Weekly Wire: December 17, 2021

Weekly Wire: December 17, 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
    • Take Action in Support of Paid Leave in the Build Back Better Act
    • New USBC Member Organizations: National Lactation Consultant Alliance and St. Louis Breastfeeding Coalition
    • Technical Assistance Session on Communications
    • Give a Heartwarming Gift that Supports the USBC
    • USBC Featured in Scripps News Segment 
    • Best Wishes to Alyssa! 
    • Weekly Wire Hiatus 
    • USBC Supports...
  • International News
    •  Investment in Fighting Global Malnutrition, summarized from The White House
  • National News
    • Additional Public Comment Opportunity to Inform Coverage Requirements for Insurers, summarized from WPSI
    • Bill to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes Introduced, summarized from Congress
    • Article on Impact of COVID-19 on Breastfeeding Rates of WIC Participants, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine 
    • Study on the Common Reasons for Infant Formula Supplementation, summarized from Maternal & Child Nutrition
    • Request for Proposals on Infant and Toddler Nutrition, summarized from NACCHO
    • Sign On Letter Supporting the PWFA, summarized from ABB
    • Survey on WPSI Awareness, summarized from WPSI
  • Equity Lens
    • On-Demand Webinar on Navigating Lactation Support with Partners 
    • Deadline Extended for Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge, summarized from OWH/CMS 
    • Resolution Recognizing Maternal Health Crisis Among Indigenous Women, summarized from Congress 
    • Report on Community Engagement with Maternal Mortality Review Committees, summarized from BMMA 
    • Report on Funding for Indigenous Women's Reproductive Justice, summarized from Ms. Foundation for Women
  • Collective Impact Connection
    •  Article on Worst Practices in Collective Impact summarized from SSIR
  • News & Views

 MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg denotes a USBC member organization news item  CollectiveImpact.jpg denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item

USBC Updates

Take Action in Support of Paid Leave in the Build Back Better Act

Right now is a pivotal moment in the fight for paid leave. Families with access to paid leave are significantly more likely to reach their infant feeding goals. But fewer than one in five workers in the United States have access to it. Individuals are encouraged to take action in support of comprehensive and permanent paid family and medical leave in the United States using the "Call on Congress to Support Paid Leave" action tool to urge policymakers to include paid leave in the Build Back Better Act.

New USBC Member Organizations: National Lactation Consultant Alliance and St. Louis Breastfeeding Coalition

The National Lactation Consultant Alliance (NLCA) is a new National Nonprofit Member of the USBC. NLCA was created to support holders of the IBCLC® credential and to advocate for the clinical lactation consultant profession at the local, state, and national levels. NLCA is working towards more consistent recognition of the IBCLC® as a reimbursable provider by Medicaid and private insurers, with the goal of increasing access to lactation support in order to reduce disparities in health outcomes for infants and parents. 

The St. Louis Breastfeeding Coalition (STLBFC) is a new Breastfeeding Coalition Member of the USBC. STLBFC's mission is to work collaboratively to connect, educate, and advocate breastfeeding in all St. Louis communities. The coalition provides access to local professionals and resources to assist in all aspects of infant nutrition. STLBFC coordinates the "I AM: Breastfeeding" project to revolutionize the image of breastfeeding while creating a village of support providing prenatal, postpartum, health, and wellness resources to empower families of color. In addition, STLBFC hosts the Lactation Professional Fund to offer financial help to women who are not well-represented in the field become lactation professionals.

Technical Assistance Session on Communications

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is hosting a four-part Non-Profit Management Technical Assistance Series in collaboration with leaders from the USBC Community. The Non-Profit Communications Session will take place on Tuesday, January 11, at 2 p.m. ET. Hosts Shereen Abdelghani and Linda Kopecky will  review questions from the field during an interactive 45-minute session. Please include your initial topic questions at the time of registration and send any additional questions to the training and technical assistance email at: TTA@usbreastfeeding.org.

Give a Heartwarming Gift that Supports the USBC

During this season of giving, we invite you to give a gift from the heart with the limited-edition "Show Your Love" mug from the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee. It's the perfect gift for parents, grandparents, lactation support providers, advocates, teachers, nurses, doulas, or anyone on your list whose heart would be warmed with a collection of words celebrating babies, families, and lactation. The mug is available for $18 only until the end of the year. Shop today.

