The Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire e-Newsletter is a compendium of news, actions, and resources considered to be of interest or relevance to the breastfeeding field. The newsletter aims to support the USBC’s mission "To drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States." Included items are submitted for consideration or identified by the USBC e-news team via extensive online review. Whenever possible, the newsletter utilizes language directly from the primary source of an item without additional analysis or edits. In some cases, the USBC offers additional perspectives through the "USBC Insights," media and partner highlights, and the "News & Views" section. Inclusion of an item in the e-newsletter does not imply endorsement or support by the USBC of an item or organization, unless specifically noted.
Breastfeeding and HIV Funding Opportunity, summarized from USAID
The U.S. Agency for International Development has announced a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) titled "Reaching Pregnant Breastfeeding Women, Children, and Youth (RCAY) under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)." This five-year cooperative agreement will provide up to $195 million in total USAID funding. This NOFO is part of the RCAY project's goal to achieve and maintain HIV/AIDS epidemic control specifically for the most at-risk and hard to reach pregnant and breastfeeding (PBF) women, infants, children, and youth in PEPFAR-supported countries. Building on the current evidence base and successful practices, RCAY will work with countries to implement targeted interventions that are best poised to address gaps identified in current programming and do so either through a technical assistance model or direct service delivery. More details can be found in the NOFO, and applications are due by Thursday, November 1.
Information Memo on Increasing Father Engagement, summarized from HHS/ACF
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families has published a press release and information memorandum emphasizing the need to prioritize and enhance father engagement across ACF-funded programs. The press release, titled "Putting Fathers and Families at the Center of ACF Programs," details the intention behind the memo and emphasizes what local agencies can do to support fathers, including non-custodial caregivers. The memo, with the subject "Integrating Approaches that Prioritize and Enhance Father Engagement," highlights research findings that demonstrate the value of father involvement in the lives of children and families and identifies promising practices to promote and sustain meaningful father engagement, regardless of a father's physical location or custodial participation. The memo emphasizes that ACF and its offices strongly encourage all agencies to work together to ensure that meaningful father engagement is a central aspect of the work done across family serving state and county agencies.
USBC Insights: The Surgeon's General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding outlines 20 concrete action steps that must be taken to ensure that every family has the opportunity to breastfeed. Action two highlights the need to "develop programs to educate fathers and grandmothers about breastfeeding."
Fertility Trends Data Brief, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics has published a data brief titled "Trends in Fertility and Mother's Age at First Birth Among Rural and Metropolitan Counties: United States, 2007–2017." The report analyzed data from the birth data set, which is part of the National Vital Statistics System. The brief shows declines in the total fertility rate and increases in the mean age of mothers at first birth for rural, small or medium metro, and large metro counties in the United States from 2007 through 2017. It also demonstrates differences in total fertility rates and mean age at first birth between rural and metro counties.
Demographics Dashboard, summarized from HRSA
Health Resources & Services Administration has launched an interactive demographics dashboard that allows users to view and compare population, demographics, and HRSA program data nationally, by state, and by county. The tool combines census data with HRSA grant funding, shortage areas, loan repayment, and scholarship awards. The demographics dashboard is part of a larger project, data.hrsa.gov, which has other maps, dashboards, reports, and downloadable data files.
USBC Insights: The demographics dashboard can be used to demonstrate the need for breastfeeding program funding to improve health outcomes.
Podcast Discussion of Breastfeeding and Marijuana, summarized from IABLE
The Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding & Lactation Education (formerly The Milk Mob) has been featured on an episode of the Breastfeeding Medicine podcast titled, "Marijuana and Breastfeeding." The podcast speakers discuss the statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics on marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding and include recommendations about how to counsel families about marijuana use. The podcast is sponsored by the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and the episode is available on iTunes and the IABLE website.
Revised Committee Opinion on Breastfeeding Support and Obstetric Practice, summarized from ACOG
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Breastfeeding Expert Work Group and the Committee on Obstetric Practice have published an update to the committee opinion titled "Optimizing Support for Breastfeeding as Part of Obstetric Practice." The update includes additional guidance for obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers to better enable women in unique circumstances to achieve their breastfeeding goals.
#ThinkBabiesChat on Healthy Nutrition, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
Join ZERO TO THREE on Monday, October 29, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a Twitter chat on healthy nutrition for infants and toddlers and the role that federal nutrition programs and state policies can play in helping families and child care providers access nutritious foods. ZERO TO THREE will be joined by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, 1,000 Days, the Food Research and Action Center, and Voices for Healthy Kids. Join the conversation at hashtag #ThinkBabiesChat.
Change Through Leadership Webinar, summarized from TFAH
Join Trust for America's Health on Thursday, November 1, from 1:30-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Creating Change through Leadership: Two Extraordinary Leaders, a Mother and Daughter's Experiences Promoting Racial Equity." Speakers will discuss how change is created at the individual, community, organizational and systems levels and offer concrete examples of how leaders can experience "inside out change" in order to be effective equity leaders. They will also focus on our nation's unfinished work toward racial equity and the need to change the narrative and beliefs that fuel inequities.
Model Practices Program Application, summarized from NACCHO
The National Association of County and City Health Officials has opened applications for the 2019 Model Practices Program. The program honors and recognizes outstanding local health initiatives from across the nation and shares and promotes these practices among local health departments through the Model Practice Database. Online submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 13. A webinar recording is available with details on the application process.
