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
Upcoming Events in March & Call for Event Submissions
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee maintains an Events Calendar with upcoming breastfeeding-related events that are hosted by our extensive network of USBC member organizations. Events include online trainings, learning opportunities, virtual conferences, and more. Check out the calendar to explore recently added events taking place in the coming weeks. If you are a USBC member, we invite you to submit your organization's events via the USBC Member Portal.
USBC is Hiring! Data Management Specialist Job Opening
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is seeking applicants for a full-time Data Management Specialist job opening. This is a remote position. At this time, the USBC can only accept applications from residents of CA, IL, MD, MA, OH, or OR, where employer registration and administrative compliance is already established. Learn more about our process and culture, and connect to our job applications on the Careers webpage. Please share the opportunity with interested individuals in your networks!
Deadline Extention: Join USBC Membership For a Chance to Win a Free Conference Registration
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is extending our membership drive. Organizations that complete the membership application and onboarding process by the extended priority deadline of Sunday, March 19, at 11:59 p.m. ET will be entered into a raffle to win one complimentary registration to the National Breastfeeding Conference and Convening. Current member organizations are also eligible to enter the raffle if they refer a new organization to join the USBC membership.
The Creating Space Scholarship is available to new USBC member organizations that are led by and serving BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) or other priority populations, and have an operating budget of less than $250,000. Through this scholarship program, the USBC will award up to 100 organizations a complimentary membership for 2023. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, read the blog post about the Creating Space Scholarship opportunity.
The membership of the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee represents the most unified voice in advocating for breastfeeding policy and practice change in the US. Our membership network includes more than 100 organizations that support the USBC mission to drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States. If your organization is implementing policies, programs, or practices that advance support for breastfeeding and human milk feeding, we invite you to join us today!
Take Action to Urge Congress to Prioritize Babies and Families
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee has been mobilizing the lactation field for the Welcome Congress Campaign to connect with policymakers and urge them to prioritize breastfeeding during this congressional session. Last month, the USBC sent a package of materials to the offices of every Senator and Representative to educate them about the state of breastfeeding nationally and in their district and the role policymakers play in protecting infant nutrition security, as well as highlight the most pressing policy areas in need of attention this congressional session. The Welcome Congress package they received included their State or Territorial Breastfeeding Report and the Welcome Congress organizational sign-on letter with the signatures of nearly 300 national, state, and local organizations.
The Campaign is ongoing; you can still take action with us! Use our easy action tool to contact your legislators to urge them to review these materials and work to advance our key policy areas: federal funding for breastfeeding, infant nutrition security, access to lactation support & supplies, workplace protections, and maternity care.
Special Section on Paid Family & Medical Leave
The United States is one of the only countries in the world without a national paid family and medical leave program. Access to paid leave has a significant impact on breastfeeding outcomes, and USBC and the lactation field have been active in efforts to increase access to paid leave. Recent national and state updates on this policy area included:
2023 State of WIC Report
The National WIC Association released a report titled "2023 State of WIC Report: Building the Bridge to a Healthier Future." Supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the report centers infant feeding, economic equity, and modernization of the WIC program. It brings lessons learned in 2022 to the forefront of the conversation on reforms, innovation, and policy. This report assesses the infant formula crisis, USDA's proposed food package rule, and WIC's role in building a healthier future for all.
CDC Early Care and Education Resources
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a series of new fact sheets on the Early Care and Education Resource Library webpage with tips and examples that early care and education centers and homes can follow to meet national standards for supporting breastfeeding. New fact sheets include:
Webinar on Upcoming MCH Funding Opportunities
The Maternal and Child Health Bureau is hosting a webinar titled, "MCHB Upcoming Funding Opportunities: Hear from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau About Upcoming Funding Opportunities + How to Apply" on Thursday, March 16, at 1 p.m. ET. Several upcoming Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) are scheduled to become available. This webinar will discuss these opportunities, who is eligible to apply, and how to apply. Upcoming funding listed on grants.gov include:
President's Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Released
The White House released the President's Fiscal Year 2024 budget, titled "Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2024." The report contains the Budget Message of the President for Fiscal Year 2023, information on the Administration's priorities, and sets the stage for Congressional budget negotiations. Additional details about the President's budget will be released next week.
USBC Insight: The USBC will release a detailed analysis of the President's Budget once all details have been released and will continue to monitor funding discussions and mobilize the field to encourage Congress to prioritize funding for breastfeeding and human milk feeding.
PUMP Act Webinar for Advocates and Employers
The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division is hosting a webinar titled, "The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act: What Advocates and Employers Need to Know" on Thursday, March 16, at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will discuss the recently enacted PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act which extends the right to break time and a private place to pump breast milk at work to millions more workers. This discussion will equip advocates with resources and tools to assist employees who wish to continue breastfeeding after returning to work and help employers understand their responsibilities under the law.
Advancing Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act Introduced
Representatives Kathy Castor, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Lauren Underwood reintroduced the Advancing Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act of 2023 (H.R. 1117). The bipartisan bill would build on prior legislation to better our understanding of the effect of medications on pregnant and lactating women and their infants. This legislation would help ensure that moms and babies stay safe and healthy by updating FDA regulations, establishing a national clearinghouse of educational materials, creating a coordinating committee of federal activities, and raising awareness for patients and providers. Read the press release.
