Weekly Wire: February 1, 2020

Weekly Wire: February 1, 2020

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​
    • PUMP ACT Sign On Letter Delivered
    • USBC Executive Director Testifies at Congressional Hearing
    • NBCC 2020 Call for Presentation Proposals and Award Applications Open
    • Racial Equity Webinar Rescheduled
    • Webinar on Lactation Training Programs
  • National News​
    • Congressional Hearing on Paid Family and Medical Leave, summarized from Congress 
  • State and Community News
    • Bills Requiring Insurer Coverage of Breastfeeding Support and Donor Milk Signed Into Law, summarized from New Jersey 
    • Legislation to Fund Human Milk Bank Introduced, summarized from New Mexico 
  • Equity Lens
    • Data Mapping and Maternal Mortality Bill Introduced, summarized from Congress 
    • Webinar on Black Maternal Health Week, summarized from BMMA
  • News & Views

 *denotes a USBC member organization news item

USBC Updates

PUMP ACT Sign On Letter Delivered

USBC has delivered a joint letter urging Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers ActThe PUMP Act would extend coverage of the existing Break Time for Nursing Mothers law to an additional 9 million workers and would create a clear mechanism for holding employers accountable when they do not comply. The letter has been signed by 44 international, national, and tribal organizations and 66 regional, state, and local organizations (and counting!). USBC has delivered the letter to Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Merkley (D-OR), and Representatives Herrera-Beutler (R-WA-3), Underwood (D-IL-14), Maloney (D-NY-18), Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), and Stefanik (R-NY-21). Signatures will continue being collected and added to the letter on a rolling basis. Organizations can sign on via the online form.

USBC Executive Director Testifies at Congressional Hearing

USBC Executive Director Nikia Sankofa has provided witness testimony at a joint hearing hosted by the House Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee and Workforce Protections Subcommittee titled "Expecting More: Addressing America's Maternal and Infant Health Crisis.In her testimony, Sankofa outlined the many and varied barriers to breastfeeding success in the United States; described how policies, systems, and environmental changes impact breastfeeding rates; and presented the case for the bipartisan Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act as a policy solution for dismantling obstacles to breastfeeding in the workplace. Nikia spoke alongside Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of the March of Dimes and Dr. Joia Crear Perry, President of the National Birth Equity Collaborative. During the hearing, Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) submitted the USBC's joint letter in support of the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act for the hearing record. Highlights from the field include:

NBCC 2020 Call for Presentation Proposals and Award Applications Open

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is accepting presentation proposals and awards applications for the Tenth National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening (NBCC), scheduled for June 12-13, 2020, in Scottsdale, Arizona. The theme of this year's convening is "Many Voices United: Transforming the Landscape of Breastfeeding."  

Racial Equity Webinar Rescheduled 

This week's Racial Equity webinar session has been rescheduled for Monday, March 2, from 1:30-3 p.m. ET. Kiddada Green of Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association will give a presentation titled "Envisioning a Breastfeeding-Friendly System 2.0." The presentation will explore the key elements of a breastfeeding-friendly system that tackles breastfeeding inequities at both a public and private/institutional level. Register for the webinar series

Webinar on Lactation Training Programs

Join the USBC and the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute on Tuesday, February 11, from 2-3 p.m. ET for a webinar titled "Training Resources from the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute." Part of the CDC-USBC Bi-Monthly Coalitions Webinar Series, speakers will discuss training resources/opportunities related to two CGBI programs: EMPower Training and RISE: Lactation Training Model. Register for the webinar.

National News

Congressional Hearing on Paid Family and Medical Leave, summarized from Congress 

The House Ways and Means Committee has held a hearing titled "Legislative Proposals for Paid Family and Medical Leave." The hearing examined several legislative proposals for paid family and medical leave, including the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act (S. 462/H.R. 1185). The hearing featured witness testimony, including Sharon Terman, Director of Work and Family Policy at Legal Aid at Work of California. Terman linked paid leave with improved maternal and child health outcomes, including increased breastfeeding rates and duration, and shared stories from two women about how paid leave impacted their breastfeeding experiences. A recording of the hearing and transcripts of witness testimony are available on the Committee's website. Highlights from the field include: 

State and Community News

Bills Requiring Insurer Coverage of Breastfeeding Support and Donor Milk Signed Into Law, summarized from New Jersey 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed into law two bills that support breastfeeding families. New Jersey Assembly Bill 5509 requires health insurers to provide coverage without requiring any cost sharing, for expenses incurred in the provision of breastfeeding support and counseling before or after the birth of an infant and the provision of a breast pump. New Jersey Senate Bill 3159 requires Medicaid coverage for pasteurized donated human breast milk under certain circumstances. Read the press release

Legislation to Fund Human Milk Bank Introduced, summarized from New Mexico 

New Mexico state representatives, Christine Trujillo and Rebecca Dow, have introduced New Mexico House Bill 151 which would fund the development of a human milk bank in New Mexico. The bill would appropriate one million dollars to the New Mexico Department of Health for expenditure in fiscal years 2021 through 2025 for a human donor milk bank. The bill would limit expenditures to two hundred thousand dollars in any one fiscal year. Media highlights include: 

Equity Lens

Data Mapping and Maternal Mortality Bill Introduced, summarized from Congress 

Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and a bipartisan group of eight Senators have introduced the Data Mapping to Save Moms' Lives Act (S.3152). The bill would utilize data mapping to show where high rates of poor maternal health outcomes overlap with lack of access to broadband services in order to help identify where improved access to telehealth services can be most effective. Read the press release.

Webinar on Black Maternal Health Week, summarized from BMMA 

Black Mamas Matter Alliance is hosting a webinar titled "Black Maternal Health Week 2020: National Webinar" on Friday, February 7, from 2-3 p.m. ET. During the session, speakers will discuss the purpose and theme of this year's Black Maternal Health Week and highlight all the major activities happening online and across the nation in celebration of Black Mamas. Black Maternal Health Week will take place Saturday, April 11, through Friday, April 17. 

News & Views

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