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
- Welcome New USBC Member: Appalachian Breastfeeding Network!
- Conference Registration Now Open
- Racial Equity Webinar
- Power Tools Webinar
- Open Call for Nominations for the USBC Board of Directors
- Federal News
- President's FY2020 Budget Released, summarized from The White House
- Overtime Proposal Update Released, summarized from DOL
- Dietary Guidelines Public Meeting and Public Comment Opportunity, summarized from USDA/HHS
- New Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Webpage, summarized from USDA
- Funding Opportunity for Native American Organizations, summarized from CDC
- Healthy People 2030 Webcast, summarized from HHS
- Updated Program Fact Sheets, summarized from HRSA
- Members News
- New WIC Fact Sheets, summarized from NWA
- #March4Nutrition Campaign, summarized from 1,000 Days
- Partner News
- International Women's Day Statement, summarized from WABA
- News from the Field
- Breastfeeding Advocacy Toolkit, summarized from UNICEF/WHO
- Collective Impact Connection
- Article on Skilled Changemakers, summarized from Tamarack
- Equity Elements
- Maternal Mortality Summit Report, summarized from HRSA
- Maternal Mortality Funding Opportunity, summarized from CDC
- News & Views
Welcome New USBC Member: Appalachian Breastfeeding Network!
The Appalachian Breastfeeding Network (ABN) is a new Breastfeeding Coalition Member of the USBC dedicated to transforming breastfeeding culture in Appalachia by providing empowerment and education to increase access to care. The ABN was formed in 2016 in response to the staggering breastfeeding rates in their region and the need to address cultural barriers to breastfeeding in Appalachia. The ABN is currently working on several initiatives across the Appalachian states including their hospital education initiative which focuses on providing evidence-based information to nurses and physicians with a special emphasis on Appalachian culture and barriers associated with breastfeeding for this group. Learn more about their wonderful work here!
Conference Registration Now Open
The USBC has opened registration for the Ninth National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening (NBCC), to be held June 14 & 15, in Bethesda, Maryland. Registration is also open for the USBC Membership Meeting and Advocacy Day. There are several discounted conference registration categories, including USBC member representatives, breastfeeding coalition representatives, and WIC employees. Register by logging into the website and using our online form. The theme for this year, Taking Equity from Theory to Practice: Advancing Inclusive and Collaborative Breastfeeding Support highlights the event's unique intersection of public health topics, equity learning sessions, and peer sharing. The NBCC will be packed with speakers, events, and networking opportunities. Explore the Preliminary Program Schedule for more information about the event agenda. We also hope you'll consider joining us for Advocacy Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, June 12, and USBC Member Organizations are invited to participate in the USBC Membership Meeting on Thursday, June 13. See you in June!
Racial Equity Webinar
Join us on Tuesday, March 26, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET for the next webinar in the Racial Equity series titled "Secure Your Own Mask Before Helping Others: Confronting Implicit Bias within Ourselves." Speakers from the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color will address how structural racism is held up by both explicit and implicit bias, how structural racism is a system that we all inherited, and why it is now our responsibility to change it. Attendees will learn how to perform a critical self-assessment to identify some of their own implicit biases. Register for the Racial Equity Webinar Series to access the webinar.
Power Tools Webinar
Join us on Wednesday, March 20, from 2-3 p.m. ET for the next webinar in the Power Tools series titled, "Alameda County Breastfeeding Coalition: Organizing for Effectiveness." Speakers from the Alameda County Breastfeeding Coalition, a "tiny but mighty" coalition from California's diverse San Francisco Bay Area will describe how their community of breastfeeding advocates have grown stronger and more effective by using tools such as community needs assessments, results-based meeting agendas, leadership sharing, and subcommittee formation for breastfeeding equity and special projects. This award-winning coalition will share their journey of organizing for effectiveness step-by-step to encourage listeners to embrace challenges and maximize their coalition's relevance. Register for the Power Tools Webinar Series to access the webinar.
Open Call for Nominations for the USBC Board of Directors
The USBC Nominating Committee has announced the Open Call for Nominations to generate a slate of candidates and elect a new cohort to the USBC Board of Directors! This year we will be electing a Treasurer and an additional two (2) Elected Directors from among the Voting Members' representatives to the USBC. If you would like the Nominating Committee to consider you as a candidate this year, or if you know a talented member of the community you would like to nominate, please complete the nomination survey by Friday, March 22. Download a preview of the nomination survey. Please note that, per USBC bylaws, only USBC member representatives are eligible for board service.
President's FY2020 Budget Released, summarized from The White House
The White House has released "Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2020." The report contains the Budget Message of the President, information on the President's priorities, and summary tables. The budget also includes analyses that are designed to highlight specified subject areas or provide other significant presentations of budget data that place the budget in perspective. The Budget requests $5.8 billion to serve all projected participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; requests $87.1 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a 12-percent decrease from the 2019 estimated level; requests $750 million in spending cuts to CDC's program level, compared with FY19, an approximate 10 percent reduction to CDC's overall program budget; and includes a paid parental leave proposal which consists of $28,233 million in benefit and program administration costs, offset by $7,770 million in savings associated with increased State revenues. In addition, the Budget supports enactment of legislation modeled after the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill proposed in September 2017 to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The budget also requests funding to "Establish an Unaccompanied Alien* Children Contingency Fund." Find additional supporting materials on the Office of Management and Budget President's Budget webpage and find additional details in the HHS Budget In Brief and USDA FY 2020 Budget Summary.
