Weekly Wire: September 9, 2018

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.

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Federal News

Brief on Perinatal Mortality in the U.S., from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics has published a new brief titled "Lack of Change in Perinatal Mortality in the United States, 2014–2016." Based on data from the National Vital Statistics System, researchers found that the U.S. perinatal mortality rate was essentially unchanged from 2014 through 2016.

Proposed Rule on Federal Custody of Migrant Children, from DHS/HHS

The Department of Homeland Security and the Health and Human Services Department have proposed a new rule titled "Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children." The proposed rule would allow migrant children to remain in Federal custody indefinitely, lifting the 20-day limit and overturning over two decades of judicial oversight brought about by the 1997 Flores settlement agreement. Media highlights included:

USBC Insight: Nearly 500 children are still in government-run shelters without their parents, five weeks after the deadline imposed on the government to reunify children separated at the border. The USBC Statement on Unlawful Separation of Children and Families at the Border affirms our strong stance on the need for nations to preserve dignity through humane treatment of vulnerable children and families. 

National Preparedness Month Resources, from DHS

September is National Preparedness Month and this year's theme is "Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How." NPM features weekly themes and includes a National Day of action on September 15. The Department of Homeland Security has released a calendar and resources containing key marketing and preparedness messaging to print or share on social media channels throughout National Preparedness Month (NPM) and beyond. Visit the planning page to find social media content, web resources, and testimonials, and resources for each week's theme.

USBC Insight: USBC's Emergencies Webpage features key facts and resources on breastfeeding and emergencies. 

Public Comment Opportunity on Interventions to Prevent Perinatal Depression, from USPSTF

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released a new draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on interventions to prevent perinatal depression. USPSTF made a B recommendation finding that counseling can help prevent perinatal depression in women at increased risk. USPSTF recommendation statements influence which preventive services insurers are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act. The draft evidence review describes the studies the Task Force reviewed before developing the draft recommendation statement. Individuals and organizations are invited to review the drafts and submit comments by the deadline of Monday, September 24, at 8 p.m. ET. 

Dear Colleague Letter on Refugee Resettlement, from ORR

The Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement has issued a Dear Colleague Letter which clarifies that refugees will continue to be exempt from the "public charge" rule and will remain exempt regardless of modifications made to the rule through the planned Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the Department of Homeland Security.

USBC Insight: The National WIC Association has launched an Immigration Resources webpage as a central location for all materials related to public charge, increased ICE enforcement, and other issues related to the intersection of WIC and immigration. For more information about the proposed public charge rule, see the June 14, 2018 issue of the Weekly Wire.

Compliance Assistance Resources, from DOL

The Department of Labor's new Office of Compliance Initiatives has launched worker.gov and employer.gov, two websites to promote greater understanding of federal labor laws and regulations by workers and job creators. Worker.gov includes a pregnancy webpage which links to the Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet on Break Time for Nursing Mothers. Many of the employer.gov webpages are under construction. 

Member News

New Clinical Protocol, from ABM

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has released Clinical Protocol #29, Iron, Zinc, and Vitamin D Supplementation During Breastfeeding. The protocol reviews available evidence regarding iron, zinc, and vitamin D supplementation of the breastfeeding dyad, examines current research, and makes suggestions for future research.

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Resource Compilation, from ZERO TO THREE

ZERO TO THREE has worked with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health to launch a webpage featuring resources (available in both English and Spanish) for parents, caregivers, and professionals working with very young children who have been impacted by separation and other trauma. The webpage includes a directory of state infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) contacts who have volunteered to field inquiries and make connections to resources and clinicians.

Partner Updates

Empowering Parents Campaign, from WABA

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has launched the Empowering Parents Campaign. The campaign aims to empower parents with information and social protection measures that will enable them to make the best choice in infant feeding. WABA together with a broad alliance of partners/stakeholders will develop and advance a menu of actions to ensure that maternity, paternity and parental protection measures are recognised and included as part of social protection coverage that will ensure a healthy, just, gender equal society and survival as outlined in the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also focuses on Parent-Friendly Workplaces by providing incentives through the Seed Grant Project.

Fact Sheet on BFHI and WHO Code, from IBFAN-ICDC

The International Baby Food Action Network, International Code Documentation Centre has released "IBFAN-ICDC Fact Sheet: BFHI and the Code." The easy-to-view fact sheet summarizes the recently updated Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Implementation Guidance. The fact sheet also includes information on the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and World Health Assembly resolutions related to BFHI.

Lawsuit Challenging State Department, from ACLU

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the State Department's refusal to issue passports to U.S. citizens. The lawsuit charges that the State Department categorically questions the citizenship of virtually all midwife-delivered Mexican-Americans born in southern border states. According to the lawsuit, the State Department has been forcing these applicants to go to unreasonable lengths to prove their citizenship by providing an excessive number of documents that normally are not required. Then, even after the applicants supply further proof of their citizenship, the Department responds by summarily closing their applications. Media highlights included:

News From the Field

Study on City-Level Legislation Impacting Breastfeeding Employees, from Breastfeeding Medicine

The journal Breastfeeding Medicine has published an article titled, "Status of Legislative Efforts to Promote and Protect Breastfeeding and the Provision of Human Milk for Women Returning to Work in the First Postpartum Year." The study aimed to examine existing city-level legislation protecting the rights of women to breastfeed or express milk at their place of employment during the postpartum period. Data were collected from 118 cities (78.1%) with 33/151 cities (21.9%) failing to respond to any point of contact. Only 2 (1.3%) of the 151 US cities surveyed for this study have existing city-level legislation to protect the rights of all women returning to work in the postpartum period and pump or breastfeed while at work: New York City (NY) and Philadelphia (PA).  