2023 Black Maternal Health Week Social Media Toolkit
The Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA) released the Black Maternal Health Week 2023 Social Media Toolkit. The goal of Black Maternal Health Week is to amplify the voices of Black Mamas, bring visibility to Black-led maternal health initiatives, and center the values and traditions of the reproductive and birth justice movements. BMMA developed the toolkit, which includes sample social media messages, sharable graphics, and other information, including data on breastfeeding disparities, to help organizations and individuals engage with the campaign on their social media channels.
Public Comment Opportunity on FEMA Post-Disaster Guide
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking public feedback from partners, stakeholders, and the general public on the draft equity guide titled "Achieving Equitable Recovery: A Post Disaster Guide for Local Officials." The guide was developed to help local officials incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in their post-disaster recovery management strategy and efforts. To submit comments or recommendations to the draft equity guide, use the comment matrix located on FEMA's website and email FEMA-CA-RSF@fema.dhs.gov by Wednesday, March 15.
USBC Insight: FEMA's draft guide aims to center populations most impacted during disater recovery, however the guide fails to mention infants, the specific needs of families with infants, or infant nutrition security. The public feedback process offers an opportunity for the lactation field to point out this oversight. The USBC 4 Pillars of Infant Nutrition Security in the U.S. blog and USBC-affiliated IYCF-E Constellation updated Joint Statement on Infant and Young Child Feeding the U.S. offer suggestions.
State & Community News
Conversation on Black Maternal Health in Kansas
The Kansas Birth Equity Network, with the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, is hosting an event titled "Healthy, Thriving, Black Families: A Conversation on Black Maternal Health" on Saturday, April 15, at 12 p.m. ET. This hybrid event will take place in Memorial Hall in Kansas City as well as via Zoom. In celebration of Black Maternal Health Week, the event's keynote speaker and panelists will discuss their efforts and successes in working towards birth equity.
San Diego Breastfeeding Resource Guide
The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition released the "2023 San Diego County Breastfeeding Resource Guide." The guide is available in English and Spanish and serves as a central resource for families, including breastfeeding helplines, providers of lactation services, hospital breastfeeding services, and WIC offices serving San Diego County.
Amendment Proposal for California Infant Formula Stockpile Bill
The California Breastfeeding Coalition sent a letter to California Assemblymember Wilson requesting the amendment and expansion of the Infant Formula Stockpile Bill (AB 228) to focus more broadly on infant and young child feeding in emergencies. In the letter, the coalition calls for a broader framework for the bill, which would create an opportunity to address all public health emergencies (e.g., natural disasters, climate-related disasters, pandemics, supply chain disruptions, etc.) that affect infant feeding practices and access to infant foods.
In-Hospital Breastfeeding Initiation Data in California
The California Department of Public Health Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Division (MCAH) announced the release of California's 2020 In-Hospital Breastfeeding Initiation data. MCAH monitors in-hospital infant feeding practices utilizing data obtained during routine newborn screening for genetic diseases. This data allows hospitals to review their breastfeeding rates. The supplemental resources provided by MCAH can assist hospitals with quality improvement efforts to ensure hospital policies and practices support exclusive breastfeeding in the early postpartum period.
Connecticut Bill Introduced to Authorize Licensure for IBCLCs
A group of Connecticut state representatives introduced An Act Concerning Licensure of Husky Health Program Coverage for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (H.B. 5760). The bill would authorize the licensure of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and provide Medicaid reimbursement for licensed IBCLCs.
Arkansas Bills Introduced to Expand Breastfeeding Support and Education in Schools
The Arkansas House passed the Support for Pregnant and Parenting Students Act (H.B. 1161). The bill would provide for excused absences for parenting students and require reasonable accommodations for lactating students to express breast milk, breastfeed, or address other breastfeeding needs. In addition, a group of Arkansas legislators introduced H.B. 1526. The bill would require public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to require a health and safety course that includes information on breastfeeding. Media highlights:
Nebraska Bills Introduced to Expand Access to Donor Milk
Nebraska Senator Carol Blood introduced L.B. 12 and L.B. 13. L.B. 12 would create the Nebraska Human Breast Milk Bank and authorize the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to establish standards for transporting, processing and distributing commercial human breast milk. L.B. 13 would require Medicaid coverage of donor human milk for eligible recipients with a prescription. Media highlights:
Washington Bill Introduced to Create Lactation Consultant Certification
A group of Washington state senators introduced S.B. 5470. The bill would create a voluntary certification process for lactation consultants and would direct the Washington State Health Care Authority to ensure the services of certified lactation consultants are covered under the state Medicaid program. Media highlight:
AHA Voices for Healthy Kids: 2023 Policy Campaign Grant Opportunity. Application Deadline: April 7.
CDC Division of Birth Defects and Infant Disorders: Pregnant People–Infant Linked Longitudinal Surveillance. Application Deadline: April 10.
HHS Administration for Children & Families: Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program: Development and Implementation Grants. Application Deadline: May 1.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF): Healthy Eating Research (HER) Call for Proposals. Application Deadline: April 5.
News & Views
Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast: "Mothers Milk Bank Impact Report 2022"
Project Syndicate: "Protecting Public Health from Big Food"
Annals of Neurology: "Breast Milk Exposure is Associated With Cortical Maturation in Preterm Infants"
Journal of Internal Medicine: "Breastfeeding in infancy and mortality in middle and late adulthood: A prospective cohort study and meta-analysis"
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