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 24, 2022
In this issue:
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Reflection on the Senate's Failure to Pass the PUMP Act
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee's Senior Policy & Communications Manager, Cheryl Lebedevitch, published a blog titled "The Senate failed to pass the PUMP Act on Wednesday. That hurts. But it doesn’t mean the fight is over." The blog reflects on the Senate's failure to pass the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act through a unanimous consent agreement this week. The heartfelt piece describes her grief, her optimism, and outlines the next steps for action. Let's dust ourselves off and get back to work.
2022 National Breastfeeding Month T-Shirts Now Available!
August is National Breastfeeding Month and this year's theme is Together We Do Great Things! Celebrate your passion for the month by purchasing an official NBM 2022 T-shirt featuring the Together We Do Great Things design in jewel tones on the back and the USBC logo on the front. With a variety of colors and styles available: unisex crew and v-neck, women's slim fit, and a children's crew, we hope you will find a color and fit that works for you and yours. All shirts are sourced from a select group of vendors who are WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) certified and 100 percent "sweat-free." With each purchase you are supporting USBC advocacy efforts which are otherwise unfunded (USBC earns about $5 per shirt). Learn more about National Breastfeeding Month activities, access the toolkit for the state and local proclamations, and find the link to the fundraiser shirts on the USBC NBM webpage.
New Action Tool Urging Legislators to Support Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations for Breastfeeding
The U.S. Breastfeeding committee has launched a new action tool titled "Urge Congress to Increase Funding for CDC Breastfeeding Programs." The USBC stands firm in our belief that no baby should ever go hungry for any reason. As the nation grapples with the immediate and present impact of the infant formula recall and shortage 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. Providing $20 million for the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program is a small but critical investment that will help our nation build an infrastructure that protects the nutrition security of infants across the country. Individuals are encouraged to use the easy action tool to contact their Senators and Representative.
Organizational Sign-On Letter Urging the Senate to Pass the PUMP Act Delivered
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee, A Better Balance, American Civil Liberties Union, MomsRising, National WIC Association, and WorkLife Law delivered an organizational sign-on letter urging Senators to cosponsor and swiftly pass the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act (S. 1658). Additional organizational signers will be added on a rolling basis.
The USBC has endorsed the following legislation:
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 in the Weekly Wire Newsletter and on the USBC Website. Recent highlights include:
Infant Formula Recall and Shortage News & Views
Model Policy for Companies on the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes
The Access to Nutrition Initiative released a document titled "Model Policy on the Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes to Fully Implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and All Subsequent Relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions." The model policy was developed with the technical support of WHO, UNICEF, Helen Keller International, and Save the Children to guide companies on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes (BMS). The model policy consolidates the latest requirements around BMS marketing to date to guide BMS manufacturers in fully implementing and complying with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and all subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions in policy and practice. BMS manufacturers can refer to this model policy when revising or developing their own policies on BMS marketing.
World Breastfeeding Week Action Folder Now Available
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action released new resources to support individuals and organizations to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2022. Visit the website to find this year's logo, objectives, Action Folder, Social Media Kit, relevant resources, Pledge Map, Partners' Events & Publications page, frequently asked questions (FAQs) as well as links to previous WBW campaigns.
PUMP Act Fails to Advance in the Senate
On Wednesday, June 22, Senator Merkley called on the Senate to pass the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act (S. 1658) via unanimous consent. Senator Lummis raised an objection to the bill so it was not passed. View the recording on C-SPAN (scroll to 6:19:44 p.m.). Read the transcript. Media highlights include:
Report on Title IX and Discrimination Protections for Students
The National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education released "Title IX at 50." The report features nine issue briefs, each of which include a background section, overview of developments made since 1972, and recommendations for policy change. The Pregnant and Parenting Students issue brief recommends that the Department of Education issues comprehensive Title IX regulations addressing the schools' responsibility to accommodate lactation, pregnancy, and reproductive health needs, including specifically requiring schools to provide an appropriate non-bathroom space and breaks for students to breastfeed or express breast milk.
Federal Report on Paid Family and Medical Leave
The Congressional Research Service published a report titled "Paid Family and Medical Leave in the United States." The report provides an overview of paid family and medical leave in the United States, summarizes state-level family and medical leave insurance program provisions, reviews paid family and medical leave policies in other advanced-economy countries, and describes recent federal legislative action to increase access to paid family leave.
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Nomination Submissions Now Accepted
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture are calling on the public to submit nominations to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Committee will provide independent, science-based advice and recommendations to be considered by HHS and USDA as the Departments develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, July 15.
Food Safety Bill Introduced in Senate
A group of Senators introduced Ensuring Safe and Toxic-Free Foods Act of 2022 (S.4316). The bill would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to update and clarify its rule on substances generally recognized as safe and to establish within the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the Food and Drug Administration the Office of Food Chemical Safety Reassessment, and for other purposes. Whether a substance or class of substances is unsafe would be required to account for the particular sensitivities of vulnerable human populations, including pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Policy Brief on Paid Lactation Breaks
The Center for WorkLife Law published a policy brief titled "Making Lactation Breaks Affordable for All Workers." The document outlines policy solutions that can be implemented to address lactation break unaffordability and identifies existing state laws requiring employers to provide paid lactation breaks.
House Resolution on Black Breastfeeding Week
Representative Alma Adams (D-NC-12) introduced House Resolution 603 designating the week of August 25 through August 31 as Black Breastfeeding Week. The observance works to bring national attention to the United States maternal child health crisis in the Black community and the important role that breastfeeding plays in improving maternal and infant health outcomes.
House Ways & Means Committee Hearing on Working Women
The House Ways & Means Committee hosted a hearing titled "The Burnout Epidemic and What Working Women Need for a Stronger Economy." Witnesses at the hearing described the critical need for affordable and quality childcare, paid medical and family leave, and expanded home and community-based services. The recording is available on the Committee website. Media highlights include:
Survey on Infant and Young Child Feeding
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) released a survey titled "Setting the agenda for patient-centered research in infant and young-child feeding." Anyone with experience related to breastfeeding – as a parent, a partner, a friend, health team member, or baby – is invited to share suggestions for breastfeeding research questions and outcomes.
Webinar on Lactation and Infant Loss
The Michigan Breastfeeding Breastfeeding Network released a Great Lakes Breastfeeding Webinar titled "Lactation and Grief after Perinatal, Neonatal, or Infant Loss." The webinar provides information and resources on offering lactation support for those experiencing loss. With so many other decisions that have to be made immediately following a loss, some grieving parents have no idea what they will be facing when it comes to the postpartum experience, their breasts, and human milk.
Open Access Articles in the Breastfeeding Medicine Journal
The journal Breastfeeding Medicine is highlighting a virtual collection of manuscripts titled "Breastfeeding Medicine: Coverage of COVID-19." The collection includes peer-reviewed science and perspective papers focused on COVID-19. The articles are open access and can be viewed free of charge.
State & Community News
Planning Grant Opportunity for BIPOC Led and Serving Organizations
The JB & MK Pritzker Family Foundation has released the Planning Grant Opportunity for BIPOC/ALAANA-led/focused Organizations with an Interest in Prenatal to Age Three State Policy Efforts. The funding opportunity aims to support organizations with a demonstrated track record of meaningfully engaging with and centering the lived experience, wisdom, and expressed needs of families with young children in historically marginalized and underinvested communities.
News & Views
A Better Balance blog:
Florida Department of Health: "Florida Department of Health Celebrates First Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care in Citrus County"
National Geographic: "Many women struggle to breastfeed. Scientists are starting to ask why."
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