Suppliers Required to Provide Paid Leave to Employees, from Microsoft

Microsoft has announced that it will begin requiring many of its U.S. suppliers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid parental leave to their employees. This is an expansion of a policy they introduced three years ago that requires suppliers to provide paid time off. In announcing their policy, they cited the important progress on paid leave in the states – particularly Washington – and the need for all working people to have access to paid leave. Highlights from the field included:

Best States to Work Index, from Oxfam

Oxfam has released a research report titled, "The Best States to Work Index: A Guide to Labor Policy in the US States." In an effort to understand the differences between states and to rank them, Oxfam constructed an index of labor and employment policies of all 50 states and Washington, DC. The result is the Best States to Work Index. Using this tool, legislators, labor advocates, and residents may see how the score of their state compares overall and in their region, identify labor policy priorities, and recognize underperforming states. This report also includes an in-depth analysis of state trends in three areas—wage, worker protection, and the right to organize. It attempts to identify low-hanging fruit, where efforts for improvement would likely yield quick results, through a strategic analysis of trends based on a comparison of the three dimensions, as well as trends in individual policies. Oxfam specifically recommends providing workplace protections for pregnant and breastfeeding workers.

Webinar on Public Charge Rule, from CHN

The Coalition on Human Needs has invited individuals to RSVP for the "Protect Immigrant Families Rapid Response Webinar." The date and time of the webinar have not yet been decided. Individuals who sign up via the form will automatically be registered once the webinar is scheduled. In the coming weeks, the Trump Administration will formally propose a public charge rule however it is unknown when the proposed rule change will be published. Following publication, CHN will organize a rapid response webinar to explain the public charge rule, why this change is so dangerous, and what we can do about it.  

Report on Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health, from NASEM

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has published "Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health Proceedings of a Workshop (2018)." On average, immigrants are healthier than native-born Americans. Yet, immigrants also are subject to the systematic marginalization and discrimination that often lead to the creation of health disparities. To explore the link between immigration and health disparities, the Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity held a workshop in Oakland, California, in November 2017. The summary highlights the presentations and discussions of the workshop.

Agenda for Policies that Support Workers, from EPI

The Economic Policy Institute released a report, "First Day Fairness: An agenda to build worker power and ensure job quality." The report describes how policymakers can help ensure all working people have a fair share of the economic growth they produce and have a say in their own working conditions. The agenda includes policies to improve job quality and working families' economic security such as paid sick days, fair and predictable schedules, and workplaces free from discrimination and harassment.

Report on Homelessness and Infant and Maternal Health Outcomes, from CHW

Children's HealthWatch has released a report titled, "Homelessness During Infancy: Associations With Infant and Maternal Health and Hardship Outcomes." The report demonstrates that infants under 12 months who experience homelessness are at a greater risk of poor health and development over the course of their lives compared to those who are housed. Notably, the report shows a slightly increased breastfeeding prevalance among individuals who experienced homelessness during infancy. 

Collective Impact Connection

Webinar on Evaluating Systems Change, from Tamarack

Join Tamarack on Tuesday, September 11, from 12-1 p.m. ET for a webinar entitled, "Planning an Evaluation of Systems Change." The webinar will explore the ideas and steps required to properly evaluate 'system changes' that emerge when tackling complex issues. This includes: systems concepts; leverage points; developmental evaluation approaches to support systems change; and, useful questions and tools for scoping out an intervention's theory of change, implementation process, and desired changes/outcomes at multiple levels.

State & Community News

Expanded Protections for Breastfeeding Employees, from Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law a bill that expands protections for employees needing to express breast milk in the workplace. The law amends the preexisting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act in several significant ways—most notably that break time provided for the expression of milk "may not reduce an employee's compensation" regardless of the length of the break. The amendments took effect immediately upon enactment on August 21, 2018.

Child Care Resource, from Michigan

The Michigan Breastfeeding Network has published the "System Changer's Guide to Child Care." The guide outlines key statistics on breastfeeding and child care, the role of child care and early education providers, national guidelines, and safe milk storage. The guide also includes recommendations for providers and policymakers and a reference list. 

News & Views

Breastfeeding Medicine: "Worldwide study on sudden infant death finds factors associated with poverty and racism are more important than bedsharing"

Politico: "Immigrants, fearing Trump crackdown, drop out of nutrition programs

A Better Balance blog: "Breastfeeding Moms Benefit from Paid Leave

Bklyner.: "New Breastfeeding Initiative Unveiled at Brooklyn Public Library



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