Weekly Wire Archive
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.
In this issue:
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Gratitude & Best Wishes to Denae!
The USBC team would like to express our sincere gratitude for the work and service of Denae Schmidt as she transitions away from the organization and into a new and exciting role at the California Department of Public Health. Denae has been an invaluable part of the USBC team since 2014 as a brilliant systems thinker and innovator. Denae has made lasting contributions to the lactation field, facilitating the expansion and transformation of the USBC membership and expanding USBC capacity-building support for our extensive network of organizations. Denae has brought incredible warmth, integrity, and commitment to each and every task, which all who have attended a USBC conference or Membership Meeting have had the opportunity to experience firsthand. Her last day with the USBC will be Friday, July 7. It's been a pleasure and an honor to have her as a teammate, and she will be deeply missed. We wish her all the best in her next endeavor!
Sign-On Letter Opportunity Calling for Increased Funding for Breastfeeding in Fiscal Year 2024
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is coordinating an organizational sign-on letter calling for increased funding for the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding line item. Our nation lacks the infrastructure to protect infant nutrition and food security. We must do more to protect and support breastfeeding. Increasing funding for the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program is a critical part of this shift. International, national, state, tribal, and local organizations and businesses are invited to sign on. Download the letter for a current list of signers. Please share this action opportunity widely with your network. The USBC is especially seeking organizational signers from Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Carolina, North Dakota, and West Virginia.
Donate Your Old Vehicle to the USBC
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee has partnered with CARS, a non-profit 501(c)(3) that turns old vehicles into cash that directly benefits the USBC. By donating your used or otherwise non-functioning vehicle, boat, plane, trailer, RV, or even farm equipment, you will be contributing essential funding for our continued advocacy efforts. CARS has made the donation process seamless from start to finish with experts who are prepared to handle all the details for you. All you need to do is complete a simple form or make a call. Then you can sit back and embrace the space you are opening up in your driveway, garage, or shed, all while feeling great about your donation! Not only does your donation make it possible to continue advocating for human milk feeding protections, but it may be tax-deductible for you too. Visit the Ways to Give webpage to learn more and get started today!
FAA Reauthorization Bill Includes Provision on Lactating Flight Crew
A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives introduced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2023 (S. 1939/H.R. 3935). The bill would authorize appropriations for the Federal Aviation Administration for fiscal years 2024 through 2028, strengthen consumer protections for the flying public, advance research in aviation innovation, and modernize the national airspace system. The bill includes a provision that would require the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to issue guidance to air carriers relating to the expression of breast milk by crewmembers on an aircraft during non-critical phases of flight, consistent with the performance of the crewmember's duties aboard the aircraft. Read the press release.
Webinar on How Storytelling Helped Pass the PWFA Into Law
New America and A Better Balance are hosting a virtual event, "The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the Future of the Care Movement: The Power of Building Broad Coalitions and Telling Powerful Stories," on Thursday, June 29, at 2 p.m. ET. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) will go into effect on Tuesday, June 27, ensuring that covered pregnant and postpartum workers are entitled to receive the reasonable accommodations they need in order to continue working and supporting themselves and their families. This session will explore how the power of story and broad coalitions were key to passing the federal PWFA and will discuss lessons learned from this success to move family-sustaining public policy forward.
Senate Passes Father's Day Resolution
A bipartisan group of Senators introduced and the Senate passed Senate Resolution 256, "Recognizing Father's Day And The Role Of Father Engagement In Improving The Overall Health And Life Outcomes For Both The Mother And Baby." The resolution recognizes the role increased paternal engagement can play in improving maternal physical and mental health, infant health, birth outcomes, and sustained breastfeeding.
PUMP Act FAQs Updated
The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division updated the “FLSA Protections to Pump at Work Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” webpage. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for their nursing child as well as a place to pump at work, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public. The PUMP Act FAQs now include a section on what to do if an employee is denied time or space to pump at work and what remedies are available if an employee's rights are violated.
Request for Comments on MIECHV Tribal Home Visiting Program Data Reports
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued a request for comments on the Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Tribal Home Visiting Program Data Reports. The Tribal MIECHV grant awards support 5-year cooperative agreements to conduct community needs assessments; plan for and implement high-quality, culturally grounded, evidence-based home visiting programs in at-risk tribal communities; and participate in research and evaluation activities to build the knowledge base on home visiting among Native populations. This information collection will provide information that will guide understanding of the Tribal MIECHV Program and the provision of technical assistance to Tribal MIECHV Program grantees, including demographic and service utilization, grantee performance measures, and quarterly performance reports. The deadline to submit comments is Thursday, July 20.
