The USBC Membership Steps Into a New Opportunity for Connection: Launching the First Food Connection Hub & Taking a Mission Moment with Monica Esparza
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee hosted its Fall Membership Meeting on Thursday, October 20. The biannual event brings together representatives from the more than 120 member organizations which comprise the USBC and work collaboratively to drive policy and practice changes that create a landscape of breastfeeding support.
A portion of the meeting was dedicated to onboarding members to the new USBC First Food Connection Hub. The new platform brings together individual and organizational stakeholders dedicated to protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding and human milk feeding by providing opportunities to build relationships, collaborate, and engage in peer sharing, learning, and networking opportunities. Spaces have been created for each active Constellation work group and for each USBC Committee. Anyone connected to a USBC Membership Organization has free access to this new online community. If you are not one of the official delegates for a member organization but serve the organization in a different capacity, please submit this form to get access to the First Food Connection Hub and other benefits.
At the opening of the meeting, USBC Membership Engagement Committee member and Executive Director of the New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce, Monica Esparza delivered the Mission Moment. This segment is dedicated to connecting our daily work to the families we serve and the positive, impactful change we seek for all communities across the United States. Thank you, Monica, for highlighting our commitment to intentionality and inclusivity in our collective work to improve the policies and practices that support breastfeeding families!
Read the transcript of Monica’s Mission Moment below.
Through this platform, and USBC, New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce has had the opportunity to engage, learn from other organizations and share our expertise for localized efforts. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when we can join our efforts and adopt best practices to fit the individual needs of our own communities. As a joint effort, we also work on policy change and systems change on a federal level with USBC, so that families don’t have to choose between providing human milk to their babies or putting food on the table. With USBC, we collaborate to address the need for real and true decision-making between parents and providers, and for more providers to be reflective of the communities they serve. We have an opportunity to continue to collaborate for birthing families and continue to improve policies that are supportive of families.
The mission of the USBC is to drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States. This can only happen with each and every one of us at the table, working together and making change together. As part of this collaborative work, we need to continue to look around this virtual table and ask ourselves who is missing, how are we lifting the voices of those most impacted, and how can we do better as a collaborative effort, a national effort, and also within our own individual organizations. So today I come to you with a challenge. I challenge each and every one of us to continue to move forward with intention, because together we are stronger.
In recognition of Monica’s call to action, we invite all organizations with a commitment to the USBC mission to join the USBC Membership. As a member, your organization will have access to twice-annual membership meetings, the First Food Connection Hub, Constellation work groups, training opportunities, and more to build our collective capacity to eliminate the barriers to breastfeeding success. We hope to connect with you in the Hub!
Infant feeding practices have a profound impact on population health outcomes. This is why increasing breastfeeding rates and creating lactation-friendly environments have been identified as critical public health priorities both nationally and globally. Yet barriers to establishing and maintaining the human milk feeding relationship are persistent and pervasive in the United States. This year, in addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many families also had to navigate the devastating infant formula recall and shortage, stripping away their confidence in keeping their babies safely fed.
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee and our network of members, partners, and supporters are diligently working to remove the policy, system, and environmental barriers that families face. We are proud to share that in 2022, we did many great things together, including achieving forward movement on all five of the policy priorities that were selected by our supporters and member organizations in 2020. We thank you for your continued support.
Here is a detailed account reflecting ongoing USBC activities to advance these five policy priorities.
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