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.
Weekly Wire: New USBC Products Available, Access to Donor Milk Act Sign On Letter, Public Comment Opportunity, and more
In this issue:
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
This is Our Why Line of USBC Products Available Now
This week, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee launched a limited-time product line in the Bonfire store with the new This is Our Why design. Featuring a sweet image of a babe in arms, the design is available on products ranging from hoodies and crewneck sweatshirts, to long and short sleeved T-shirts, and even tank tops. With a variety of sizes and colors to choose from, we hope you will find something that delights you, a mom in your life, a family member, a teammate, or another person who cares about babies! The USBC receives a small portion of each sale to fuel our advocacy efforts. Shoppers may also add a donation of any amount to their purchase. Shop today to receive your items by the holidays.
Introducing the 2022-2023 USBC Board of Directors
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is thrilled to introduce the 2022-2023 Board of Directors. Elected by our Voting Member organizations, the USBC Board of Directors is a talented cohort of breastfeeding advocates dedicated to supporting the organization's mission and vision. Board members bring a wide range of expertise and experiences to their board service, and the composition of this group directly reflects the organization's deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and representation. The USBC is proud that its Board is among the most diverse of any national organization. The USBC warmly welcomes our newly elected Board members, Amber Kapuamakamaeokalani Estelle Granite, IBC, GPCE, and Stephanne R. Rupnicki, CLC. Amber and Stephanne come to the USBC with rich backgrounds and experience amplifying breastfeeding support and advocacy for Indigenous communities. Learn more about them, and all of our talented board members, by reading their "Why I Serve" statements on the USBC website.
New USBC Members: San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition and Nourish & Thrive
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is pleased to welcome two new organizations to the USBC membership! The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition comes to the USBC with the mission to improve the health and well-being of families by protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding through education, outreach, advocacy, and service. Nourish & Thrive works to improve breastfeeding rates for black birthing people by paying for lactation professionals and offering a database of black lactation professionals to choose from. The USBC warmly welcomes both organizations to the membership community!
USDA Proposes Updates to WIC Food Packages
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service announced proposed changes to food packages that are provided to Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants. This rulemaking proposes to revise regulations governing the WIC food packages to align them with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and reflect recommendations made by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in its 2017 report, "Review of WIC Food Packages: Improving Balance and Choice," while promoting nutrition security and equity and taking into account program administration considerations. The proposed changes are intended to provide WIC participants with a wider variety of foods that align with the latest nutritional science; provide WIC State agencies with greater flexibility to prescribe and tailor food packages that accommodate participants' special dietary needs and personal and cultural food preferences; provide more equitable access to supplemental foods; and better promote and support individual breastfeeding goals of participants to help establish successful long-term breastfeeding. Individuals and organizations are invited to submit comments on the proposal by February 23, 2023.
USBC Insight: Responding to public comment opportunities is not lobbying. The federal government is actively soliciting your input to inform its decision-making. The National WIC Association has published a blog, "Broad Support for USDA Effort to Enhance Access to Healthy Foods for WIC Families." The USBC is preparing a blog summarizing the rule process and key components that support breastfeeding.
Access to Donor Milk Act Organizational Sign On Letter Launches
The USBC-affiliated Pasteurized Donor Human Milk Constellation has released an organizational sign on letter in support of the Access to Donor Milk Act (ADMA) of 2022, (H.R. 9196). The ADMA would help increase life-saving access to donor milk, particularly important in light of this year's formula recall and shortage, and as part of a robust infrastructure for infant nutrition security. The initial deadline to sign on is Monday, December 12. Signers will be added on a rolling basis.
Insurance Payer Policy Guidance Released: Innovative Approaches to Coverage Of Breastfeeding Support, Equipment, and Supplies
The USBC-affiliated Lactation Support Professionals Constellation has released a document titled "Payer Policy Guidance: Innovative Approaches to Coverage Of Breastfeeding Support, Equipment, and Supplies." The guidance aims to provide health insurers with information to consider when updating their policies, in order to better mobilize the workforce while increasing access to care. The document outlines what breastfeeding families need and when; the lactation workforce composition; and innovative ways to leverage existing payment mechanisms while bolstering community support.
NACCHO Consultant Funding Opportunity on Infant & Toddler Nutrition Materials
With support from the Center for Disease Contol and Prevention's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, the National Association of County and City Health Officials issued a Request for Proposals titled "Culturally Responsive Nutrition materials for Infants and Toddlers." The RFP will fund up to two consultants to develop culturally-responsive educational materials for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and/or Refugee, Immigrant, and Migrant (RIM) communities. Two awards, with funding up to $10,000 each, are available. The application deadline is Sunday, December 11. Selections will be made by Thursday, December 15.
Prominent Celebrities Write Joint Letter Supporting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Prominent women leaders in entertainment, fashion, sports, business, and tech joined together to write an open letter to Senate Majority Leader Schumer. The letter urges the Senator to ensure respect and equality for women and moms across the country by bringing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to a vote by the end of the year. 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. Learn how you can take action an amplify this message with the A Better Balance blog titled, "Take Action: Demand a Vote on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act!"
Great Lakes Webinar on Lactation Counseling through an Equity Lens
Registration is now open for a Great Lakes Webinar titled "The Importance of Lactation Counseling through an Equity Lens." Participants will learn about the implications of equity-centered lactation counseling and about strategies for serving families in new ways. This webinar is approved for 1 L-CERP, 1 nurse's contact hour, 1 social work CE hour, 1 dietitian CPEU, 1 community health worker CEU, 1 certified health education specialist CECH, and 1 CME until November 21, 2023.
Report Evaluating Process for Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released an evaluation report titled "Evaluating the Process to Develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025: Final Report," The report compares the process of developing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 to recommendations included in the previously published National Academies report, "Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans." The report describes the findings of the committee and the conclusions related to this assessment. The 2020-2025 edition of the DGA included, for the first time, recommendations for infants and toddlers as well as pregnant and lactating women.
Nominations Open for Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality
The Health Resources and Services Administration issued a request for nominations of qualified candidates to serve on the Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality (ACIMM). ACIMM advises the Secretary of HHS (Secretary) on department activities, partnerships, policies, and programs that aim to reduce infant mortality, maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity, and improve the health status of infants and women before, during, and after pregnancy. The deadline for nominations is January 23, 2023.
Racial Healing Action Kits
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation released a series of Action Kits as part of its National Day of Racial Healing efforts. Action kits provide event and activity ideas to engage community members, including children, business owners, faith leaders, and policymakers in the collaborative effort to advance racial healing in communities. Each kit includes event checklists, conversation guides, social media graphics, PowerPoint templates, and other tools to help plan and host racial healing-focused events.
Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act Committee Report
The House Education and Labor Committee produced a committee report on the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act (H.R. 8450). 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.
CDC PRAMS Information Collection Request
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request on the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published the "Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations" notice on July 5, 2022, to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC received two comments related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.
Webinar on Federal Agencies Enforcing Labor Protections
The U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Office of Human Rights is hosting a webinar titled "Get to Know Us: Overview of Your Rights and Protections" on Tuesday, December 6, from 12-1:30 p.m. ET. Webinar presenters will share about different agencies' rights and responsibilities, best practices for employers, what employees need to know, and how to protect and advocate for themselves.
USBC Insight: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for the enforcement of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for the enforcement of the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law.
News & Views
The New York Times: "What It Really Takes to Breastfeed a Baby"
Community, Work & Family: Explaining the positive relationship between state-level paid family leave and mental health
Nursing Research: Nurse-Reported Staffing Guidelines and Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding
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