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: USBC Conference Call for Speakers, Celebrating the Passage of PUMP Act & PWFA, and more
In this issue:
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Call for Speakers for the 2023 USBC Conference
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is thrilled to announce that the 2023 National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening (NBCC) will be held on Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, 2023, and will take place in person in Bethesda, MD. We will host a preconference workshop day on June 8. The 2023 conference theme, Expanding Connections and Partnering for Progress, speaks to the importance of developing relationships and aligning efforts within and beyond the lactation community to amplify our impact and unlock solutions for a better tomorrow for mothers and lactating parents.
We seek thought leaders, storytellers, motivators, organizers, trainers, and partner organizations with applied experience engaging in:
Speakers will be paid an honorarium. If you have expertise or practical experience related to the learning goals, please complete the 2023 NBCC Plenary Speaker Interest Form by Monday, January 16, 2023. Email your questions to email@example.com.
Next Week: Webinar on Policy Solutions and Strategies
Join the U.S. Breastfeeding for the "Collaboratively Pursuing Policy Solutions: Lessons Learned from the USBC" webinar on Wednesday, January 11, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET. The evidence is clear that the policies and systems that shape and influence our lives have a significant and lasting impact on infant feeding outcomes. Too often, policy decisions have a population-level impact yet do not take into consideration the needs of infants, their mothers and lactating parents, and their families. For decades, the lactation field has come together to identify policy barriers and gaps and push for change. USBC Deputy Director, Amelia Psmythe Seger, and USBC Senior Policy & Communications Manager, Cheryl Lebedevitch, will review the organization's collaborative approach to organizing stakeholders for policy, systems, and environmental change efforts, describe strategies for creating legislative change, and share the USBC policy priorities for the 118th congressional session. Continuing education credits are available for in-person attendees. Please indicate your preference upon registration.
This is Our Why Campaign Store Open Through Monday, January 9
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee limited-time product line of apparel featuring the This is Our Why design is available in our shop for a few more days! This USBC campaign will close on Monday, January 9. Clothing options include hoodies and crewneck sweatshirts, long and short-sleeved T-shirts, and even tank tops. Products are available in a variety of sizes and colors. Your purchase today can help create lasting change for babies and families. 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. Order by Monday, January 9!
Special Section: Celebrating Passage of the PUMP Act & PWFA
In a historic week of bipartisan action on behalf of working families, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act were signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus spending package.
The USBC and our dedicated network worked tirelessly to support these two critical pieces of legislation in order to reduce the barriers to breastfeeding at work. Together, we have achieved a major win for babies, moms, parents, and families. Please consider making a donation to support USBC advocacy efforts.
Media highlights include:
International LactMap Project
The Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding & Lactation Education (IABLE) launched the International LactMap, a project that utilizes interactive Google Maps technology to help families find lactation support and care in all geographic regions of the world. The map categorizes the different types of support services into 4 layers: Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine, Lactation Consultant and Supporter, 4th Trimester Care LactMap, and Non-Profit Community Organization. This self-sustaining project allows any breastfeeding and lactation support provider to put themselves on the map with an annual subscription fee of $15.
Toolkit for Workplace Breastfeeding Support Programs in Nigeria
Alive and Thrive published a toolkit titled "Workplace Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Programme in Nigeria." The toolkit provides a guideline for private companies, public organizations, and key institutions interested in establishing workplace lactation programs for their workers. The resource was developed based on lessons learned from a pilot workplace breastfeeding/lactation support program with the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) and other breastfeeding initiatives in Nigeria.
Black Maternal Health Week 2023 Theme
Black Mamas Matter Alliance announced the official theme for Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) 2023: Our Bodies Belong to Us: Restoring Black Autonomy and Joy! Held annually April 11-17, BMHW is a week-long campaign founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance to build awareness, activism, and community-building to amplify the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of Black mothers and birthing people. The activities and conversations hosted throughout the week intentionally center the values and traditions of the reproductive and birth justice movements.
