Weekly Wire: July 27, 2019
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
- Support Breastfeeding Families 365 Days a Year with a Donation to the USBC
- Welcome New Members: Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates & Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition
- National News
- Call for Chronic Disease Prevention Papers, summarized from CDC
- Marine Corps Commandant's Planning Guidance Includes Paid Family Leave Recommendation, summarized from USMC
- Report on Designing Paid Leave Programs, summarized from PL+US
- REACH Program Anniversary Resolution, summarized from Congress
- National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Introduced, summarized from Congress
- Budget Deal Reached and Passed in House, summarized from Congress
- State/Community News
- State Paid Leave Implementation Report, summarized from NPWF
- Equity Lens
- Reverse Mentoring Article, summarized from SSIR
- Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act Introduced, summarized from Congress
- Proposed Rule on SNAP Eligibility, summarized from FNS
- News & Views
*denotes a USBC member organization news item
Support Breastfeeding Families 365 Days a Year with a Donation to the USBC
Here at the USBC we are dedicated to creating a future in which every family is surrounded by support each and every day. By making a donation to the USBC, you are contributing to powerful and important efforts to increase access to paid family leave, maintain health plan coverage of breastfeeding support and supplies, support working parents, and beyond! Together, we can create lasting change for breastfeeding families.
Welcome New USBC Members: Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates & Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition
The Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates (COBA), a new Coalition Member of the USBC, was founded as a grassroots organization in 2000 with the mission to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in Oklahoma. Since their inception, they have partnered with other organizations and state offices to develop several programs and services that support breastfeeding families, including the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Initiative, public service announcements that support breastfeeding, and the creation of model breastfeeding policies for hospitals and workplaces. In 2015, through grant funding from the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, COBA was able to establish the "COBA Baby Café," which expanded to 4 locations in Oklahoma City. Learn more about their work!
The Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition is a new coalition member of the USBC whose mission is to improve Connecticut's health by working collaboratively to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. Since 2011, the Coalition has aligned its work with The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, resulting in many successes including new practices, policy, and legislation related to jury duty, workplace, campus, and child care accommodations; an increased number of baby-friendly designated hospitals; an increase in the number of hospitals banning the bags; and a statewide collaborative breastfeeding media campaign. Looking ahead, the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition has set objectives aimed at increasing diversity in lactation care providers to further advance breastfeeding in their state. Learn more about their work!
*Call for Chronic Disease Prevention Papers, summarized from CDC
The journal Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD), sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has issued a call for papers. PCD invites authors to submit manuscripts describing innovative and effective work to improve population health in diverse settings worldwide. Over the past decade, there has been a range of innovative community-based, clinically-driven, and technology-informed innovation for prevention strategies used in public health to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic conditions worldwide. PCD seeks manuscripts that provide timely information on effective ways to improve population health in diverse global settings. The deadline to submit an abstract is Wednesday, November 20.
Marine Corps Commandant's Planning Guidance Includes Paid Family Leave Recommendation, summarized from USMC
The 38th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps has published the "Commandant's Planning Guidance." The document details the 38th Commandant's strategic direction for the Marine Corps and serves as the authoritative document for Service-level planning and provides a common direction to the Marine Corps Total Force. This CPG outlines the Commandant's five priority focus areas: force design, warfighting, education and training, core values, and command and leadership. This document explains how the Marine Corps will translate those focus areas into action with measurable outcomes. Under the priority focus area, "Force Design," the document addresses parental and maternal leave, stating that current policies are inadequate and have failed to keep pace with societal norms. The document states that in the future, the Marine Corps will consider up to one year leaves-of-absence for mothers to remain with their children before returning to full duty. Media highlights include:
- Military.com: "Marines' New Top Officer Wants to Give New Moms a Full Year Off"
Report on Designing Paid Leave Programs, summarized from PL+US
Paid Leave for the United States has published a report titled "The Paid Family and Medical Leave Opportunity: What Research Tells Us About Designing a Paid Leave Program that Works for All." Published in partnership with the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality's Economic Security and Opportunity Initiative, the report offers research-based recommendations that outline who should qualify for paid leave and why, the nature of the paid leave benefits themselves, and how paid leave policies should be structured and administered. The report includes greater breastfeeding duration as a positive parental and child health outcome improved by paid leave.
REACH Program Anniversary Resolution, summarized from Congress
Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), along with other members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus have announced that they will be introducing a Congressional Resolution recognizing the 20th Anniversary of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Program. The REACH program is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. For 20 years, REACH grantees have worked directly in communities to provide tailored interventions addressing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, that disproportionately impact people of color. REACH recipients must work in three of four strategy areas: tobacco, nutrition, physical activity, and community-clinical linkages. Increasing breastfeeding support is one of the four areas included in the nutrition strategy area. Organizations are invited to sign on to endorse the resolution by filling out the online form before Friday, August 2.
National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Introduced, summarized from Congress
Senator Kamala Harris (CA) and Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-7) have introduced the National Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights (H.R. 3760/S.2112). The bill would amend existing law to include domestic workers in common workplace rights and protections like paid overtime, safe and healthy working conditions, and freedom from workplace harassment and discrimination; creates new rights and protections that address the unique challenges of domestic work such as written contracts, affordable healthcare and retirement benefits, fair scheduling, support for survivors of sexual harassment, and grants for workforce training; and ensures that rights can be enforced and implemented. Read the press release.
