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.
In this Issue:
- USBC Updates
- Background Document on Healthy People 2030 Objective Proposal
- Supporting Working Moms Act and Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act Update
- NBCC Webinar Recording
- Federal News
- Federal Legislation Update, summarized from Congress
- Draft Strategic Plan for Nutrition Research, summarized from NIH
- Preventing Child Obesity Challenge Winners, summarized from HRSA/MCHB
- PHHS Block Grant Evaluation Report, summarized from HRSA/MCHB
- Open Enrollment Deadline, summarized from Healthcare.gov
- Member News
- Early Infant Feeding Brief, summarized from ASPHN
- Partner News
- Employer Scorecard Released, summarized from PL+US
- News from the Field
- Voices for Healthy Kids Funding Opportunity, summarized from RWJF/AHA
- State/Community News
- Executive Order Requiring Pregnancy Accommodations, summarized from North Carolina
- Breastfeeding Promotion Resources, summarized from Pennsylvania
- Collective Impact Connection
- Webinar on Funder/Grantee Feedback Loops, summarized from CIF
- Article on Communication with Policymakers, summarized from SSIR
- Equity Elements
- Report on Public Policy and Healthy Development, summarized from CLASP/ZERO TO THREE
- Racial Disparities in Infant and Maternal Mortality, summarized from CAP
- News & Views
Background Document on Healthy People 2030 Objective Proposal
The USBC has developed a background document titled, "Overview of Healthy People 2030 Objective Proposal and Public Comment Opportunity." The document provides background information on the Healthy People initiative, explores how the initiative impacts breastfeeding families, the history of breastfeeding objectives in Healthy People, and the proposed objectives for Healthy People 2030. Key messages and sample talking points will be shared in future editions of the Weekly Wire to support individuals and organizations responding to the public comment opportunity.
Supporting Working Moms Act and Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act Update
The First Food field has continued to call on Members of Congress to pass simple breastfeeding policy solutions before the 115th Congressional Session comes to a close. The Supporting Working Moms Act would extend lactation accommodation protections to salaried employees, including elementary and secondary school teachers. The Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act would require that certain public buildings provide a lactation room that is hygienic and available for use by members of the public. Individuals have sent nearly 8,000 messages to legislators. Thanks to these efforts, two new Senators have joined as SWMA cosponsors and sponsors of both bills have pushed committee leaders to prioritize action in what remains of the session. Congress is no longer expected to adjourn this week, so there is still time to pass these important bills. Please contact your Members of Congress about the Supporting Working Moms Act and Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act with our easy action tool and share USBC's tweets calling on committee leaders to move these bills out of committee:
- Tweet the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
- Tweet the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act sponsors
- Tweet the House Committee on Education and Workforce
- Tweet the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Tweet the Supporting Working Moms Act sponsors
NBCC Webinar Recording
USBC has published the recording of the recent webinar titled, "Everything you Need To Know About the 2019 NBCC." Presented as part of the CDC-USBC Bimonthly Webinar series, presenters discuss the date and location for the June 2019 National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening, share upcoming deadlines for the call for proposals, and answer questions about the conference.
Federal Legislation Update, summarized from Congress
The 115th Congressional Session has seen a flurry of activity in its final days.
- The president has signed a Continuing Resolution to fund several federal departments through Friday, December 21, avoiding a partial government shutdown.
- The House and Senate have passed the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act (H.R. 315/S. 783) and it has been presented to the president for signature. The bill amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Health Resources and Services Administration to identify areas that have a shortage of maternity care health professionals and assign providers to those areas.
- The House has passed the Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early Reauthorization Act of 2018, known as the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act of 2018. The legislation supports the implementation of the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Survey and the Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. The PREEMIE Act has already passed the Senate, which means that the final step will be signature by the president.
- The House has passed the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (H.R. 1318). The bill authorizes a dedicated grant program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support state maternal mortality reviews.
- Representative Doug Collins (GA-9) has introduced the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act (FIRST STEP Act). The bill includes a provision that would prohibit the use of restraints on prisoners during the period of pregnancy, labor, and postpartum recovery.
Draft Strategic Plan for Nutrition Research, summarized from NIH
The National Institutes of Health, Nutrition Research Task Force, has published a draft of the "Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research." The document will serve as a guide to accelerate basic, translational, and clinical research, as well as research training activities, over the next 10 years with a specific focus on the impact of diet and nutrition related to all health conditions. Research priorities are outlined around seven Themes and cross-cutting research areas. Each Theme contains major research priorities and examples of related research activities. Theme 2—Assess the Role of Nutrition and Dietary Patterns in Development, Health, and Disease across Life Stages—includes the following scientific priorities related to breastfeeding: Research Nutrition in the Birth-to-24 Month Period; Assess the Influence of Diet and Nutritional Status on Infant Developmental and Health Outcomes; Enhance Knowledge of Human Milk Composition and the Biological Roles of its Components; and Optimize Nutritional Support for Premature and Low Birthweight Infants. The report is available for public comment through Saturday, December 15.
