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
USBC Staff Attend PUMP Act & PWFA Celebration with White House Gender Policy Council
The White House Gender Policy Council hosted an event titled "Celebrating the PWFA and PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act" this week. USBC Executive Director, Nikia Sankofa, and Senior Policy and Communications Manager, Cheryl Lebedevitch, attended as invited guests. The event highlighted the important protections for pregnant, postpartum, and nursing workers created by the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which went into effect on June 27, and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act – both signed into law in December 2022 as part of the end-of-year omnibus appropriations law. The event highlighted the Administration's continued commitment to supporting women at work and protecting the health of pregnant and postpartum women. The program included a moderated discussion between senior Administration officials and workers, including former USBC Board Member To-Wen Tseng.
Weekly Wire Hiatus
The Weekly Wire will be on hiatus next week in observance of Independence Day. We look forward to connecting when we return!
Special Section on Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
On June 27, 2023, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) went into effect. The PWFA is a landmark civil rights law that ensures pregnant and postpartum workers are not forced off the job, and get the accommodations they need, without facing discrimination or retaliation in the workplace. The PWFA guarantees workers the affirmative right to receive reasonable accommodations for known limitations stemming from pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, including lactation, unless the requested accommodations would pose an undue hardship to the employer. Highlights from the field on this new legislation include:
PWFA News & Views
Breastfeeding Advocacy Toolkit Features New Resources
The Global Breastfeeding Collective updated the "Breastfeeding Advocacy Toolkit." This toolkit is a comprehensive collection of advocacy tools and resources for breastfeeding advocates aimed at improving policies and financing for the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding. The toolkit is intended for breastfeeding advocates and other stakeholders seeking information and tools to support the Collective's seven policy actions.
Green Feeding Tool Calculates Environmental Impact of Infant Feeding Outcomes
The Australian National University (ANU) launched the "Green Feeding Tool." The tool calculates the carbon and water footprints of commercial milk formula and helps illustrate the carbon offset that could be achieved by increasing breastfeeding rates, and reducing commercial milk formula use. By helping to mobilize action and motivate upscaling of investments, this tool aims to ensure more significant investments and resources are allocated towards enabling women and children to realize their human rights, including breastfeeding.
Call for Comments on CDC Infant Feeding Practices Study
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a notice inviting comments on the "Feeding My Baby and Me: Infant Feeding Practices Study III (FMB&M–IFPS III)" project. This study is designed to understand the current state of mothers' intentions, behaviors, feeding decisions, and practices from pregnancy through their child's first two years of life. The longitudinal study will follow pregnant women and their new babies for two years. Data will be collected using web-based surveys at multiple time points over two years. This includes: (1) a prenatal survey; (2) 14 follow-up surveys after the baby is born; and (3) 2–4 maternal dietary data recalls. The deadline for submitting written comments is Tuesday, August 8.
AHRQ Research Protocol on Breastfeeding and Health Outcomes for Infants and Children
The Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) Program at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) posted the research protocol for "Breastfeeding and Health Outcomes for Infants and Children." The purpose of the review is to provide a synthesis of the current evidence on the association between breastfeeding/consumption of human milk and a range of health outcomes in infants and children. The protocol describes the purpose and scope of the review, the key questions, and inclusion/exclusion criteria about what types of studies will be included. The deadline to submit comments is Wednesday, July 26.
National Defense Authorization Act Bill Advances With Provision Expanding Paternity Leave
The House Armed Services Committee held a markup and voted to advance the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R.2670) with bipartisan support. The legislation included an amendment to expand parental leave eligibility for fathers and adoptive parents serving in the drilling Reserve and National Guard. Currently, leave policies for drill members are limited to new mothers. Read the press release.
Kids Fly Safe Act Introduced in House and Senate With Provision to Evaluate Accessibility of Lactation Spaces
Senator Ossoff (D-GA) and Representative Williams (D-GA-5) introduced the Kids Fly Safe Act (S.1683/H.R.3551). The bill would require the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a comprehensive study on child safety in aviation, including an evaluation of the extent to which diaper changing stations and areas designated for breastfeeding are accessible in airport terminals.
Equality Act Introduced in House and Senate to Prohibit Discrimination
A group of Senators and Representatives introduced the Equality Act (S. 5/H.R. 15). The bill would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation in public accommodation, federal funding, employment, housing, and juries. The legislation findings note that women have faced discrimination in many establishments, including sexual harassment, differential pricing for substantially similar products and services, and denial of services because they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
State & Community News
Paid Family Leave for State Employees Signed Into Law in Nevada
Nevada Governor Lombardo signed Assembly Bill AB376 into law. The bill establishes provisions governing paid family leave for state employees. The law provides eight weeks of paid family leave over the course of a 12-month period to bond with a newborn child or newly adopted child, recover from or undergo treatment for a serious illness, care for a seriously ill family member, or participate in a qualifying event resulting from the military deployment to a foreign country of an immediate family member.
Law Requiring Insurance Coverage of Donor Milk Signed by Maine Governor
Maine Governor Mills signed LD 267 into law. The law requires private health insurance plans to provide insurance coverage for pasteurized donor breast milk for eligible infants when ordered by a health care provider.
State-Specific Webinars on Workplace Protections for Pregnant and Postpartum Workers
The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division and Women’s Bureau, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are teaming up with local partners for a series of webinars on workplace protections for pregnant and postpartum workers. The free webinars will help workers understand protections afforded under federal and state 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. Upcoming presentations include:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation: "Special Initiatives Grant Program." Application deadline: September 11.
HRSA: "Maternity Care Nursing Workforce Expansion (MatCare) Program." Application deadline: July 14.
News & Views
Consumer Product Safety Commission: "CPSC and The Boppy Company Urge Consumers to Stop Using Recalled Boppy Newborn Loungers and Urge Online Marketplaces to Stop Selling the Recalled Product; Two Additional Infant Deaths Reported Shortly After 2021 Recall"
Lactation Education Resources: "New AAP Policies: What You Need to Know"
New Jersey Education Association: "Advocating for members’ lactation rights"
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