Update on Safe Sleep Program summarized from First Candle
First Candle has published an article titled, "Program Spotlight: Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep." The Straight Talk program trains and fosters a collaboration between community leaders, social workers, public health providers and hospitals to educate new and expectant parents on how and why to create a safe sleep environment for their baby.
News from the Field
Systematic Review of Effect of Lactation on Hypertension, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine
Breastfeeding Medicine has published a systematic review titled "Effect of Lactation on Maternal Hypertension: A Systematic Review." The review found that the majority of studies that examined the relationship between lactation and maternal hypertension and/or blood pressure showed a positive association, including studies that examined short durations of lactation. These results further support the body of evidence that lactation alters maternal physiology in diverse and multisystem ways to confer cardiovascular benefit through mitigation of different disease processes. The beneficial association of breastfeeding on future maternal health should be incorporated into routine counseling for women before and throughout pregnancy, as well as during the postpartum period. The full-text article is available on the Breastfeeding Medicine website for free through Friday, November 23.
State and Community News
In-Hospital Breastfeeding Data, summarized from California
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division has announced that the 2017 in-hospital breastfeeding data have been posted to the CDPH In-Hospital Breastfeeding Initiation Data website. California in-hospital infant feeding practices are monitored using data collected by the Newborn Screening (NBS) Program. All non-military hospitals providing maternity services are required to complete the Newborn Screening Test Form. In addition to tracking genetic diseases and metabolic disorders, the NBS program gathers data on all infant feedings from birth to time of specimen collection, usually 24 to 48 hours since birth. The Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program staff analyze these data and publish breastfeeding rates by hospital, county and the State.
Collective Impact Connection
Appalachian Health Outcome Bright Spots, summarized from Community Commons
Community Commons has published a blog post titled "Bright Spots in Appalachia." The article discusses a series of recent reports examining health measures in the Appalachian region, including mortality and morbidity rates, lifestyle choices, health care systems, and social determinants known to influence health outcomes. The reports identify Appalachian counties with better-than-expected health, given each county's characteristics and resource levels, including ten Bright Spot counties.
Community Care Coordination Webinar, summarized from Nemours Children's Health Systems
Join Nemours on Tuesday, November 6, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Community Care Coordination Systems: Leveraging Technology to Close the Loop." Participants will learn about community care coordination systems and the role of technology applications that are emerging to "close the loop" between clinical and community services. Presenters will share perspectives from stakeholder interviews on challenges and accelerators, highlight findings from a survey of technology vendors, and provide recommendations for policymakers, community leaders, and public and private funders.
Public Charge Updates, summarized from Various
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has published a public comment opportunity in the Federal Register titled, "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds." Known as the public charge rule, DHS proposes to prescribe how it determines whether an immigrant is inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. The public comment period is open until Monday, December 10. Updates and new resources from members and partners include:
- National WIC Association: NWA has released template comments and guidelines for concerned participants who wish to submit comments on the proposed public charge rule. Translations of NWA template comments are available in the following languages (Note that DHS comments must be submitted in English or with an accompanying English translation):
- National Association of County and City Health Officials: NACCHO has launched an online action tool titled "Stop Regulation to Limit Access to Health and Social Services for Immigrants." Individuals can use the tool to submit comments to DHS on the proposed Public Charge rule.
Comment Period on Flores Agreement Ending, summarized from Families Belong Together
Families Belong Together has released an online action tool that individuals can use to submit a public comment on proposed changes to the Flores Settlement Agreement. The Flores agreement requires the government to release children from its custody as soon as possible and, if it cannot, the children must be held in state-licensed and child-appropriate facilities, and in the least restrictive setting possible. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services have proposed to amend these regulations. Public comments will be accepted until Tuesday, November 6.
USBC Insights: National, state, and local organizations are invited to sign on to USBC's joint statement on unlawful family separation. The USBC has released a statement expressing strong opposition to the zero-tolerance policy and also to the separation of children and caregivers.
Report on Women in Corporate America, summarized from LeanIn.Org/McKinsey & Company
LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company have released the 2018 version of "Women in the Workplace." The report is published annually to give companies and employees the information they need to advance women and improve gender diversity within their organizations. The publication looks at the under-representation of women in the corporate pipeline, the challenges that women face in the workplace, and it lays out actions companies can take to make progress on gender diversity.
USBC Insights: Policies and legislation to support time together after birth as well as to support breastfeeding following the return to work, have a significant impact on the experience of lactating employees. This includes unpaid and paid family leave; workplace accommodations such as reasonable break time and a clean, private pumping space; and child care practices that support the breastfeeding relationship. Access to paid family leave and workplace breastfeeding support is inequitable in its distribution across the United States. Low-income women are more likely than their higher income counterparts to return to work earlier and to have jobs that make it challenging for them to continue breastfeeding.
News & Views
The New York Times: "Miscarrying at Work: The Physical Toll of Pregnancy Discrimination"
The Daily Illini: "Lacking lactation spaces"
Lonely Planet Travel News: "Major airports in the US will now have to offer rooms for breastfeeding"
Indianapolis Colts: "Colts Add More Lactation Suites To Support Gameday Moms"