USBC Featured in Scripps News Segment

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee was featured in a Scripps National News segment on the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act titled "Efforts underway to help millions of breastfeeding moms who don't have protection to pump at work." Along with USBC partners, Senior Advocacy & Communications Manager Cheryl Lebedevitch explains how the PUMP Act would address current gaps in federal protections for lactating workers.

Best Wishes to Alyssa!

The USBC would like to express our sincere gratitude for the work and service of Alyssa Speece as she steps away from the USBC. Alyssa has provided heartfelt service to the USBC for the past four years, supporting Constellations, member organizations, programmatic work, and more. This is Alyssa's last week with the USBC. It's been a pleasure to have her as a teammate, and she will be missed. We all wish her the best in her next endeavor!

Weekly Wire Hiatus

The Weekly Wire will be on hiatus for the rest of the year, and USBC staff will be out of the office the last week of the year. We look forward to connecting with you in 2022!

USBC Supports...

The USBC joined the following organizational sign-on letter from the field:

International News

Investment in Fighting Global Malnutrition, summarized from The White House

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on behalf of the White House that the United States intends to invest up to $11 billion over three years to combat global malnutrition. The investment, subject to Congressional appropriations, is intended to enable the U.S. government to equip partner countries with the skills and resources for improved health, diets, and nutrition by supporting communities in crisis with critical emergency food and nutrition assistance, including breastfeeding promotion and support. USAID, together with WHO and UNICEF, will partner over the next five years to improve nutrition and health outcomes for mothers and newborns by scaling up quality breastfeeding promotion and support. Through this partnership, technical assistance to governments and local organizations will support a country-led, comprehensive approach to increasing access to skilled breastfeeding counseling and delivering quality services at baby-friendly healthcare facilities.

National News

Additional Public Comment Opportunity to Inform Coverage Requirements for Insurers, summarized from WPSI

The Health Resources and Services Administration published a notice titled "Additional Comment Period for Updated HRSA-Supported Women's Preventive Services Guidelines Statement on Breastfeeding Services and Supplies." In the summer of 2021, HRSA published a notice soliciting public comments regarding proposed updated draft recommendations to the HRSA-Supported Women's Preventive Services Guidelines on Breastfeeding Services and Supplies. Since the publication of that notice, WPSI has further updated its recommendation statement to reflect that breastfeeding education can be provided by clinicians and through peer support services as well as to include breastfeeding equipment and supplies in the clinical recommendation component, rather than implementation guidance. HRSA encourages members of the public to review this revised recommendation statement and provide comments for consideration.

USBC Insight: The WPSI Breastfeeding Support and Supplies clinical recommendations are significant because they inform the Health Resources and Services Administration as to what services and supplies private insurance must cover with no cost-sharing. Recommendations that are strong and clear have the potential to influence Medicaid coverage in the future. The clinical recommendations are updated every five years. During the initial public comment opportunity in August, the USBC-affiliated Lactation Support Providers Constellation closely examined the draft recommendations and submitted eleven detailed comments through the WPSI process.

Bill to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes Introduced, summarized from Congress

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) introduced the Improving Coordination for Healthy Moms Act (S. 3362). The bill would direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to combine and coordinate efforts between the Department's Healthy People Maternal, Infant, and Child Health Workgroup and Maternal Health Working Group, to obtain more efficient data and optimize the federal government's resources across the working groups to more efficiently address the nation's maternal health crisis. Read the press release.

Article on Impact of COVID-19 on Breastfeeding Rates of WIC Participants, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine

Breastfeeding Medicine published an article titled "The Impact of COVID-19 on Breastfeeding Rates in a Low-Income Population." The article examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on breastfeeding outcomes among participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Southern California through the 2020 Los Angeles County triennial WIC Survey. The authors concluded that the prevalence of any breastfeeding at three and six months and fully breastfeeding at one, three, and six months was significantly lower among mothers who gave birth during the pandemic compared with mothers who gave birth before the pandemic. They also noted that these results support ensuring that WIC breastfeeding support is available through a hybrid of remote and face-to-face offerings.

Study on the Common Reasons for Infant Formula Supplementation, summarized from Maternal & Child Nutrition

Maternal & Child Nutrition published a study titled "A nation-wide study on the common reasons for infant formula supplementation among healthy, term, breastfed infants in US hospitals." The analysis provides insight into the common reasons for infant formula supplementation of healthy, term, breastfed infants reported by hospital staff across the United States. Over half of responding hospitals reported possible medical indications, maternal request/preference/feelings and lactation management-related issues as common reasons for infant formula supplementation. Less frequently reported common reasons for infant formula supplementation by hospitals were physical/medical-related conditions, social influences, perceived cultural/societal/demographic factors and medical staff/institutional practices.

