Weekly Wire: April 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
- Organizational Action Opportunity: Joint Letter Supporting Federal Funding for Breastfeeding
- Individual Action Opportunity: Support the Right to Pump Milk During the Work Day
- Webinar Series on Commercial Milk Formula Marketing
- USBC Supports...
- Special Section on Black Maternal Health Week
- Special Section on COVID-19
- International News
- World Health Day Statement, summarized from LLLI/WABA
- National News
- 'Skinny Budget' Released, summarized from The White House
- Resource on Pregnancy and Worker Rights Available in Spanish, summarized from DOL
- Webinar on Dietary Guidelines for Americans Update, summarized from CDC
- Webinar on IBCLC Pathways, summarized from BreastfeedLA
- Webinar on Maternal Health and Federal Policy Changes, summarized from AMCHP
- Virtual Summit on State of Babies Yearbook, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
- Call for Papers on Laws and Policies and Open Access Case Studies, summarized from JHL
- Dear Colleague Letter on Women's Preventive Services Initiative, summarized from Congress
- State & Community News
- Article on Mississippi Maternity Nurses and Baby-Friendly Designation, summarized from JOGNN
- Equity Lens
- Racism and Health Web Portal, summarized from CDC
- Article on Breastfeeding Interventions' Impact among Women of Color, summarized from IJEH
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Organizational Action Opportunity: Joint Letter Supporting Federal Funding for Breastfeeding
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee launched a joint letter to Members of Congress in support of federal funding for breastfeeding in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) appropriations process. The letter asks legislators to direct $20M to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program in the FY22 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. This funding supports states, hospitals, and communities to advance breastfeeding continuity of care and increase access to breastfeeding-friendly environments. These high-value, low-cost public health interventions provide substantial returns on investment. Given the importance of human milk feeding in establishing good nutrition, healthy weight, and in reducing the risk of chronic disease, we are asking for a significant increase in the FY22 budget to ensure that the CDC has the resources needed to comprehensively address the dual health crises of COVID-19 and chronic disease. The deadline to sign on for initial delivery to Appropriations leaders has been extended to Sunday, April 18. After this deadline, signatures will be collected on a rolling basis. Learn more about this funding request.
Individual Action Opportunity: Support the Right to Pump Milk During the Work Day
USBC launched an easy online action tool titled, "Urge Congress to Protect the Right to Pump Milk During the Work Day." Congressional champions are preparing to introduce the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act, a bill that would ensure all workers have the right to break time and a private space to pump breast milk as well as a mechanism to ensure that workers can hold their employer accountable if they do not comply. A strong bill introduction with support from Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle is our best shot at making this bill a reality. We need as many individuals as possible to contact their legislators in support of the bill. Please take action today and share this opportunity widely with your networks!
Webinar Series on Commercial Milk Formula Marketing
The USBC is pleased to announce a three-part webinar series, Unpacking Commercial Milk Formula Marketing: Communities, Contexts, and Impacts. This series marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and is part of an effort to create shared understanding of commercial milk formula marketing practices and the disparate impact of marketing practices on communities in the U.S. and around the world.
The first session, "Commercial Milk Formula Marketing: International Contexts and Tools," will take place on Monday, May 3, from 12-1:30 p.m. ET. Panelists Laurence Grummer-Strawn from the World Health Organization and Rachel Crossley from the Access to Nutrition Initiative, will describe the international contexts of commercial milk formula marketing practices and impacts, as well as the role the U.S. plays in the global community. They will discuss the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, which was published in 1981, but has yet to be adopted in the United States, while highlighting potentially useful shifts in language and approach moving forward. They will share tools for recognizing and tracking commercial milk formula marketing practices in the United States. Key findings will be shared from the 2018 "U.S. Access to Nutrition Index," which included evaluation of three major manufacturers of infant formula and other products marketed as a partial or total replacement for breast milk.
The USBC joined the following organizational sign on letter from the field:
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Stakeholder Letter in Support of H.R. 958, the Protecting Moms Who Served Act."
Special Section on Black Maternal Health Week
The fourth annual Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) is April 11-17. This year's theme is Black Mamas Matter: Claiming our Power, Resilience, and Liberation. Founded and led by Black Mamas Matter Alliance, BMHW is a week of awareness raising, activism, and community building for black mothers. Read on for highlights.
- BMMA: Black Mamas Matter Alliance hosted a live conversation and panel titled "The Vanguard: A Conversation with the Black Maternal Health Caucus & Reproductive Justice Leaders." The conversation features discussion from leaders across the nation about how they are raising awareness and taking action to improve health outcomes for Black women.