USBC Insight: The Tribal MIECHV home visiting program provides support for at-risk pregnant women and families, including breastfeeding support.
BMMA Black Maternal Health Incubator Hub Application Open
Applications for the Black Mama's Matter Alliance (BMMA) Black Maternal Health Incubator Hub - PILOT Cohort are now open. This cohort's topic is Inclusive Perinatal Care for Black Paraprofessionals. Through this topic the Incubator Hub seeks to enhance the capacity of Black-led, community-rooted organizations serving majority Black birthing people during the perinatal period and across the reproductive care life course. Organizations that are accepted to participate in this pilot will receive a $10,000 award with contractual obligations of identifying two organizational paraprofessionals to participate in the cohort and fulfilling all cohort trainings, surveys, and reporting activities. The pilot program is scheduled to run from late August through late November 2023.
State & Community News
New Mexico Virtual Workplace Lactation Policy Training
The New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force is hosting a virtual workplace training titled "Lactation Policy Training," on Wednesday, July 19, at 1:30 p.m. ET. The session will review current laws regarding breastfeeding and chestfeeding people in workplaces and schools and will discuss what a legal lactation space and workplace lactation policy look like. The training will help businesses, organizations, and schools understand if they are compliant with state and federal laws regarding breastfeeding employees, and will help new parents understand their new lactation rights at work and in school.
DOL Informational Session for Working Mothers in Kansas and Missouri
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division is hosting a webinar, "What to Expect from Your Employer When You're Expecting," on Wednesday, June 28, at 7 p.m. ET. During this webinar, the DOL's Wage and Hour Division and Women’s Bureau, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Kansas Department of Labor, and Missouri Department of Labor will provide workers, worker advocates, and other stakeholders with information on the federal and state laws that protect pregnant workers from discrimination, provide time off for the birth or adoption of a child, and ensure that nursing workers can take breaks to pump breast milk while at work. This free webinar will help workers understand the protections afforded by current law and how to talk to their employers and assert their rights. The webinar will also equip advocates with information to assist new and expecting mothers seeking to assert their workplace rights.
Paid Parental Leave for State Employees Signed Into Law in Texas
Texas Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 222 into law. The law provides 40 days of paid leave for state employees who give birth and 20 days for the birth of a child by the employee’s spouse, the birth of a child by surrogate, or the adoption of a child. An employee does not have to use all available paid vacation and sick leave before they can take paid leave granted by the law.
Tax Exemption for Lactation Supplies Signed Into Law in Texas
Texas Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 379/House Bill 1265 into law. The law exempts diapers, feminine hygiene products, maternity clothing, and breast milk pumping products from state sales and use tax.
New York Bill Introduced to Expand Protections for Incarcerated Pregnant Individuals
New York Senator Salazar introduced Senate Bill S7132. The bill would amend the New York correction law to promote the health, safety, and human rights of incarcerated pregnant individuals and birthing parents and their children. The bill would provide for safe and appropriate housing and living conditions, access to prenatal care, appropriate care during labor and delivery, and postpartum care, including breastfeeding support.
Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition: "Funding to Support Aspiring Lactation Support Providers." Application deadline: July 14.
News & Views
California Breastfeeding Coalition: "Three Californians Honored at USBC National Conference and Convening"
Healthy Horizons: "Contribute to a Cleaner Climate with Comprehensive Corporate Lactation Programs"
Maine Center for Economic Policy: "Paid Family and Medical Leave — An Explainer"
Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast: "NEC – Everything You Should Know"
The Wall Street Journal: "What Does the New Breastfeeding Law Mean for U.S. Employers?"
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Biden-Harris Administration Announces New York's Medicaid and CHIP Postpartum Coverage Expansion; 35 States & D.C. Now Offer Full Year of Coverage After Pregnancy"
World Health Organization: "Global Congress opens to counter harmful marketing of formula milk"
Pediatrics: "Fathers, Breastfeeding, and Infant Sleep Practices: Findings From a State-Representative Survey." Media highlights include:
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