USBC Insights: Each federal budget is developed for what is called a Fiscal Year, which begins on October 1st and runs through September 30th of the following year. Developing a federal budget begins with the President submitting a budget plan. The President's budget reflects the vision, values, and priorities of the Administration and will set the stage for the federal budget negotiation process. Congress then develops its budget plan, called the budget resolution, to set a total amount for spending in the year ahead. The budget total is sent to the House and Senate appropriations committees, where it is divided among 12 subcommittees each charged with developing an appropriations bill.
The President's 2020 budget requests sizeable increases in defense spending and steep cuts of over $2.7 trillion to federal programs. The Department of Agriculture WIC funding request is a $275 million (4.5%) reduction from the FY 2019 bipartisan appropriated level, and $350 million less than the funding advocated for by the National WIC Association. Importantly, HHS has 11 operating divisions, including several federal agencies that are working to support breastfeeding families, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and Health Resources and Services Administration. The President's budget does not address funding for the CDC's Breastfeeding Support Programs and the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, however reductions in the overall HHS budget could impact these and other programs, thus requiring strong advocacy measures from the field.
In addition, dismantling the ACA without providing an alternate solution could have a significant impact on breastfeeding families. The ACA includes three provisions that have a direct impact on breastfeeding: Breastfeeding Supports as a Preventive Service, Workplace Breastfeeding Support ("Break Time for Nursing Mothers" provision), and Funding for CDC Breastfeeding Programs via the Prevention & Public Health Fund. In addition, loss of health coverage in general would result in reduced access to preventive services, including breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling. The Budget also slashes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $220 billion (a 30% decrease) over ten years. While permanently extending the 2017 tax cuts which mostly benefitted the high-income tax payer, the President's budget proposes deep cuts not only in FY 2020, but in the following years as well, greatly exacerbating the burden on low and low-middle income individuals, families and communities in our nation. By gutting Medicare and underfunding critical public health, food assistance and housing programs, restricting health care services, education, job training, housing and other core human needs programs, the existing deep economic and health inequities in our nation will widen further. This budget also deviates from the bipartisan budget agreement reached in 2018.
The USBC does not condone the use of the word "alien" to describe people immigrating to the US. This word is included solely because it was in the budget report published by The White House.
Member and partner highlights on the President's Budget release included:
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: "2020 Trump Budget: A Disturbing Vision"
- National WIC Association: "Weekly WIC Policy Update"
- Trust for America's Health: "President's Proposed FY20 Budget Will Harm the Nation's Public Health"
Overtime Proposal Update Released, summarized from DOL
The U.S. Department of Labor has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking titled "Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees." Under currently enforced law, employees with a salary below $455 per week ($23,660 annually) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. Workers making at least this salary level may be eligible for overtime based on their job duties. This proposal would boost the proposed standard salary level to $679 per week (equivalent to $35,308 per year). Above this salary level, eligibility for overtime varies based on job duties.
USBC Insights: By increasing the number of employees who are considered eligible for overtime (nonexempt) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the proposal also expands the right to workplace accommodations for breastfeeding under the federal "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law. DOL previously issued a Final Rule updating overtime regulations in 2016 which would have raised the standard salary to $47,476. Just before it went into effect, however, a federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction suspending its implementation and the court ultimately held that the Final Rule was invalid. Find more information on the impact of overtime on breastfeeding employees in the USBC's 2017 Public Comments on Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees.
Dietary Guidelines Public Meeting and Public Comment Opportunity, summarized from USDA/HHS
The Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have published a notice in the Federal Register titled "Announcement of First Meeting of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and Request for Comments." The notice announces the first meeting of the newly appointed 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The first public meeting will be held on Thursday, March 28, and Friday, March 29. This meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible by webcast or by attendance in-person. To register, go to www.DietaryGuidelines.gov and click on the link for "Meeting Registration." Online registration begins Tuesday, March 19, and closes at 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 26. Additionally, this notice opens a public comment period that will remain open until early 2020, throughout the Committee's deliberations. The public is encouraged to submit comments to the Committee related to their scientific review of the specific topics and supporting scientific questions on nutrition and health – from birth to older adulthood.
USBC Insight: During the past year, USBC has brought you updates on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), released jointly by the USDA and HHS every 5 years. Beginning with the 2020 edition, the DGA will expand to include for the first time, guidance for infants and toddlers (from birth to age 24 months) and women who are pregnant. The USBC is collaborating with partner organizations to engage the First Food field in advocating for these key population groups during the development of the DGAC scientific report as well as the final Dietary Guidelines released by USDA and HHS. Please stay tuned for upcoming action opportunities for public input to urge that the 2020 dietary guidelines development process is based on the most recent, salient, and evidence-based science and is free of industry bias.
New Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Webpage, summarized from USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added a pregnant and breastfeeding moms section to the ChooseMyPlate.gov website. The section provides information on a number of topics, including making healthy food choices, weight loss while breastfeeding, and nutritional needs while breastfeeding.
Funding Opportunity for Native American Organizations, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) titled "Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country." The Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) program has long-term goals of reducing rates of death and disability from tobacco use, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and reducing the prevalence of obesity. GHWIC supports a coordinated, holistic approach to healthy living and chronic disease prevention using community-chosen, culturally adapted policies, systems, and environmental improvements to achieve these goals. This 3-year funding opportunity supports tribal practices that build resiliency and connections to community, family, and culture, which over time, can reduce risk factors for chronic disease among American Indians and Alaskan Natives. This NOFO has three separate, competitive components with eligibility and scope of work requirements for each. Applicants must submit a separate application for each component for which they are applying. More detailed information on program strategies and collaboration can be found in the NOFO. Applications are due Wednesday, May 15.
Healthy People 2030 Webcast, summarized from HHS
The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that the next meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 will take place on Tuesday, March 27, from 2-5:00 p.m. ET. The Committee will continue its deliberations regarding the Nation's health promotion and disease prevention objectives and develop recommendations regarding the proposed Healthy People 2030 objectives. The meeting will be held via webcast and is open to the public. Individuals must pre-register to attend.
Updated Program Fact Sheets, summarized from HRSA
The Health Resources & Services Administration has published "FY 2018 HRSA Fact Sheets." The fact sheets provide summary data about HRSA's major programs, including information on the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home visiting program and the Healthy Start program. Fact sheets are sorted by scope of area, including national, state/territorial, county, and congressional district.
New WIC Fact Sheets, summarized from NWA
The National WIC Association has developed several new fact sheets that address the positive impact of the WIC program, WIC breastfeeding peer counselor program expansion, and how WIC works with other social services. Access new fact sheets below, and see all of NWA's fact sheets and other publications on their website.
- Breastfeeding Peer Counselors: A Successful Program that Should be Expanded
- 2019 State Advocacy Priorities
- Support the Wise Investment in our Children (WIC) Act
- WIC, Medicaid, and SNAP: Teaming up to Improve the Health of Women and Children
- The WIC Food Chain: How WIC Supports Farmers and Retailers
#March4Nutrition Campaign, summarized from 1,000 Days
In honor of National Nutrition Month, 1,000 Days has kicked off its annual #March4Nutrition campaign to amplify the importance of improving health systems, policies and programs that support mothers and children to be healthy and nourished. Follow #March4Nutrition on Facebook and Twitter to connect on the issues affecting mothers and their children all month long. This week's theme is envision better support for women to reach their breastfeeding goals.
International Women's Day Statement, summarized from WABA
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has published a statement for International Women's Day 2019 titled "Breastfeeding teamwork is smart, innovative and leads to equality." The statement connects the International Women's Day theme with WABA's work to advocate for breastfeeding. It ends with WABA calling on governments and organizations to advocate for and implement innovative and smart solutions that lead to gender equality and improved breastfeeding rates, including paid family leave and family-friendly workplace policies. In addition, WABA and the International Lactation Consultant Association released a joint statement for the 2019 Commission on the Status of Women.
News from the Field
Breastfeeding Advocacy Toolkit, summarized from UNICEF/WHO
The Global Breastfeeding Collective has published the "Breastfeeding Advocacy Toolkit." Led by UNICEF and WHO, the Global Breastfeeding Collective is a partnership of 20 international organizations with the goal of increasing investment and driving policy change to support breastfeeding worldwide, which requires advocacy at the global, national, and sub-national levels. The toolkit is intended for all stakeholders seeking information and tools to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. The toolkit aims to build awareness of the Collective's seven policy actions and provide access to resources that stakeholders can use in the development of initiatives to support these policy actions. Resources found in the toolkit include guidebooks, advocacy briefs, educational videos, and case studies. Where possible, resources have been provided in multiple languages. The toolkit will be updated continuously to include new, relevant tools as they become available.
Collective Impact Connection
Article on Skilled Changemakers, summarized from Tamarack
The Tamarack Institute has published a paper titled "Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers." This paper describes three elements that every changemaker needs when approaching complex challenges and systems-level change: a mindset shift, an agile and adaptable approach, and knowledge and skills in five interconnected practice areas.
Maternal Mortality Summit Report, summarized from HRSA
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration has published the "HRSA Maternal Mortality Summit: Promising Global Practices to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes Technical Report." The report summarizes key findings from the Maternal Mortality Summit held in June 2018, including an overview of the purpose of the summit, an overview of the state of maternal health in the U.S., and global and U.S. perspectives on maternal mortality and morbidity.
Maternal Mortality Funding Opportunity, summarized from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has published a funding opportunity titled "Preventing Maternal Deaths: Supporting Maternal Mortality Review Committees." The five-year cooperative agreement will support agencies and organizations that coordinate and manage Maternal Mortality Review Committees to identify and characterize maternal deaths for identifying prevention opportunities. More information can be found in the full announcement. Applications are due Wednesday, May 8.