- Congress: Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and 22 additional co-sponsors introduced a Senate resolution recognizing April 11-17 as Black Maternal Health Week. The resolution aims to bring national attention to the maternal health crisis in the United States and the importance of reducing maternal mortality and morbidity among Black women and birthing persons.
- HHS: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced several actions to expand access to continuous health care coverage and access to preventative care in rural areas to improve maternal health outcomes. The announcement highlighted the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) release for the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program and that Illinois is the first state to offer extended eligibility for mothers during the entire first year after delivery. Media highlights include:
- Nurse-Family Partnership: Nurse-Family Partnership launched an action tool for individuals to message their members of Congress in support of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021. The action tool calls on Congress to take action to save lives, end disparities, and achieve true equity for Black moms by cosponsoring the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act.
- White House: The White House took several actions to support Black Maternal Health Week and address the Black maternal health crisis. The President signed "A Proclamation on Black Maternal Health Week, 2021." The first-ever proclamation calls for all Americans to recognize the maternal health crisis and the importance of reducing unacceptably high rates of Black maternal mortality and morbidity. The Vice President hosted a round table on the issue with Susan Rice, director of the Domestic Policy Council, and also released a video, "Vice President Harris Remarks on Black Maternal Health Week," outlining policy solutions to address the deep disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity.
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:
- CLASP: The Center for Law and Social Policy released a brief titled "Economic Recovery Must Include Job-Protected Paid Family and Medical Leave." The publication underscores the importance of worker protections like job protection, funded education and outreach, inclusive family definitions, and progressive wage replacement in paid leave policies.
- HHS: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a funding opportunity titled "Community Health Workers for COVID Response and Resilient Communities (CCR)." The program strategies include integrating Community Health Workers (CHWs), also known as promotores de salud, coaches, lay health advisors, community health representatives, peer mentors, or peer navigators, into organizations and care teams and strengthening relevant knowledge, roles, and skills by CHWs so they are prepared to successfully engage with existing state and/or local public health-led actions to manage COVID-19 among priority populations within communities. Applications are due Monday, May 24.
- JAND: The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published an article titled "Moving Beyond Breastfeeding Initiation: A Qualitative Study Unpacking Factors That Influence Infant Feeding at Hospital Discharge Among Urban, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Women." Through a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews, the authors concluded that multi-pronged approaches in hospital and community settings may be required to support exclusive breastfeeding.
World Health Day Statement, summarized from LLLI/WABA
La Leche League International and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action released a statement in celebration of World Health Day titled "Improve Global Breastfeeding Practices for a Fairer, Healthier World." The statement highlights the positive impacts of breastfeeding on health, as well as the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose to optimal breastfeeding.
President's FY22 Skinny Budget Released, summarized from The White House
The White House released the discretionary budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. Commonly referred to as the "skinny budget," the request outlines the Administration's federal budget priorities and top-level requests for federal agencies for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget lays out several key priorities for the Administration, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, and climate change. A full budget proposal will be released later this spring. Key funding updates relevant to the breastfeeding field include:
- $131.7B for the Department of Health and Human Services, a $25B increase from the 2021 enacted level, including:
- $7.4B for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, an increase of $1.5 billion from the 2021 enacted level.
- $8.7B for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an increase of $1.6B over the FY21 enacted level, and the largest budget authority increase in nearly two decades, including:
- $200M for CDC to address maternal mortality and morbidity.
- $153M for the CDC Social Determinants of Health program, an increase of $150M from the FY21 enacted level.
- $8.5B for the Indian Health Service, an increase of $2.2B from the 2021 enacted level.
- $27.8B for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a $3.8B increase from the 2021 enacted level, including:
- $6.7B for nutrition programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), an increase of more than $1B from the 2021 enacted level. This includes funding for WIC's Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program.
- $14.2 billion for the U.S. Department of Labor, a $1.7B increase from the 2021 enacted level, including:
- $2.1 billion for the Department's worker protection agencies, an increase of $304M from the 2021 enacted level.
USBC Insight: Each federal budget is developed for what is called a Fiscal Year, which begins on October 1 and runs through September 30 of the following year. Developing a federal budget begins with the President submitting a budget plan which reflects the vision, values, and priorities of the Administration. The President's budget sets the stage for the federal budget negotiation process which will take place in the coming months. Learn more about the federal budget process.
This budget proposal only represents discretionary funding for CDC and does not include the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a mandatory funding stream which includes the Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program. As federal budget negotiations progress, public health leaders must continue to educate and inform members of Congress about the importance and impact of sustained public health funding. Organizations are invited to sign on to the joint letter urging Congress to expand funding for the Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program.
Resource on Pregnancy and Worker Rights Available in Spanish, summarized from DOL
The Department of Labor published a Spanish version of the Worker.gov resource website, which includes information on common workplace concerns and federal laws that protect worker rights. The website includes a resource page titled "Embarazo: Tiene derecho a ser tratado con igualdad," which highlights specific rights and resources for pregnant and lactating employees.
