Weekly Wire: August 10, 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
    • Continuity of Care Survey
    • Welcome New Members: Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition and Kentuckiana Lactation Improvement Coalition
  • Special Section on World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month
  • International News
    • Cost of Not Breastfeeding Tool, summarized from FHI 360
  • National News​
    • Updated Breastfeeding Rates and Disparities Report, summarized from CDC
    • WIC Act Introduced in Senate, summarized from Congress
    • PRGLAC Task Force Meeting, summarized from NICHD
    • Births in the United States Brief, summarized from CDC
    • Appropriations Action Tool, summarized from ZERO TO THREE
    • Study on Infant Feeding Practices of WIC Families, summarized from FNS
    • PWFA Organizational Sign-On Letter, summarized from ABB
    • Community Partners and Breastfeeding Continuity of Care Webinar,summarized from NACCHO
    • Bipartisan Budget Act Signed Into Law, summarized from Congress
  • State/Community News​
    • Maternal and Child Health Data Map, summarized from IDPH
  • Equity Lens​
    • Statement on Racism's Impact on Children's Health, summarized from AAP
    • Equity in State Governance Report, summarized from PHI
  • News & Views

 MBP-Symbol.jpg denotes a USBC member organization news item

USBC Updates

Continuity of Care Survey

The USBC-affiliated Continuity of Care Constellation has launched a survey titled "Continuity of Care in Breastfeeding Support - Summer 2019 Survey." The survey will gather information from additional sources across the field to help develop the outline of what falls within the frame of continuity of care in breastfeeding support. The Constellation brings together stakeholders in the First Food field for the purpose of developing a framework of what continuity of care in breastfeeding support means, as well as identifying where there are barriers and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Welcome New USBC Members: Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition and Kentuckiana Lactation Improvement Coalition

The Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition is a new Coalition Member of the USBC whose mission is "to improve the health of all Tennesseans through education and support of breastfeeding as the cultural norm to help further empower families." TNBFC's vision is to become a key breastfeeding resource to help establish breastfeeding as the cultural norm and to improve health equity and reduce disparities. Over the past four years, TNBFC has hosted the Tennessee Breastfeeding Symposium to work on helping health care providers improve the quality of care for all of their patients, formed the TN BF Hotline and joined forces with other community partners, such as Breastfeeding Sisters That Are Receiving Support (BSTARS), to serve breastfeeding families in their state. Learn more about their work here!

Formed in 1993, The Kentuckiana Lactation Improvement Coalition is a new coalition member of the USBC  whose mission is "to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in Kentucky and Southern Indiana." KLIC currently holds quarterly meetings featuring continuing education presentations and hosts annual conferences to achieve their mission of promoting knowledge, attitudes, and practices concerning breastfeeding that are evidence-based and consistent within and between various healthcare providers. Learn more about their work here!

Special Section on National Breastfeeding Month

August is National Breastfeeding Month! The theme of National Breastfeeding Month 2019 is Support Changes Everything. There are four sub-themes focusing on the following:

Help celebrate these exciting events by letting us know if your organization has an NBM webpage, resources, or virtual events planned via the online submission form and join the conversation at hashtags #NBM19 and #SupportChangesEverything. Highlights from the field include: 

State/Community Events: In honor of NBM, we are featuring celebrations and events from throughout the country. Please share additional events and action opportunities for future editions of the Weekly Wire NBM State/Community Events Sections via the online form.

International News

MBP-Symbol.jpg Cost of Not Breastfeeding Tool, summarized from FHI 360

Alive & Thrive, a project of FHI 360, has published an interactive tool titled "The Cost of Not Breastfeeding." The tool was created to help determine the future economic losses of low- and middle-income countries due to not breastfeeding according to recommendations. According to the tool, inadequate breastfeeding in the United States results in 98,000 cases of diarrhea and pneumonia and a $28 million increase in health care costs.

National News

MBP-Symbol.jpg Updated Breastfeeding Rates Released, summarized from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released updated breastfeeding rates on the webpage titled "Breastfeeding Among U.S. Children Born 2009–2016, CDC National Immunization Survey." Based on 2016 births, 83.8% of infants were ever breastfed, 47.5% of infants are exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months, and 25.4% of infants are exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months. The rates are also broken down by state and socio-demographics like race, gender, maternal education, and WIC status.

MBP-Symbol.jpg WIC Act Introduced in Senate, summarized from Congress

Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced the Wise Investment in our Children Act (WIC Act). The bill permits state agencies administering the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to: (1) extend child eligibility to age six or the beginning of kindergarten; (2) extend infant certification periods to two years; and (3) extend postpartum women's eligibility to two years.

