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.
Save the Date for the 2019 NBCC!
The USBC has announced that the Ninth National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening will be hosted on Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, 2019 in Bethesda, Maryland. Advocacy Day at the Capitol will take place before the conference on Wednesday, June 12. Details, including the call for presentation proposals, are coming soon!
Organizational Sign-On Letter Opportunities
The Paid Leave Constellation has launched two organizational sign on letters. Please sign on and share with your networks. Thank you to all the organizations who have already signed on!
- Sign on to a letter to Members of Congress highlighting how increased access to paid family leave can increase breastfeeding rates and improve health outcomes. The letter states that signing organizations stand ready to work with policymakers to establish at least 12 weeks of job-protected, paid family & medical leave as a self-funded insurance program that is affordable and cost-effective for workers, employers and the government, and is accessible to all workers, regardless of gender/marital status, and including military servicemembers. The deadline to sign on is Friday, November 16.
- Sign on to a letter urging legislators to seek correction for gaps in the Military Parental Leave Program (MPLP), established by the Department of Defense (DOD) in May 2018. When Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 they included language specifically instructing the DOD to establish a new parental leave program with the goal of creating a universal benefit applied equally to all members of the active armed services. The deadline to sign on is Friday, November 16.
Supplemental Disability Survey, summarized from NIH
The National Institutes of Health have announced that they will fund the collection of information from women with disabilities who give birth in the United States to supplement the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). PRAMS is a survey of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, administered by state health departments, and covers approximately 83 percent of U.S. births. The survey includes information on mothers' attitudes and experiences before, during and shortly after pregnancy, including information on breastfeeding. The supplemental disability survey is expected to be administered beginning in January 2019 in 22 states. Data are expected to be available by 2020.
Resource on MIECHV Awardees and Opioid Epidemic, summarized from HRSA
The Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, has released a resource titled "HRSA's Home Visiting Program: Supporting Families Impacted by Opioid Use and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome." The new resource for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) awardees and their state partners in early childhood, public health, and substance misuse and mental health treatment provides information about the opioid epidemic, opioid use disorder, and neonatal abstinence syndrome. It includes relevant research, offers strategies, and highlights promising efforts underway in Maine, Colorado, West Virginia, and Massachusetts.
Resource on Early Nutrition and Brain Development, summarized from 1,000 Days
1,000 Days has published a resource titled "Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days: A Foundation for Brain Development and Learning." The report summarizes research in neuroscience and early childhood development and shows how good nutrition in pregnancy, infancy, and toddlerhood plays a critical role in supporting children's learning and development.
Report on State Perinatal Quality Collaboratives and Breastfeeding Outcomes, summarized from ASTHO
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials has published a report titled "Perinatal Quality Collaboratives Support Breastfeeding." The report describes how state perinatal quality collaboratives have focused on improving maternal and child health outcomes by supporting efforts to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.
Fact Sheet on Federal Nutrition Programs, summarized from FRAC
The Food Research & Action Center has released a new fact sheet, "The Importance of the Federal Nutrition Programs for Infants and Toddlers." The paper provides a brief overview of the importance of early nutrition, summarizes the harmful impacts of food insecurity on infants and young children, and highlights research demonstrating the effective role of the federal nutrition programs during early childhood in improving food and economic security, dietary intake, health, and development. The report highlights breastfeeding support in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.
State-by-State Premature Birth Report Cards, summarized from MoD
March of Dimes has published the "2018 Premature Birth Report Cards." Each state's report card includes a letter grade comparing the 2017 preterm birth rate in a state or locality to March of Dimes' goal of 8.1 percent by 2020. Report Cards provide county and race/ethnicity data to highlight the importance of addressing equity in areas and populations with elevated risk of prematurity.
News from the Field
Column on Addressing Pregnancy Discrimination, summarized from CAP
The Center for American Progress has published a column titled "Efforts to Combat Pregnancy Discrimination: Confronting Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Bias." The column provides an overview of pregnancy discrimination charge data, describes harmful expectations for pregnant women and mothers in the workplace, and discusses state action to expand protections.
USBC Insights: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. Because lactation is a pregnancy-related medical condition, less favorable treatment of a lactating employee may raise an inference of unlawful discrimination under the PDA. USBC has published a series of state-by-state Guides to the Rights of Breastfeeding Employees. Each guide includes information about state and federal workplace breastfeeding laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Post-Election Briefing, summarized from SisterSong
Join SisterSong on Friday, November 16, from 12:30-2 p.m. ET for a webinar titled, "SisterSong Post-Election Briefing: What does it mean? What's next for Reproductive Justice?" The webinar will bring together a set of partners from a few key reproductive justice issue areas to share a post-election analysis and takeaways, how it will impact their issues, and what is next.
State & Community News
Breastfeeding and Disaster Readiness Toolkit, summarized from Michigan
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network has published the "System Changer's Guide To Breastfeeding and Disaster Readiness" as part of their Breastfeeding Roadblock Kits series. The guide describes best practices for safe infant feeding in an emergency and provides tools for equitable distribution of resources and access to breastfeeding support during times of crisis.
Breasteeding Bills Signed Into Law, summarized from California
California Governor Brown has signed a package of bills to protect and support women, children and working families across California. AB 2507 requires, on or before January 1, 2020, a county sheriff or the administrator of a county jail to develop and implement an infant and toddler breast milk feeding policy for lactating inmates detained in or sentenced to a county jail that is based on currently accepted best practices. AB 1976 amends existing California law to require employers to make reasonable efforts to provide an employee with use of a room or other location, other than a bathroom, for expressing breast milk. Temporary lactation locations must meet specified conditions, including that the temporary lactation location be used only for lactation purposes while an employee expresses milk. AB 2785 requires the California Community Colleges and the California State University to provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating student to express breast milk, breast-feed an infant child, or address other needs related to breast-feeding. The bill prohibits students from incurring an academic penalty as a result of their use of these reasonable accommodations.
Collective Impact Connection
Community Wellness Webinar, summarized from PHI
Join the Public Health Institute on Tuesday, November 27, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Partnering to Catalyze Comprehensive Community Wellness." Speakers from the Public Health Leadership Forum at RESOLVE and the Health Care Transformation Task Force will discuss developing a framework that supports enhanced collaboration between health care and public health entities, and will speak to their experiences working to develop and sustain cross-sector collaborations in their organizations and communities.
Evaluating Efforts to Scale Social Innovation, summarized from Tamarack
The Tamarack Institute has published an online resource titled "What We Know So Far About Evaluating Efforts to Scale Social Innovation." As changemakers, we are not always clear on what scaling means nor how efforts to scale should be properly evaluated, and because of this, successful approaches to change have seen limited impact. This resource offers what we know so far about why this is the case, and offers five things to keep in mind when thinking about scaling your social innovation.
Leadership in Community Webinar, summarized from LLC
Join the Leadership Learning Community on Thursday, November 29, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "LLC Webinar: Leadership in Community." Hear from Lisa Leverette and team members from Community Connections Grant Program about their revolutionary approach to supporting and edifying leadership for grassroots residents and youth in Detroit. Lisa and her team are challenging conventional ideas about 'capacity building' which assumes a deficit in specific skills when it's often a question of access to resources, and instead figuring out with community what kinds of support enables transformational community-driven change.
News & Views
Breastfeeding Medicine blog: "Reclaiming 'Breastfeeding' from 'Human Milk:' Politics, Public Health, and the Power of Money"
Employee Benefit News: "Home Depot, TripAdvisor among dozens of companies adding breast milk shipping benefit"
NICHQ Insights: "4 Strategies for Building a Public Health Social Movement"