NASEM Publication on Inclusion of Pregnant and Lactating Persons in Clinical Trials
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a publication titled "Inclusion of Pregnant and Lactating Persons in Clinical Trials: Proceedings of a Workshop." The National Academies Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation convened a workshop in June 2022 for stakeholders to examine the current state of evidence generation for drug products used by pregnant and lactating persons and to discuss barriers and opportunities for including these populations in clinical trials. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
MCH First Research Funding Opportunity
The Health Resources and Services Administration announced the Maternal and Child Health Field-Initiated Innovative Research Studies (MCH FIRST) funding opportunity. There is a significant gap in the body of rigorous evidence on effective interventions available to the maternal and child health field. The MCH FIRST Program aims to improve health equity by supporting groundbreaking intervention research to influence clinical practice, health care services, and early interventions for underserved communities. The MCH FIRST program goals are to:
The deadline to apply for this opportunity is Tuesday, February 7, 2022.
Employer Guide to Building Gender Equity in the Workplace
The National Partnership for Women and Families released a new report titled, "Partnership in Action: An Employer Guide to Building Gender Equity in the Workplace." The report serves as a blueprint for employers looking to promote and implement equitable policies at their companies, and provides recommendations that would help women, especially women of color, return to and stay in the labor force. The guide includes recommendations on paid family and medical leave and reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.
2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement and Comment Opportunity
The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services announced that the first meeting of the newly appointed 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will be held February 9-10, 2023, and will be accessible to the public via livestream. A public comment period will remain open until late 2024, throughout the Committee's deliberations.
Access to Donor Milk Act Introduced in Senate
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the Senate version of the Access to Donor Milk Act (S. 5292). The Access to Donor Milk Act would increase federal support for and expand access to donated breast milk for parents and their medically-vulnerable infants at nonprofit milk banks nationwide. The bill would allow state agencies to use Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) funding to promote the benefits and need for donor milk and to support donor milk activities in states. Additionally, this legislation would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine how donor milk should be regulated. This legislation was introduced during the 117th Congressional Session and will need to be reintroduced now that the 118th Congressional Session has begun.
USBC Insight: To celebrate the bill introduction, Senator Duckworth visited Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. The event was attended by Michelle Hilliard, USBC Senior Operations Coordinator. In addition, the USBC-affiliated Pasteurized Donor Human Milk Constellation is coordinating an organizational sign-on letter in support of the Access to Donor Milk Act. Organizations are invited to join the sign-on letter and will be added on a rolling basis.
Photo credit Michelle Hilliard, USBC Senior Operations Coordinator.
Our Milky Way Turns 10 & Online Learning Module Giveaway
The Healthy Children's Project weekly blog, Our Milky Way, turned 10 years old this fall. As part of the organization's celebration, they are giving away an online learning module with contact hours each week during their 10-week celebration. Read the "‘Our Milky Way’ is 10" blog for instructions on how to enter the weekly drawing.
Request for Information on Essential Health Benefits
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a request for information to solicit public comment on issues related to the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). CMS is gathering input from the public on a variety of topics related to the coverage of benefits in health plans subject to the EHB requirements of the ACA, including the description of the EHB, the scope of benefits covered in typical employer plans, the review of EHB, coverage of prescription drugs, and substitution of EHB.
USBC Insight: The Affordable Care Act requires non-grandfathered health plans in the individual and small group markets to cover essential health benefits (EHB), which include items and services in the following ten benefit categories: (1) ambulatory patient services; (2) emergency services; (3) hospitalization; (4) maternity and newborn care; (5) mental health and substance use disorder services including behavioral health treatment; (6) prescription drugs; (7) rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; (8) laboratory services; (9) preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and (10) pediatric services, including oral and vision care. Coverage of breastfeeding support and counseling is required under the women's preventive services.
State & Community News
Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition IBCLC Scholarship Program
The Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition opened applications for the IBCLC Scholarship Program. The program awards scholarships to people who identify as members of historically underrepresented groups in the field of lactation in the state of Maryland. The scholarship covers tuition for a 95-hour Lactation Consultant Training Program through Lactation Education Resources, plus payment of the IBCLC exam fee and mentoring by an IBCLC member of the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition.
News & Views
Becker's Payer Issues: "27 payers to include CMS' 'birthing-friendly' hospital designation in provider directories"
Health Policy Today: "Early Beginnings, Big Challenges: Breastfeeding in the NICU"
WIC Works: "Overview of the WIC Food Packages Proposed Rule"
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