.m. ET. Participants can learn more about ZipMilk and how ZipMilk supports families. There will also be a raffle for those who participate live.
- NWA: The National WIC Association prepared a social media toolkit for WIC agencies and clinics to celebrate and honor National Breastfeeding Month on their social media channels.
- Various: The UIC Nutrition, Obesity, Health Equity and Food Justice (NOHE) Research Group, the Chicagoland Breastfeeding Task Force, and the UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships (OCEAN-HP) are hosting a webinar titled "From Academia to Community: Pausing to reflect on authentic community engagement in human milk equity research" on Tuesday, August 24, at 12 p.m. ET. The webinar features three panelists who will discuss authentic academic-community partnerships in human milk feeding equity work.
National Breastfeeding Month News & Views
1,000 Days blog post: "Breastfeeding-Related Bills We Support in the 117th Congress"
- "The Birth of the Asian and Pacific Islander Breastfeeding TaskForce"
- "My Breastfeeding Story: An Introspective Indigenous Perspective"
Black Wall Street: "Op-ed: Why We Need a Black Breastfeeding Week"
CHEER blog post: "CHEER Champion of the Week: Wen Tin (Wendy) Fung!"
LLL USA blog post: "An Update On Indigenous Milk Medicine Week"
Our Milky Way:
- "Announcing the launch of the Continuity of Care (CoC) in Breastfeeding Support: a Blueprint for communities"
- "It's Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Week: 'Reclaiming Our Tradition'"
Traverse City Record Eagle: "Lactation proclamation encourages Indigenous breastfeeding"
National Breastfeeding Month Apparel Available for a Limited Time
Show your commitment to supporting families with a National Breastfeeding Month t-shirt or tank top featuring this year's theme and the official NBM design from USBC! The artwork represents the spheres of influence in a breastfeeding family's world and the continuity of care that every family deserves along the human milk feeding journey. The National Breastfeeding Month design is available during August in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes for adults and kids. Shirts are hand printed in the U.S. and are sourced from a select group of vendors who are WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) certified. A portion of each purchase goes to support USBC advocacy efforts.
Data Released on Breastfeeding Rates Among Babies Born in 2018, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released infant feeding data for infants born in 2018 from the National Immunization Survey (NIS). NIS infant feeding data includes ever breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding at three and six months, any breastfeeding at three and six months, and formula supplementation at two days, three months, and six months.
Updated Recommendations on COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant or Breastfeeding People, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have updated the "COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding" webpage. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people aged 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. A COVID-19 vaccination can offer protection from severe illness from COVID-19.
Notice of Data Collection on WIC Program, summarized from FNS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, has released "Agency Information Collection Activities: WIC Nutrition Assessment and Tailoring Study-In-Person Data Collection." The general public and other public agencies are invited to comment on a proposed information collection for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Assessment and Tailoring Study (WIC NATS). The revision adds data collection from in-person site visits, where the data collection activities planned for the currently approved remote site visits will be replicated for use in 30 WIC clinics for in-person site visits once WIC clinic sites safely resume their in-person operations.
Toolkit on Breastfeeding Continuity of Care in Child Care Settings, summarized from CGBI
The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI), with funding through the ENRICH Carolinas project recently released the Continuity of Care (CoC) Toolkit, striving to integrate the child care industry into the breastfeeding support infrastructure. This toolkit provides job aides for health care providers (HCP) to guide and support communications, primarily in the prenatal setting, with families seeking licensed child care enrollment. The toolkit aims to facilitate CoC and consistent messaging between Healthcare and Early Care and Education settings.
Campaign in Support of Care Infrastructure Policies, summarized from MomsRising
MomsRising is inviting individuals to deliver Care Economy storybooks to local, in-district offices of their members of Congress before Labor Day. Storybooks include personal stories about why Care Infrastructure policies like the expanded child tax credit, paid leave, and childcare for all make a difference for families.
Tracker on Federal Maternal Health Bills, summarized from AMCHP
The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs released the "Maternal Health Bill Tracker." Advocates can use the tracker to learn more about pending federal legislation to improve maternal health in the United States. The bills can be filtered by bipartisan status and topic.
Funding Opportunity on Human Milk and Systems Biology, summarized from NICHD
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement titled "Human Milk as a Biological System." NICHD is inviting grant applications that address priority gaps in our understanding of human milk as a biological system and that expand our understanding of the myriad factors influencing the composition and function of human milk using a systems biology approach. Applications are due on Monday, November 29.
Medicare and Medicaid Services Final Rule, summarized from CMS
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a final rule titled "Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2022 Rates; Quality Programs and Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program Requirements for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals; Changes to Medicaid Provider Enrollment; and Changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program." Hospitals are required to report data on measures selected by the Secretary for a fiscal year in order to receive the full annual percentage increase that would otherwise apply to the standardized amount applicable to discharges occurring in that fiscal year. The final rule removes the Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding (PC-05) measure.