USBC Insight: The National WIC Association has released a variety of materials related to the WIC Act, including the "Support the Wise Investment In Our Children (WIC) Act" one pager, the "Ask Your Senators to Cosponsor the WIC Act!" online action tool, and WIC Act social media toolkit. Read the NWA Press Release

MBP-Symbol.jpg PRGLAC Task Force Meeting, summarized from NICHD

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has announced the next meeting of the Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant and Lactating Women (PRGLAC). The meeting will take place Thursday, August 22, and Friday, August 23, with a webcast attendance option. PRGLAC's task is to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding gaps in knowledge and research on safe and effective therapies for pregnant women and lactating women. In this next meeting the PRGLAC Task Force is tasked with providing guidance on implementation of the recommendations made to the Secretary last September. Written comments for the meeting should be provided by Thursday, August 15.

MBP-Symbol.jpg Births in the United States Brief, summarized from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics has published a data brief titled "Births in the United States, 2018." The brief presents selected highlights from 2018 final birth data on key demographic, health care utilization, and infant health indicators. Key findings include: continued declines in childbearing in the United States, a continued rise in preterm and early-term deliveries, and an increase in vaginal birth after previous cesarean (VBACs).

MBP-Symbol.jpg Appropriations Action Tool, summarized from ZERO TO THREE

ZERO TO THREE has launched an online action tool titled "Take Action TODAY for Child Care, Early Head Start, and Early Intervention." Individuals can use the tool to send messages to their Senators in support of investing in key programs for young children in Fiscal Year 2020, including Early Head Start.

USBC Insight: Early Head Start programs provide child development and family support services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families, and to pregnant women and their families. Early Head Start program performance standards require programs to promote breastfeeding, safely store and handle breast milk, accommodate mothers who wish to breastfeed during program hours, and if necessary, provide referrals to lactation consultants or counselors, and provide breastfeeding information to families.

MBP-Symbol.jpg ​Study on Infant Feeding Practices of WIC Families, summarized from FNS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, has published the "WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study 2: Third Year Report." The study, also known as the "Feeding My Baby" Study, captures data on caregivers and their children over the first six years of the child's life after WIC enrollment. This new report, the fourth in the series generated from this study, focuses on caregivers' employment, school, and child care circumstances, as well as the feeding beliefs and practices, dietary intake, and weight status of children from birth through approximately 36 months of age.

PWFA Organizational Sign-On Letter, summarized from ABB

A Better Balance has released an organizational sign-on letter urging Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would clarify that employers must make reasonable accommodations for workers affected by a known limitation related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Organizations are invited to sign on by Tuesday, August 13.

Community Partners and Breastfeeding Continuity of Care Webinar, summarized from NACCHO

Join the National Association of County and City Health Officials on Monday, September 16, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Knitting a Lactation Safety Net: Marshaling Resources to Serve Communities." During the webinar, an exploration of the breastfeeding socio-ecological model will serve as a framework for identifying community partners and change agents who could prove influential in establishing social and systemic structures to critically advance breastfeeding goals among populations with disparately low breastfeeding duration rates.

Bipartisan Budget Act Signed Into Law, summarized from Congress

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 (H.R.3877) has been signed into law. 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 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. 

State/Community News

Maternal and Child Health Data Map, summarized from IDPH

The Illinois Department of Public Health has updated their interactive "Illinois Public Health Community Map" to include maternal and child health data. The Community Map features information about the quality of and access to health care in communities throughout Illinois and highlights socioeconomic, geographic, and racial/ethnic disparities. The maternal and child health data includes a category titled "Breastfed in Delivery Hospital."

Equity Lens

MBP-Symbol.jpg Statement on Racism's Impact on Children's Health, summarized from AAP

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a policy statement titled "The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health." The statement calls on pediatricians to create welcoming, culturally competent medical practices, to advocate for policies that advance social justice, and to engage leaders in their communities to reduce health disparities. AAP has also published a new resource for parents and caregivers titled "Talking to Children About Racial Bias." The resource highlights strategies to help children deal with racial bias, and tips for talking about racial differences and racism. 

Equity in State Governance Report, summarized from PHI

The Public Health Institute has published an article in The Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics titled "Equity in Action: Operationalizing Processes in State Governance." The article highlights efforts to embed an equity lens in legislated and non-legislated policies and practices in three states. Authors from California, Colorado, and Minnesota provide state-specific examples of how equity has been advanced and operationalized in state-level governance. The article describes progress and lessons learned and offers guidance to others.

News & Views

MBP-Symbol.jpg Breastfeed LA video: "#AsianBreastfeedingStory: The Making of the Asian Breastfeeding Task Force"

MBP-Symbol.jpg The Nation's Health (APHA): "Programs work from within to prevent black maternal deaths: Workers targeting root cause — Racism"

KREM: "Pump break protections expanded for breastfeeding moms in Washington"

KSNT: "Groups want breastfeeding numbers in Kansas to rise"

Yahoo! News: "This is why moms breastfeed on flights and in public ... not that we should have to explain"

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