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: Welcoming New USBC Members, Free Pre-Conference Workshop, Celebrating World Health Day, and more
In this issue:
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
New USBC Members: Alameda County Breastfeeding Coalition & Sacred Waters Collective
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is pleased to welcome theAlameda County Breastfeeding Coalition and Sacred Waters Collective to the USBC membership! The Alameda County Breastfeeding Coalition mission is to collaborate as a community to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding for all families in Alameda County, California. Sacred Waters Collective, previously known as the Sacred Bundle Birthworker Collective, serves indigenous communities throughout the state of Michigan to reclaim and cultivate traditional birth and parenting practices that build stronger families and communities from birth onward. The USBC warmly welcomes both members to the USBC community!
NBCC Free Pre-Conference Workshop
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is pleased to be offering a free pre-conference workshop to conference attendees, "Critical Skill-Building Workshop: Leveraging Evaluation for Your Next Grant," on Thursday, June 8, in Bethesda, MD. Facilitators Calondra Tibbs from Trifecta Advising, and Kimberley Broomfield-Massey from Urban Metrics will lead a four-hour, two-part workshop from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET (with lunch break) designed to help participants develop critical skills related to implementing effective evaluations and funding acquisitions for their communities. Part one focuses on program evaluation, and part two focuses on proposal development. Registration is free and separate from the conference registration, with donations appreciated but not mandated. Download the flyer to learn more, and register.
Sign-On Letter Deadline Reminder: Increasing Breastfeeding Funding in Fiscal Year 2024
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is coordinating an organizational sign-on letter calling for increased funding for the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding line item. This program supports a wide range of efforts to improve maternity care practices, increase access to lactation support, increase workplace support, and address disparities in breastfeeding rates. These high-value, low-cost public health interventions are good for families, public health, and the economy, but funding levels fall far short of what is needed. The deadline to be included in the initial delivery of the joint letter to members of the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees is Monday, April 10.
The New USBC Store Is Live! Shop Today and Make a Difference for Babies and Families
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee launched the new USBC online store featuring a range of exclusive designs! Visit the store to purchase a special gift to honor and celebrate those who hold the nation's youngest in their care. You'll find coffee mugs, tote bags, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and other apparel available just in time for the many spring celebrations before us, including Mother's Day, Non-Binary Parent's Day, and Father's Day. A few dollars of every purchase support USBC advocacy efforts, and there is an option to add a donation. Thank you for supporting the USBC with your thoughtful gifts!
World Health Day & WHO 75th Anniversary
Today, April 7, is World Health Day and the 75th anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO is celebrating its 75th anniversary year by reflecting back on the public health successes that have improved the quality of life for individuals all over the world during the past seven decades. The "Public health milestones through the years" timeline features some of WHO's most memorable milestone achievements, including the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes, which was adopted by WHO in 1981. Read the press release.
Global Big Latch On 2023
Women's Health Action is coordinating the Global Big Latch On 2023 in person and virtually from Friday, April 14, through Sunday, April 16. The Global Big Latch On is a peer support and community development range of events that take place around the world, where people gather together to breastfeed and offer peer support to each other. Previously held each August, the shift to April aims to reduce complications that arise from holding in-person events during the cold and flu season in the Southern Hemisphere and avoid the more extreme weather typically experienced in August globally. Any individual, organization, community group or company interested in promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding may register to host a Global Big Latch On location.
USBC Insight: USBC member organization, Mom2Mom Global, is hosting a "Virtual Big Latch On" as part of this global event series on Saturday, April 15, at 2 p.m. ET. Visit the Global Big Latch On website to search for additional events, and those taking place near you.
Request for Proposals on Diversifying the Lactation Field
BreastfeedLA issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) titled "Diversifying the Field of Lactation Through Building Your Own Clinical Program." The RFP is open to breastfeeding coalitions, cultural groups, and organizations across the United States that are serving or advocating for breastfeeding families and are passionate about diversifying the lactation workforce. BreastfeedLA will provide grant funding, technical assistance, training, mentorship, and resources to two organizations in order for them to develop a Clinical Lactation Training program that supports Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and other underrepresented students in their lactation education. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET.
Request for Comments on Perinatal and Child Birth Experience Survey
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality issued a public comment opportunity titled "Potential Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Survey on Prenatal and Childbirth Care Experiences in Ambulatory and Inpatient Settings: Request for Information." The agency is seeking input about survey characteristics and data collection approaches regarding prenatal and childbirth care during labor and delivery, and during patient stays in the hospital or birthing center. Comments can be submitted through Friday, May 5, to CAHPS1@westat.com with the subject line “Prenatal and Childbirth Care Experience Survey RFI.”
Webinar for Employers on the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act
Mamava is hosting a webinar, "Unpacking the PUMP Act: What Employers Need to Know," on Wednesday, April 12, at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will detail the expanded legal requirements under the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act, discuss employee rights and responsibilities, and describe ways employers can comply with the new law. The webinar is designed to help employers understand the impact this new law will have on their workplace.
Webinar for State & Local Advocates on PWFA & PUMP
A Better Balance is hosting a webinar, "The Newly Passed Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and PUMP Act: What State & Local Partners Need to Know," on Monday, April 10, at 3 p.m. ET. This webinar will cover what the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act mean for workers, how they will interact with other federal, state, and local laws, and provide information on the implementation and enforcement of these new laws.