Webinar on Dietary Guidelines for Americans Update, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity is hosting a webinar titled "The Latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans & How It Impacts Your Work" on Thursday, April 29, at 2 p.m. ET. Speakers will discuss the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including recommendations for each life stage and recommendations for limiting added sugars.
USBC Insight: This edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans expands the guidance, for the first time including recommended healthy dietary patterns for infants and toddlers as well as pregnant and lactating women. The Dietary Guidelines recommend exclusive human milk feeding for about the first 6 months of life, and to continue to feed infants human milk through at least the first year of life, and longer if desired. The Dietary Guidelines serve as the basis for Federal nutrition education materials designed for the public and for the nutrition education components of USDA and HHS nutrition programs.
Webinar on IBCLC Pathways, summarized from BreastfeedLA
BreastfeedLA is hosting a webinar titled "IBCLC Requirements and Pathways Explained In Detail" on Monday, April 19, from 10-11:30 p.m. ET. Speaker Hannah Halliwell will guide attendees through a deep dive into the requirements and pathways to becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Webinar on Maternal Health and Federal Policy Changes, summarized from AMCHP
The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs is hosting a virtual coffee chat titled "Opportunities for Maternal Health with a New Administration and Congress" on Tuesday, April 20, at 2 p.m. ET. Panelists from the AMCHP policy team will discuss national health policy under the new Administration and Congress with an emphasis on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, as well as the prospects for maternal health policy change in 2021 and beyond.
Virtual Summit on State of Babies Yearbook, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE is hosting a virtual meeting titled "State of Babies Summit" on Thursday, April 22, at 2 p.m. ET. Presentations will focus on solution-oriented conversations around ZERO TO THREE's findings in the 2021 State of Babies Yearbook, telling stories behind the data in the yearbook, and describing strong and permanent national policies that support maternal and child health.
Call for Papers on Laws and Policies and Open Access Case Studies, summarized from JHL
The Journal of Human Lactation launched a call for papers for a February 2022 special issue on a wide variety of topics pertaining to laws and policies related to infant and young child feeding. Submissions may include original research, literature reviews, case studies, and insights into practice and policy. The submission deadline is Friday, October 1. JHL also released five open source articles, with a focus on case studies. These five publications include inducing lactation in patients with complex health histories, a challenging case of mastitis, a look at medication transfer into milk, and the discovery of COVID-19 antibodies in milk of a patient who very recently became ill.
Dear Colleague Letter on Women's Preventive Services Initiative, summarized from Congress
Representatives Herrera Beutler and Roybal-Allard have coordinated a Dear Colleague letter sent to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Acting Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The letter calls on HRSA to update its Women's Preventive Services Guidelines for breastfeeding services and supplies to support and promote successful preparation, initiation, and continuation of breastfeeding for all moms in all communities. The letter was signed by 13 members of Congress.
State and Community News
Article on Mississippi Maternity Nurses and Baby-Friendly Designation, summarized from JOGNN
The Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing published an article titled "Perspectives of Nurses in Mississippi on Implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative." The article highlights the experiences and perceptions of Mississippi maternity nurses in hospitals that gained Baby-Friendly designation. Participants generally described the Baby-Friendly process as challenging but worthwhile, because of the improvements in their practices, knowledge, and health outcomes for women and their newborns.
Racism and Health Web Portal, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a web portal titled "Racism and Health." The portal will serve as a hub for CDC activities involving racism's impact on health, promote a public discourse on how racism negatively affects health, and communicate potential solutions. CDC Director, Rochelle P. Walensky, released a public statement on the agency's commitment to addressing racism as a serious public health threat.
Article on Breastfeeding Interventions' Impact among Women of Color, summarized from IJEH
The International Journal for Equity in Health published an article titled "Impact of breastfeeding interventions among United States minority women on breastfeeding outcomes: a systematic review." The authors completed a review of breastfeeding interventions among minority women in the United States, and they found that policy and community level interventions delivered through WIC, healthcare facilities, and community agencies are likely to improve breastfeeding outcomes among women of color.
News & Views
IABLE blog post: "Hypoglycemia and the Breastfed Newborn"
The New York Times: "Vaccinated Mothers Are Trying to Give Babies Antibodies via Breast Milk"
Rocket City Mom: "Coloring Between the Lines: Breastfeeding Support for the Underserved"
San Diego Union Tribune:
- "Opinion: I've now donated over 2,000 ounces of breast milk. Milk banks need more awareness and support."
- "Opinion: I was in that breastfeeding commercial during the Golden Globe Awards. It meant so much to me."