The USBC e-Newsletter, Staying Abreast, is published in a weekly news brief format, called the Weekly Wire (WW). Past issues are archived below.
Please note: Inclusion of an item in this e-newsletter does NOT imply endorsement or support of such item by the United States Breastfeeding Committee, unless specifically noted.
The WW goes on hiatus several times a year: the weeks of the Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's holidays, the weeks before the Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day holidays, and the weeks of the USBC membership meetings.
Weekly Wire: June 3, 2022
In this issue:
* denotes a USBC member organization news item
June is Pride Month!
The USBC updated the "LGBTQIA+ Resources and Pride Month" webpage. The webpage features a compilation of resources, tools, and materials from the USBC and the First Food field related to breastfeeding, nutrition, health, and culture. Please share additional resources for consideration via the online submission form.
Action Alert: Urge Your Legislators to Support the DEMAND Act
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee launched an action tool titled "Take Action to Expand Access to Lactation Support and Supplies During Emergencies". Individuals can use the tool to send their Senators and Representative messages in support of the DEMAND Act of 2022 (Delivering Essentials to Mothers Amid Natural Disasters Act) (S. 3601/H.R. 6555). The DEMAND Act would ensure that lactation support services and supplies are eligible expenses for emergency assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Critical Needs Assistance program.
Weekly Wire Hiatus
The Weekly Wire will be on hiatus next week while the USBC staff is supporting the National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening. We look forward to connecting with you at the conference and after!
Conference Corner: Connect with us on the Conference App!
The USBC Conference begins in a few short days! The USBC team is busy finalizing details and ensuring that all presenters and attendees are wrapped into the Whova app. It will be a packed schedule with time for learning, connection, and action. If you haven't registered already, be sure to do so this weekend. You won't want to miss this dynamic event!
Special Section on Infant Formula Recall and Shortage
The United States is facing a serious shortage of infant formula. No baby should ever go hungry. As the nation grapples with this emergency, we need to do everything we can to support infant nutrition, including ensuring access to lactation support, supplies, and accommodations, donor milk, and infant formula. Throughout its history, the USBC has worked to ensure food security for our nation's infants by addressing gaps through policy, systems, and environmental change solutions, including building an infrastructure for infant and young child feeding in emergencies. We remain committed to this cause and will continue to curate and amplify resources from the field. Highlights include:
Infant Formula Recall and Shortage News & Views
World Health Assembly Sets New Targets on Breastfeeding
The Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, was held late last month. The event is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. At the meeting, World Health Assembly delegates agreed to new recommendations to prevent and manage obesity over the life course and a set of related targets in a bid to halt the rise of obesity in children under 5, adolescents and adults by 2025 and to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030. They outlined actions to be taken by governments, society as a whole, and the WHO Secretariat, in order to reduce the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake in adults and children; to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates in the first 6 months up to at least 70%, and to reduce the global prevalence of physical inactivity by 15%. WHO has already developed a new plan to support Member States in accelerating action to stop obesity.
Tool to Estimate the Economic Value of Breast Milk
The Australian National University and Alive & Thrive Southeast Asia have partnered to develop the Mothers' Milk Tool. The downloadable tool uses widely available data to estimate the value of breastmilk – produced by an individual or by all mothers in a given country. The tool aims to make more visible the economic value contributed to society by women's unpaid care work through breastfeeding of infants and young children. The tool includes a variety of resources including an advocacy brief that people can print out to speak to their elected representatives about this issue. Read the press release.
Nutrition Business Monitoring Tool Recommends Breastfeeding Support
The Access to Nutrition Initiative and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition have published the final project report for the Nutrition Business Monitoring (NBM) tool, a self-assessment tool for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in the food and beverage sector. The report provides a detailed overview of the NBM tool and how it can be used by businesses to improve nutrition performance and identify gaps in nutrition-related knowledge and capacity across five areas: products and management, marketing, workforce programs, labeling, and engagement. The section on workforce programs recommends supportive working practices and the provision of appropriate facilities, such as offering breastfeeding rooms, flexible working hours and paid leave.
White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health will be hosted in September 2022. Individuals and organizations are invited to share ideas and experiences to inform a national strategy that will be announced at the conference. The scope of the conference includes five pillars: Improve food access and affordability; Integrate nutrition and health; Empower all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices; Support physical activity for all; and Enhance nutrition and food security research.
Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality
The Health Resources and Services Administration announced that the next meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality (formerly the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality) will be held on Tuesday, June 14, from 11-5:30 p.m. ET, and Wednesday, June 15, from 11-5:30 p.m. ET. The ACIMM advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on department activities, partnerships, policies, and programs directed at reducing infant mortality, maternal mortality, and severe maternal morbidity and improving the health status of infants and women before, during, and after pregnancy.
Misinformation on COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy/Lactation
The Kaiser Family Foundation released a publication titled "KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: Pregnancy Misinformation – May 2022." The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor is an ongoing research project tracking the public's attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations using a combination of surveys and qualitative research. Researchers found that belief in misinformation about the vaccines and pregnancy is relatively common.
Webinar on Establishing a Company Paid Leave Policy
PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) is hosting a webinar titled "Virtual panel: Creating best-in-class paid leave policies at your company." The panel conversation will explore how to create a truly inclusive, best-in-class paid leave policy at your company.
Study on Breastfeeding and Childhood Asthma
The journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology published an article titled "The association between duration of breastfeeding and childhood asthma outcomes." The study examined whether both breastfeeding duration and exclusiveness is inversely associated with child asthma. The authors found that longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding had a protective association with child asthma.
News & Views
Amplify!: "Ashley and Emmet's Breastfeeding Journey"
DOL blog: "Mothers' Employment Two Years Later"
IBFAN blog: "IBFAN at the 75th World Health Assembly 22-28th May 2022"
Louisiana Department of Health: "This Mother's Day, LDH celebrates improvements in lowering cesarean delivery rate, breastfeeding program improvements"
Representative Underwood press release: "Underwood Secures Commitments from FEMA to Make Breastfeeding Equipment and Support Available During Natural Disasters"
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