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
Last Chance for Early Bird Conference Discount: Register by Sunday to Save!
The annual USBC National Breastfeeding Conference and Convening brings together a diverse network of clinical, community, advocacy, and research professionals who recognize the public health significance of breastfeeding. This year's theme is Expanding Connections and Partnering for Progress and is designed to develop and strengthen the leadership capacity of the public health workforce to effectively protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. Discounted early bird registration pricing is available through this Sunday, April 30. Visit the conference webpage to access the preliminary agenda, register, reserve your hotel room, and explore marketing and sponsorship opportunities.
Welcoming New USBC Members: Urban Perinatal Education Center & Nurture
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is pleased to welcome two new organizations to the USBC membership! The Urban Perinatal Education Center works to change the way Black, Indigenous, and People of Color experience perinatal health, education, and services by supporting equitable and culturally congruent care and building a workforce for change. Nurture aims to create a dedicated perinatal resource center that promotes a comprehensive and holistic approach to the concerns of childbearing families by providing various programming, education, and support services.
Submit Your Events to the USBC Events Calendar
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. USBC member organizations are invited to submit events via the USBC Member Portal.
Global Congress on Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
The World Health Organization (WHO) is hosting the "Global Congress on Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes" June 20-22 at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The objective of this event is to increase the knowledge of national actors on strategies to end the unethical marketing of breast-milk substitutes, to develop national work plans to strengthen legislation, monitoring, and enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, and to build regional networks to share information on the Code.
Webinar for Employers on the PUMP Act and Supporting Breastfeeding Workers
Healthy Horizons is hosting a webinar titled "The PUMP Act: What Employers Should Know" on Wednesday, May 31, at 2 p.m. ET. The event is designed to help employers understand the legal requirements of the recently passed Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP) and how to prepare their workplace.
Know Your Rights Resources on Pumping at Work
The Center for WorkLife Law and A Better Balance released an updated know-your-rights guide for lactating workers titled “Talking to Your Boss About Your Pump.” The guide is also available in Spanish. The resource is designed to help breastfeeding, chestfeeding, and pumping workers make a plan for returning to work. It explains legal protections, which include new protections workers have under the federal PUMP Act and will soon have under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and offers practical tips for how workers can talk to their employer about their lactation needs.
Webinar on Breastfeeding and Mental Health
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials is hosting a webinar titled "Shades of Lactation" on Monday, May 1, at 3:30 p.m. ET. The presentation will address the relationship between breastfeeding and mental health, highlighting how breastfeeding is a protective measure against perinatal mood disorders. The session will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on access to quality breastfeeding education and perinatal mood disorders and describe best practices on how to include mental health services with lactation education and support.
Executive Order on Increasing Access to Early Care and Education
The President issued the “Executive Order on Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers.” The Executive Order includes 50 actions related to accessing high-quality early care and education and long-term care in order to protect our Nation's economic growth and economic security. Early care and education give young children a strong start in life, while long-term care helps older Americans and people with disabilities live, work, and participate in their communities with dignity. The order aims to make child care more accessible and affordable for families, boost job quality for early educators and long-term care workers, and support family caregivers.
USBC Insight: Support for breastfeeding in early care and education (ECE) settings is essential for parents returning to work or school. The 2022 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card included State ECE Licensing Breastfeeding Support Scores to indicate the extent to which a state's licensing regulations for child care centers meet the “Caring for our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs” standards to support and encourage breastfeeding best practices.
FEMA Budget Hearing Includes Discussion on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies
The House Appropriations Committee, Homeland Security Committee hosted the "Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for the Federal Emergency Management Agency." During the hearing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator confirmed that the agency implemented changes to support breastfeeding families from the Delivering Essentials to Mothers Amid Disasters (DEMAND) Act. This provision ensures that breastfeeding equipment is eligible for FEMA's Individual Assistance program, which provides financial help and services to families in the wake of a disaster. Read the press release.
Report on Improving Health of AIAN Mothers and Infants
The Secretary of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality has released a report titled "Making Amends: Recommended Strategies and Actions to Improve the Health and Safety of American Indian and Alaska Native Mothers and Infants." The report features a set of recommendations to improve the health and safety of American Indian Alaska Native mothers and infants, acknowledges historic, systemic failures to support these mothers and babies, and highlights the need for federal action. The recommendations include encouraging breastfeeding and providing pumping and lactation support services for postpartum individuals who are incarcerated.