Preventing Child Obesity Challenge Winners, summarized from HRSA/MCHB
The U.S. Health and Resources Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, has announced 10 winners from Phase 1 of the "Using Technology to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Low-Income Families and Communities Challenge." The Challenge supports creating innovative solutions that empower low-income families to achieve healthy eating practices, healthy lifestyles, and other sustainable changes both at home and in their communities. Phase 1 winners will be targeting different populations, including: breastfeeding mothers, children ages birth to 19, Latino families, families with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and American Indian and Alaska Native families.
PHHS Block Grant Evaluation Report, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support has released a report titled, "Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant Evaluation Report." CDC's Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support is conducting an ongoing evaluation of the Public Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant. The evaluation assesses the grant's value (i.e., its benefits and contributions) and describes and measures select outputs and outcomes, with the aim of strengthening performance and accountability. The evaluation assesses the grant as a whole—not individual grantee activities or outcomes. See the web-based summary.
Open Enrollment Deadline, summarized from Healthcare.gov
Healthcare.gov has published a blog titled, "Time's running out for 2019 Marketplace insurance." Open Enrollment for 2019 Marketplace insurance ends Saturday, December 15. Visit Healthcare.gov for tools and resources to help you select a plan.
USBC Insights: All Marketplace health plans and many other plans must cover certain preventive services for women without charging a copayment or coinsurance, including breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling. MomsRising has published an Open Enrollment Toolkit to help individuals and organizations raise awareness about open enrollment deadlines.
Early Infant Feeding Brief, summarized from ASPHN
The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists has published a brief titled, "Guidelines and Health Conditions Related to Timing of Early Infant Feeding." The publication includes relevant findings and proposed supportive measures to address infant feeding practices, including the timing of complementary foods and the link to health conditions such as obesity, food sensitivity, allergies and anemia.
Employer Scorecard Released, summarized from PL+US
PL+US has released the "2018 Employer Scorecard." Since its founding, PL+US has surveyed top U.S. employers to determine the state of paid family leave in the private sector, who has access to paid family leave and who doesn't, and what that says about the need for change in both corporate and public policy. The 2018 scorecard tracks 70 companies' parental, medical, and caregiving policies, whether they're provided for all parents and all employees, and for the first time ever also tracks whether the employer supports public policy solutions for paid family leave. The scorecard includes research, rankings, and analysis of emerging trends in the paid leave policies at the 70 largest U.S. employers.
News from the Field
Voices for Healthy Kids Funding Opportunity, summarized from RWJF/AHA
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Health Association have announced a funding opportunity titled "Voices for Healthy Kids." The goal of the grant opportunities within this initiative is to make effective strategic investments in ongoing state, local, and tribal public policy issue campaigns in order to increase public policy impact on healthy weight and living among children. Applications should support at least one "Voices for Healthy Kids Policy Lever." Activities under the early care & education policy lever include, establish statewide nutrition, physical activity, sugary drink, water access and screen time standards for early childcare providers. The application deadline is Friday, January 11, and award notifications will be sent Friday, February 15.
Executive Order Requiring Pregnancy Accommodations, summarized from North Carolina
North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper, has signed an Executive Order providing pregnancy accommodations for state employees. The order also directs cabinet agencies to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against pregnant state employees. The governor's office has published a fact sheet about the order.
Breastfeeding Promotion Resources, summarized from Pennsylvania
Philadelphia's Department of Public Health, Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health has developed free downloadable resources featuring the phrase "Feeding your baby is normal." Resources are available in English and Spanish and include postcards, posters, and an informational brochure to distribute to new moms.
Collective Impact Connection
Webinar on Funder/Grantee Feedback Loops, summarized from CIF
Join the Collective Impact Forum on Monday, December 17, from 3-4:30 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Prioritizing Feedback Loops: Lessons from Funders and Grantee Partners." Presenters will discuss challenges and success factors for funders to establish ongoing feedback practices and prioritize listening with grantees and those with lived experience.
Article on Communication with Policymakers, summarized from SSIR
The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an article titled "Eight Tips for Communicating Ideas to Busy Policymakers." The article explores how foundations, nonprofits, and others can effectively convey—and convince policymakers to support—their programs and proposals for social change. The author outlines eight things social sector leaders should keep in mind when developing op-eds, presentations, or letters they intend to share with policymakers.
Report on Public Policy and Healthy Development, summarized from CLASP/ZERO TO THREE
The Center for Law and Social Policy and ZERO TO THREE have published a report titled "Building Strong Foundations: Racial Inequity in Policies that Impact Infants, Toddlers, and Families." The report explains how public policy undermines young children of color's healthy development and highlights key examples in recent history and their continued effects today. This report is part of the Building Strong Foundations: Advancing Comprehensive Policies for Infants, Toddlers, and Families project.
Racial Disparities in Infant and Maternal Mortality, summarized from CAP
The Center for American Progress has posted the recording from their event titled "Eliminating Racial Disparities in Maternal and Infant Mortality." Speakers included Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and a panel of women of color experts in the maternal and child health field.
News & Views
Penn Today: "An Issue Americans Agree On: Investing in Public Health"