Webinar Discussion on Workplace Challenges for Black Mothers
The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting a webinar, "Black Mothers at Work: A Discussion on Workplace Challenges and Supports," on Tuesday, April 11, from 1-2:30 p.m. ET. The presentation will feature a discussion on how workplace conditions impact black maternal health and the legal protections that can support black mothers during pregnancy, after giving birth, and when returning to work. This event coincides with Black Maternal Health Week, taking place April 11-17.
White House Challenge to End Hunger
The White House launched the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities, a nationwide call-to-action to stakeholders to make commitments to advance the President's goal to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases, while reducing disparities by 2030. Actions taken by organizations and communities under the Challenge will help drive progress in implementing the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. Complete the interest form to join the challenge.
USBC Insight: Infant nutrition security is a critical part of the conversation on ending hunger and building healthier communities. The National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health calls for expanded breastfeeding support and counseling for mothers, including through the WIC program, workplace lactation support, and insurer coverage of lactation support, supplies, and counseling. This challenge provides an opportunity to further integrate infant nutrition security into the initiative. Learn more about the importance of infant nutrition security, particularly in light of the recent formula shortage crisis, in the USBC blog, "The Four Pillars of Infant Nutrition Security in the United States."
Special Supplement on CDC Programs to Reduce Chronic Disease
The journal Health Promotion Practice published a special supplement, "Reducing Chronic Disease through Physical Activity and Nutrition: More Public Health Practice in the Field." The journal edition highlights innovative community-centered practices and interventions funded through the following CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) programs: State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN), Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), and High Obesity Program (HOP). The articles discuss program efforts to advance nutrition and physical activity among priority populations in a variety of settings. The following articles specifically include a breastfeeding focus or component:
Hearing on FDA Response to Infant Formula Crisis
The House Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services held an oversight hearing, "FDA Oversight Part I: The Infant Formula Shortage," on Tuesday, March 28. During the hearing, the subcommittee met with food safety experts to discuss the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) response to the infant formula shortage crisis. Specifically, the meeting discussed how the infant formula crisis occurred, how the FDA's response to it could have been handled better, and to determine whether the FDA is able to prevent a future crisis of this nature from occurring. Highlights from the field include:
Report on Improving Maternal Health Equity
The National Partnership for Women and Families released a report, "Raising the Bar for Maternal Health Equity and Excellence: Actionable Strategies for Healthcare Systems." The report is a practical guide designed to support healthcare provider institutions in creating a tailored approach to providing quality care that meets the needs of birthing families and ultimately reduce inequities and improve maternal health experiences and outcomes. The report identifies a variety of opportunities to increase support for breastfeeding in health care and workplace settings.
State & Community News
Washington Bill Introduced to Create Lactation Consultant Certification and Expand Medicaid Coverage
A bipartisan group of Washington state senators introduced a bill titled Creating a new health profession for lactation consultants (SB 5470). The bill would create a voluntary certification process for lactation consultants and directs the state Health Care Authority to ensure the services of certified lactation consultants are covered under the state Medicaid program.
Alabama WIC Program Expands Access to Breastfeeding Support
The Alabama Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program announced expanded access to breastfeeding support services. The program now offers unlimited, 24/7 virtual video access to infant feeding support by connecting participants to a nationwide network of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC's), in addition to direct access to breastfeeding support in local WIC clinics across the state.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Representative Miller introduced the Family Care Act (HB 181) to establish a paid family and medical leave insurance program in the state of Pennsylvania. The program would be administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and funded through small payroll contributions to provide a maximum of twenty weeks of paid leave. Eligible employees would be able to care for themselves in the event of a serious health condition, care for a close family member with a serious health condition, care for an aging parent or a new child, or care for a member of the military in qualifying exigent circumstances. Benefits will be calculated on a graduated scale (using a percentage of the statewide average weekly wage) to ensure the program is accessible to low-wage workers.
Oklahoma Bill Introduced to Increase Medicaid Reimbursement for Baby-Friendly Designated Hospitals
Oklahoma Senator Hicks introduced SB 183. The bill would adjust the reimbursement methodology under Medicaid, increasing the reimbursement for births taking place in Baby-Friendly designated facilities.
Oklahoma Senate Advances Paid Maternity Leave for Teachers
Oklahoma Senator Pugh introduced and the Oklahoma Senate passed SB 364, which would give full-time public school district employees eight weeks of paid maternity leave. Eligible employees would be able to use this in addition to sick time or unpaid leave currently available. Media highlights include:
South Carolina House Advances Parental Leave for Teachers
A group of South Carolina Representatives introduced and the South Carolina House of Representatives passed H. 3908, a bill that would provide public school teachers and staff six weeks of paid parental leave. Last year, South Carolina started offering paid family leave to state employees. This bill would extend the program to public school employees. Media highlights include:
Lever for Change: Yield Giving Open Call. Application Deadline: June 12.
News & Views
Alive & Thrive:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: "Biden-Harris Administration Announces the Expansion of Medicaid Postpartum Coverage in Oklahoma; 30 States and D.C. Now Offer a Full Year of Coverage After Pregnancy"
Collective Impact Forum: "Trusting the Messiness in Collective Impact"
HealthyHorizons: "From Clay Pots to Wearable Pumps: A Brief History of Breast Pumping"
MCH Bridges: The Official AMCHP Podcast: "Episode #13: Healing Through Breastfeeding: Honoring the Past, Investing in the Future"
New Haven Register: "Letter to the editor: Human milk banks needed for human babies"
The Oklahoman: "Post-pregnancy SoonerCare coverage expanded from 2 to 12 months"
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