Explainer on Court Case with Implications for Insurer Requirements
The National Health Law Program published the “Case Explainer: Braidwood Management v. Becerra.” The document explains the district court opinion in Braidwood Management v. Becerra. The case from the Northern District of Texas concerns whether insurer coverage requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are constitutional. The case could have far-reaching repercussions on access to preventive health services in the United States.
USBC Insight: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires health plans to cover certain preventive services without cost-sharing. Coverage related to breastfeeding support and supplies is protected under two separate provisions. Health plans must provide coverage for evidence-based items or services with a rating of 'A' or 'B' from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (PSTF). The PSTF “Breastfeeding: Primary Care Interventions (2016)” recommendations meet this standard. Health plans must also provide coverage for services designated as Essential Health Benefits, including breastfeeding support and supplies provided under the Women's Preventive Services Initiative. The latest ruling under the Braidwood case found the PSTF provision unconstitutional but preserves the preventive services component, which means that breastfeeding support and supplies should not be impacted. Because both parties have appealed the decision, these rulings remain in play.
Mothers and Newborns Success Act Introduced
Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Mothers and Newborns Success Act (S. 964). This bipartisan legislation promotes maternal health and reduces racial inequities in maternal and infant mortality by strengthening support for women during and after pregnancy, expanding maternal health research and data collection, and ensuring women are better matched with birthing facilities that meet their specific needs. Read the press release.
State & Community News
South Carolina Paid Leave Action Tool
The Women's Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN) created an action tool titled "Ask Your Senator to Support Parental Leave for Educators." South Carolina constituents can use the action tool to urge legislators to pass H. 3908, legislation which would provide school employees in South Carolina with the same six-week paid parental leave policy that was established for state employees in 2022. The South Carolina House passed H. 3908 in a unanimous vote.
Missouri Paid Family and Medical Leave Act Introduced
Missouri Representative Bland Manlove introduced the Missouri Paid Family Medical Leave Act (HB 1255). The bill would require employers with at least ten employees to provide family and medical leave to employees in the event of his or her own serious health condition, to care for a family member with a serious health condition; to bond with a child within one year of the birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption; or to participate in activities directly related to the educational advancement of the employee's child. Full-time employees would be entitled to up to eight weeks of paid leave, and part-time employees would be entitled to up to four weeks of paid leave.
New York State Department of Health Issues Funding to Support Breastfeeding
The New York State Department of Health is awarding $8.9 million in funding to support the implementation and expansion of locally-coordinated networks across the state that will promote and encourage breastfeeding and infant human milk feeding in priority communities with high rates of poverty and chronic disease through the Breastfeeding, Chestfeeding, and Lactation Friendly New York (BFF-NY) program. Award recipients will recruit community sites in selected priority communities and help them achieve and measure progress toward implementing policies and practices to improve breastfeeding support.
Connecticut Bills Introduced to Expand Unpaid Leave and Medicaid Coverage of Lactation Support
Connecticut Representative Kushner introduced An Act Expanding Connecticut FMLA to Noncertified School Employees (HB 6790). The bill would require Connecticut boards of education to provide benefits equal to those provided by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act to noncertified employees who have been employed for at least 12 months and worked at least 950 hours. In addition, Connecticut Representative Porter introduced An Act Concerning Medicaid Reimbursement for Community Health Workers (SB 991). The bill would require the Connecticut Department of Social Services commissioner to design and implement a program to provide Medicaid reimbursement to certified community health workers, including those providing prenatal, birth, lactation, and postpartum supports. Read the bill analysis.
Massachusetts Bills Introduced on Insurer Coverage of Lactation Support and Workplace Lactation Accommodations for Transportation Workers
Massachusetts Representative Barber introduced An Act to increase access to lactation care and services (HB 946). The legislation would establish a board of allied health professions, which may issue licenses for lactation care providers to individuals who meet certain requirements and require insurers to cover, without cost-sharing, lactation support services. In addition, Massachusetts Representative Moran introduced An Act establishing a transportation network driver bill of rights (HB 1099). The bill would prohibit Transportation Network Companies from denying an employee reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, or any condition related to pregnancy, including lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child.
Department of Health and Human Services:
First Nations Development Institute: Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship — 2024. Application deadline: May 17.
News & Views
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine: "It Feels Like a Slap in the Face: Women's Stories of Receiving Infant Formula Samples After Pregnancy Loss or Stillbirth."
Mamava: "How to Design a Lactation Space"
The Sun-Gazette: "Sierra View Medical Center Re-Designated as Baby-friendly through 2028"
International Breastfeeding Journal: "The role of doulas in providing breastfeeding support during the COVID-19 pandemic"
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