Toolkit on MCH Emergency Planning, summarized from HHS/ASPR
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, published the "HHS Maternal-Child Health (MCH) Emergency Planning toolkit." The publication outlines basic planning steps, highlights key resources and promising practices, and explains critical data and information to be integrated into emergency planning for MCH populations. It provides guidance and advice to address the needs of women who are pregnant, postpartum, and/or lactating and of typically developing infants and young children in emergencies.
Research Letter on Levels of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Breast Milk of mRNA-Vaccinated Women, summarized from JAMA Network Open
The JAMA Network Open published a research letter titled "Quantification of Specific Antibodies Against SARS-CoV-2 in Breast Milk of Lactating Women Vaccinated With an mRNA Vaccine." The authors sought to characterize the levels of specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the breast milk of mRNA-vaccinated women across time, as well as their correlation with serum antibody levels through a prospective cohort study with 33 participants, collecting three samples. The authors wrote that their results suggest that breast milk from women vaccinated with the novel mRNA-based Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine contains specific anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG(S1) antibodies, and they found that after the second dose, breast milk IgG(S1) levels increased and were positively associated with corresponding serum levels. The authors also conclude that larger prospective studies of this kind are needed.
Bill Introduced to Provide Paid Leave for Childbearing Related Losses, summarized from Congress
A group of Representatives introduced the Support Through Loss Act (H.R. 4576). The bill would allow Americans to receive paid leave time to process and address their own health needs and the health needs of their partners during the period following a pregnancy loss, an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure, a failed adoption arrangement, a failed surrogacy arrangement, or a diagnosis or event that impacts pregnancy or fertility, to support related research and education, and for other purposes. The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and disseminate education materials to perinatal health workers, including lactation support providers. An identical bill was introduced in the Senate.
State and Community News
Funding Opportunity for Local Breastfeeding Projects, summarized from Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition/Advancing Breastfeeding Colorado
The Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition and Advancing Breastfeeding Colorado launched a funding opportunity titled "Human Milk Feeding Supportive Funding Program" (previously COBFC Mini Grant Program; ABC Seed Funding). Local breastfeeding coalitions, community groups, and individuals in Colorado are invited to submit proposals to fund community-based projects and advanced lactation training. The goals of the program are to improve breastfeeding support and rates and reduce breastfeeding barriers and disparities in communities outside of the Denver metro area, communities of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and low-income communities in Colorado. The application is due Monday, September 6.
City Council Approves Expansion of Paid Leave Program, summarized from DC
The District of Columbia City Council voted to use surplus funds in the District budget to expand the paid family and medical leave program. Under the proposed budget, personal medical leave will be expanded from two to six weeks, along with maintaining the current six weeks for family care and eight weeks for new parents. The budget also provides for the program to be expanded to 12 weeks in the future if funding allows. Next, the budget goes for mayoral review. Partner highlights include:
- DC Paid Leave Campaign: "DC Paid Leave Campaign Celebrates DC Council’s Historic Vote to Strengthen & Expand the DC Paid Family Leave Program"
California Hospital Breastfeeding Rates Available, summarized from CDPH
The California Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Division (MCAH) published the state's 2019 in-hospital breastfeeding data. California in-hospital infant feeding practices are monitored using data collected by the Newborn Screening (NBS) Program. All non-military hospitals providing maternity services are required to complete the Newborn Screening Test Form. In addition to tracking genetic diseases and metabolic disorders, the NBS program gathers data on all infant feedings from birth to time of specimen collection, usually 24 to 48 hours since birth. The MCAH staff analyze these data and publish breastfeeding rates by hospital, county, and state. All hospitals are encouraged to utilize these data to integrate Quality Improvement efforts within the perinatal unit to ensure policies and practices are supportive of breastfeeding.
On-Demand Webinar on Gender Neutral Language and Lactation, summarized from MIBFN
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network launched an on-demand webinar titled "Bodyfeeding is a Political & Cultural Act." The presentation includes: an introduction to gender neutral language; how to use gender neutral language when working with birth and body feeding folks; and why pronouns are important in birth work in order to avoid misgendering parents and invalidating their experiences. Centered on the experience of the presenter, a Two Spirit, non-binary lactating parent, this presentation examines the intersection of political and cultural issues of racism, sexism, and patriarchy. The webinar has also been approved for continuing education.
News & Views
ASTHO Experts: "Inclusive Contracting: Successes to Advance Breastfeeding Equity"
The Daily Maverick: "Infant formula industry uses guerrilla warfare tactics to undermine breastfeeding"
Employee Benefit News: "The state of Maine is extending breastfeeding benefits to thousands of employees"
Gender and the Law Professor Blog: "Evaluating the Ten Years of the Federal Law, Break Time for Nursing Mothers"
I'd rather be breastfeeding: "Code Anniversary—how far we’ve come?"
The Smithsonian Magazine: "Designing Motherhood A new exhibition and book series offers an intimate view of reproductive history"