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: August 19, 2022
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 an 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:
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
New Webpage on Public Health Importance of Human Milk
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee published a webpage titled "Why Focus on Human Milk Feeding?" The new webpage includes information on how human milk feeding impacts health outcomes for parents and children, describes some of the most pervasive barriers to human milk feeding, and how policy change can secure infant nutrition security in the United States and improve public health.
Action Tool in Support of Pregnant Workers
The USBC released an action tool titled "The Time is Now: Protect Pregnant Workers." Individuals can use the tool to contact their Senators in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The PWFA would ensure reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including lactation. It's critical to raise our voices to support this bill while the Senate is still in session! Take action with us.
Fundraising Campaign Update
This National Breastfeeding Month, the USBC is inviting donors to support our critical advocacy efforts by making 500 donations during the month of August. We are more than halfway through the month and still need over 200 generous donors to help us reach that goal! We're calling on our thousands of Weekly Wire readers to support this drive by taking two minutes to make a donation today.
Special Section on National Breastfeeding Month 2022
National Breastfeeding Month is still going strong! We invite all member organizations, breastfeeding coalitions, partner organizations, and individuals to participate in online action and conversation about the policy and practice changes needed to build a landscape of support for babies and families. Please share your organization's plans so we can amplify your work in the Weekly Wire and on social media. Highlights from the field include:
Breastfeeding Month Proclamations
NBM News & Views
The above unbranded graphics, plus more, are available for download on the USBC NBM webpage.
Video Explainer on Title V MCH Block Grant
The Health Resources Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau released a video explaining the history, purpose, and administration of the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant. The grant provides more than $550 million to all 59 jurisdictions and states to improve their public health systems, specifically for mothers, children, and their families.
USBC Insight: The Title V MCH Block Grant Program is a partnership between the federal government and states to support the health and well-being of all mothers, children, and families. Increasing the percentage of infants who are ever breastfed and infants who are breastfed exclusively through 6 months is included in the program's National Performance Measures.
Bill Introduced to Reauthorize Child Nutrition Programs
The Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act (H.R. 8450) has been introduced by Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) and Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01). The bill would reauthorize critical child nutrition programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), school meals, and summer feeding programs. The Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act would authorize and expand the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program, authorizing $180M in funding for this program, a $90M increase, to ensure that WIC agencies can support more full-time positions and increase placements outside of clinics. The bill would also provide targeted funding flexibility to ensure that breastfeeding supplies can be purchased with food funds, extend postpartum eligibility for WIC to two years, and extend child eligibility to age six or the beginning of kindergarten. Find additional details about how the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act would support lactation with the "Child Nutrition Reauthorization: WIC Provisions in the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act" fact sheet from the National WIC Association.
Bill Introduced to Better Protect Flying with Breast Milk
Representatives Katie Porter (D-CA-45), Maria Salazar (R-FL-27), and Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15) introduced the Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening (BABES) Enhancement Act (H.R. 8695). The BABES Enhancement Act would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to clarify and regularly update guidance on handling breast milk, baby formula, and other related nutrition products in consultation with leading maternal health groups. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security. A bipartisan group of Senators is planning to release a companion bill. Media highlights include:
Resource Hub on Reproductive Health Care
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a resource hub titled "ReproductiveRights.gov." The website includes information about access to and coverage of reproductive health care and resources, including breastfeeding services and supplies.
Black Maternal Health Week Impact Report
Black Mamas Matter Alliance released the "2022 Black Maternal Health Week Impact Report." The publication includes information on BMHW activities, key social media highlights, media coverage, and more.
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 will be held on Tuesday, September 13, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ET, Wednesday, September 14, from 9 a.m.-5p.m. ET, and Thursday, September 15, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The agenda for the meeting may include infant and maternal mortality among American Indian/Alaska Native women and infants, indigenous health, and federal program updates.
State & Community News
Cost/Benefit Analysis on Paid Leave in Georgia
9to5 Georgia, in partnership with the Georgia Coalition for Paid Leave, released a report titled "Dollars and Sense: A Cost/Benefit Analysis of Paid Leave in Georgia." The publication outlines the need for paid leave for all Georgians, the support it has across the state, and how it can be funded.
News & Views
ACLU blog post: "We Need the PUMP Act to Protect Nursing Workers Like Me"
Department of Labor:
Indianapolis Business Journal: "State launches drive for breast-milk donors amid baby formula shortage"
New York Daily News: "What pregnant Black women need from the Senate"
The Santa Barbara Independent: "Santa Barbara Airport Adds Lactation Pod for Traveling Parents"
Times Union: "Pregnant students to be protected in proposed Title IX rules"
JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery: "Supporting Lactation in Otolaryngology Patients Through Medication Optimization, Radiology Considerations, and More: A Literature Review"
Maternal & Child Nutrition: "The legislative framework of donor human milk and human milk banking in Europe"
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