USBC Insight: 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. The bill would also expand coverage under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employment discrimination (e.g., termination, failure to hire or promote, demotion, harassment, retaliation) on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues states that there are various circumstances in which discrimination against a female employee who is lactating or breastfeeding can implicate Title VII. The National Domestic Workers Alliance has invited organizations to sign on to a letter in support of the bill.
Budget Deal Reached and Passed in House, summarized from Congress
Congressional leaders have announced that they have reached a two-year budget deal with the White House. The Agreement modifies the discretionary spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and suspends the debt limit for two years, through July 31, 2021. The budget deal has been introduced and passed as House Resolution 519 and is expected to be debated by the Senate next week. The budget deal eliminates the threat of triggering automatic spending cuts to both defense and non-defense programs. With an overall budget number set, the agreement provides a path for Congress and the Administration to complete the annual appropriations bills. Highlights from the field include:
- White House: "Statement from the Press Secretary"
- Speaker of the House: "Pelosi, Schumer Joint Statement on Budget Caps Agreement"
State Paid Leave Implementation Report, summarized from NPWF
The National Partnership for Women & Families has published a report titled "Meeting the Promise of Paid Leave: Best Practices in State Paid Leave Implementation." The publication includes findings from a comprehensive study of the three longest-running state paid family and medical leave programs to better understand recent trends in program utilization and identify best practices to strengthen existing programs and inform future policymaking. Based on the report, NPWF has published three policy briefs, highlighting the best practices and recommendations from the report for three specific audiences:
- "How Small Employers Can Help Meet the Promise of Paid Leave"
- "How Health Professionals Can Help Meet the Promise of Paid Leave"
- "How Lawmakers and Advocates Can Help Meet the Promise of Paid Leave"
Reverse Mentoring Article, summarized from SSIR
The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an article titled "How Reverse Mentoring Can Lead to More Equitable Workplaces." The author describes how reimagining the traditional mentor and mentee relationship to shift power to younger and less experienced colleagues who possess unique insight into bias and racial dynamics can establish more diversity, equity, and inclusion across sectors.
Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act Introduced, summarized from Congress
Senator Jeff Merkley (OR), along with 39 cosponsors, has introduced the "Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act." The bill would end family separations except when authorized by a state court or child welfare agency, or when Customs and Border Protection and an independent child welfare specialist agree that a child is a trafficking victim, is not the child of an accompanying adult, or is in danger of abuse or neglect. In addition, the bill would set minimum health and safety standards for children and families in Border Patrol Stations, provide resources to non-profit centers that are helping to provide humanitarian assistance, and improve public oversight of the conditions children are being held in by allowing members of Congress and their staff, along with credentialed press (without cameras), to visit any facility with 24 hours notice. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
Proposed Rule on SNAP Eligibility, summarized from FNS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has published a public comment opportunity titled, "Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)." The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 provides that households in which each member receives benefits under a State program funded under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants shall be categorically eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Categorical eligibility simplifies the SNAP application process for both SNAP State agencies and households by reducing the amount of information that must be verified if a household already qualifies and has been determined eligible to receive benefits from another assistance program. This proposal would limit cash and non-cash categorical eligibility to households that receive ongoing and substantial benefits and limit the types of non-cash TANF benefits conferring categorical eligibility to those that focus on subsidized employment, work supports and childcare. The proposed rule would also require State agencies to inform FNS of all non-cash TANF benefits that confer categorical eligibility. The Department estimates that approximately 9 percent of currently-participating SNAP households (an estimated 1.7 million households in FY 2020, containing 3.1 million individuals) will not otherwise meet SNAP's income and asset eligibility prerequisites under the proposed rule.
USBC Insight: Food security for the entire family is an important condition for breastfeeding success. Nutrition is an influential indicator of maternal health. Good nutrition supports healthy growth and development during childhood, promotes health and prevents chronic disease through adulthood, and is essential throughout the life course. Families need information, education, and consistent access to nutritious food. Hunger and food insecurity exacerbate social and racial inequities, leading to adverse health outcomes among low-income individuals and families and communities of color. SNAP helps one in eight Americans—approximately 36 million people—and is the most far-reaching and effective program to prevent hunger in the United States. In addition to preventing hunger, SNAP supports long-term health and wellbeing, lowers healthcare costs, helps families make ends meet, and fuels local economic development. In 2015, SNAP helped keep more than eight million families from falling below the poverty line. Reduced access to SNAP can also negatively impact the ability of families to utilize adjunctive eligibility to access services through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), a vital preventive program providing direct links to families with public health and healthcare. During the 2018 farm bill process, Congress considered and rejected several proposals that would limit access to SNAP, including through changes to categorical eligibility.
News & Views
The Spokesman-Review: "Fourth trimester: Earlier postpartum care for new moms"
The Washington Post: "Paid federal family leave faces Senate uncertainty after 'huge win' in House"