Request for Proposals on Infant and Toddler Nutrition, summarized from NACCHO

The National Association of County & City Health Officials released a request for proposals for up to three consultants to develop culturally responsive nutrition resources based on chapter 2 (Infant and Toddler Nutrition) of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The goal for this project is to increase the availability of high-quality, evidence-based culturally responsive infant and toddler nutrition resources for African American, Latinx, and Asian families. Applications must be submitted no later than January 17, 2022. NACCHO also released a request for proposals to identify best practices to advance the local infant and young child nutrition infrastructure. The goal for this project is to design and lead a series of meetings to identify gaps and opportunities in the infant and toddler nutrition infrastructure. Applications must be submitted no later than January 23, 2022. 

Sign On Letter Supporting the PWFA, summarized from ABB

A Better Balance has released a sign on letter urging Majority Leader Schumer to prioritize passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The PWFA would help eliminate discrimination and promote women's health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission "Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues" states that lactation is a pregnancy-related medical condition. Organizations are invited to join the sign on letter before the deadline on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

Survey on WPSI Awareness, summarized from WPSI

The Women's Preventive Services Initiative launched a survey to help calculate the reach of WPSI and determine how to best equip providers to provide preventive services to patients. Survey respondents do not need to be familiar with WPSI to complete the survey, and upon completion of the survey will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a chance to win a $20 gift card. The survey will close on Tuesday, January 7.

Equity Lens

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg On-Demand Webinar on Navigating Lactation Support with Partners

The Michigan Breastfeeding Network will launch an on-demand webinar titled "How to Navigate Lactation Support with Partners" on Tuesday, December 21. The presentation will inform lactating supporters about the ways they can support their partners and highlight how breastfeeding providers can support both people as they navigate the infant feeding journey.

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Deadline Extended for Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge, summarized from OWH/CMS

The Office on Women's Health, in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,  announced that the deadline has been extended for the "HHS Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge: Innovative Methods to Improve Postpartum Care for Black or African American and American Indian/ Alaska Native Women." The challenge is seeking innovative ways to improve postpartum care for Black or African American and American Indian or Alaska Native low-income beneficiaries enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, with an emphasis on follow-up care for conditions associated with morbidity and mortality in the later postpartum period, including diabetes, postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety, hypertension, and substance use disorders. The deadline to submit a program for the first phase of the challenge has been extended to Monday, January 31.

Resolution Recognizing Maternal Health Crisis Among Indigenous Women, summarized from Congress

A bipartisan group of Representatives introduced the Native Women's Maternal Health Resolution (H.Res. 846) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The resolution seeks to create and improve access for Indigenous women to comprehensive and culturally competent maternal health care and family planning services. It would also continue to shed light on the maternal health crisis among Indigenous women in the United States and help to address the need to reduce the high rates of mortality and morbidity among American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women. Read the press release.

Report on Community Engagement with Maternal Mortality Review Committees, summarized from BMMA

The Black Mamas Matter Alliance, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association for Maternal and Child Health Programs, released a report titled "Maternal Mortality Review Committees: Sharing Power with Communities." The report summarizes the key findings of an environmental scan that was conducted to understand the challenges and opportunities for improvement that community members experienced while engaging, or attempting to engage, with Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs). It also includes recommendations for CDC and MMRCs to create a more equitable review process.

Report on Funding for Indigenous Women's Reproductive Justice, summarized from Ms. Foundation for Women

The Ms. Foundation for Women published a report titled "Tired of Dancing to Their Song: An Assessment of the Indigenous Women’s Reproductive Justice Funding Landscape." The publication examines the needs of Indigenous communities and works to address the historic discrepancies in philanthropic funding for Indigenous women and girls.

Collective Impact Connection

Article on Worst Practices in Collective Impact summarized from SSIR

The Stanford Social Innovation Review released an article titled "10 Dangers to Collective Impact." The article highlights worst practices in using the collective impact approach for social change and lessons on how to avoid them. It also includes three lessons that can guide a successful collective impact approach.

News & Views

KATV: "First in the state 'Milk bank' is in the works at UAMS"

HHS press release: "HHS Awards $82 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding to Expand Home Visiting Assistance for Families Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic"

The Hill: "Maternal and child health legislation must be prioritized now"

U.S. News & World Report: "U.S. News Announces Inaugural Edition of the Best Hospitals for Maternity"

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