Weekly Wire: October 1, 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
- Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month
- New Blog on National Preparedness Month
- Special Section on the PUMP Act
- Special Section on Paid Leave
- National News
- Health Advisory on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy, summarized from CDC
- Continuing Resolution Extends FY2022 Funding, summarized from Congress
- Breastfeeding Grand Rounds on Marijuana Use, summarized from CPHCE
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month
October is Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month! The USBC is updating the "Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month" webpage which features resources, tools, and materials from the field. Please submit additional resources for inclusion by completing the online submission form.
New Blog on National Preparedness Month
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee published a blog post titled "Reflections on National Preparedness Month and the Pandemic: Pregnant Persons, Parents, and Children on being Prepared during 'Back to School' and an Autumn with the Delta Variant." Written by Dr. Scott Hartman, member representative to USBC for the American Academy of Family Physicians and Treasurer of the USBC Board, the blog post highlights COVID-19 statistics and current recommendations for families and communities, as well as examining the COVID-19 pandemic and response through a racial equity lens. Finally, it shares prevention strategies for pregnant and lactating families.
Special Section on the PUMP Act
The U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to vote on the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act (H.R. 3110). Nearly 9 million women of childbearing age are not covered by the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law, the federal provision that requires break time and a private space for breastfeeding employees to pump during the workday. The PUMP Act would strengthen the Break Time law by expanding coverage to all lactating workers.
- ABB/ACLU/CWLL/NWA/USBC: A Better Balance, the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for WorkLife Law, National WIC Association, and the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee have mobilized a nationwide PUMP Act Week of Action to urge members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote YES on the PUMP Act. It's not too late to join in and take action! Access the partner toolkit for sample emails, social media messages, and unbranded graphics.
- Email: Use the USBC action tool "Urge Congress to Protect the Right to Pump Milk During the Work Day" to email your members of Congress with just a few clicks.
- Call: Call on members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote YES on the #PUMPAct. Text PUMP to 747464 (provided by MomsRising) or call 1-855-880-2155 (provided ACLU) and you will be connected to your Representative.
- Tweet: Join the conversation and share your support at hashtags #PUMPAct and #BreastfeedingIsBipartisan.
- AND: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics released an individual action tool titled "Tell Congress to Support the PUMP Act." Individuals can use the tool to contact their U.S. House member and urge them to support the PUMP Act.
- Chamber of Commerce: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce published a "U.S. Chamber Letter on H.R. 3110, the PUMP Act." The letter emphasizes the Chamber's strong support for the PUMP Act.
- MomsRising: MomsRising launched an individual action tool titled "Support ALL Breastfeeding & Working Moms." Individuals can use the tool to connect with MomsRising's #IPumpedHere campaign and contact their Representative in support of the PUMP Act.
- The White House: The Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, published a statement of administration policy in strong support of the PUMP Act. The statement encourages the House to pass the PUMP Act and highlights the bipartisan and commonsense nature of the bill.
PUMP Act News & Views
ACLU blog post: "The PUMP Act Would Protect Nursing Workers Like Me"
Hampton Roads Messenger: "Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 3110 – PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act"
Special Section on Paid Family and Medical Leave
Inclusive and comprehensive paid family and medical leave is a crucial tool in establishing and sustaining breastfeeding. Research shows a relationship between the decision to start and continue breastfeeding and the length of maternity leave available, and that parents who return to full-time employment shortly after giving birth are less likely to breastfeed as long as they intend. There has been significant activity in this policy area in recent weeks. Highlights from the field on paid leave include:
- BLS: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the "National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2021." The report presents 2021 estimates of the incidence and key provisions of employer-sponsored benefits for workers, broken out by worker and establishment characteristics, including paid leave.
- Congress: The House Budget Committee advanced the Build Back Better Act, including the establishment of paid family and medical leave. The committee reported the legislation to the House of Representatives with a favorable recommendation. Read the press release.
- New America: New America published a blog post titled "Even In the Midst of a Brutal Pandemic and Caregiving Crisis, Fewer than 1 in 4 U.S. Workers Has Paid Family Leave at Their Jobs. The blog post examines the information provided in the National Compensation Survey and highlights uneven access to paid family leave.
- NPWF: The National Partnership for Women & Families launched an action tool titled "Congress: Keep paid leave funding in the Build Back Better Act." Individuals can use the tool to connect with their legislators by phone to urge support for paid family and medical leave.
- Time's Up: The Time's Up Foundation published a report titled "How a National Paid Leave Policy Will Benefit the Economy." The report examines the economic impact of national paid leave by modeling how a national plan would boost national income. The authors found that a national plan would directly stimulate the economy, generate economic growth, and especially benefit women, people of color, and low-wage workers.
- USBC: The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee launched an action tool titled "Call on Congress to Support Paid Leave." Individuals can use the tool to email their members of Congress to ask them to support establishing a comprehensive and inclusive national paid family leave program in order to improve infant feeding outcomes.
Health Advisory on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an urgent health advisory to increase COVID-19 vaccination among people who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future to prevent serious illness, deaths, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The advisory calls on health departments and clinicians to educate pregnant people on the benefits of vaccination and the safety of recommended vaccines.
Continuing Resolution Extends FY2022 Funding, summarized from Congress
Congress passed and the President signed the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (H.R.5305). The bill provides continuing FY2022 appropriations for federal agencies through December 3, suspends the debt limit, provides supplemental appropriations, and extends several expiring programs and authorities. It is known as a continuing resolution (CR) and prevents a government shutdown that would otherwise have occured on October 1, 2021. Learn more about the status of appropriations bills with the Congressional Research Service "Appropriations Status Table: FY2022."
Breastfeeding Grand Rounds on Marijuana Use, summarized from CPHCE
The University at Albany, School of Public Health, Center for Public Health Education, in partnership with the New York State Department of Health WIC program, will host the 2021 Breastfeeding Grand Rounds, "Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding," on Thursday, November 4, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. ET. Speakers will provide data on the current rates of marijuana use among pregnant and lactating people, discuss what is known about the effects of marijuana on fetal development and infant health, and present current expert recommendations on cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
News & Views
Amplify! (USLCA): "NICUs, donor milk and breastfeeding: Why Your Support Matters"
BirthMatters blog post: "Protecting Breastfeeding: It's Going to Take a Village"
Lincoln Journal Star: "Mother's room at Nebraska Capitol temporarily converted to office, angering some senators"