Weekly Wire: March 6, 2020

Weekly Wire: March 6, 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​
    • New Action Tool to Respond to Dietary Guidelines Public Comment Opportunity
    • The USBC Supports...
  • National News​
    • Interim Guidance on Breastfeeding and COVID-19, summarized from CDC
    • Funding Opportunity for WIC State Agencies, summarized from USDA/Tufts
    • Study of Online Discussions on Perinatal Cannabis Use, summarized from JWH
  • State & Community News
    • Report on Barriers to Breastfeeding for Illinois Families, summarized from IPHI
  • Collective Impact Connection
    • Webinar on Cross-Sector Collaboration, summarized from PHF
    • Article on Development Impact Bonds and Maternal and Child Health, summarized from SSIR
  • News & Views

*denotes a USBC member organization news item

USBC Updates

New Action Tool to Respond to Dietary Guidelines Public Comment Opportunity

The USBC has launched a new action tool titled "Urge the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to Support Breastfeeding." A new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is under development, and for the first time ever, these guidelines will include nutrition recommendations for infants, toddlers, and pregnant and lactating parents. The Food and Nutrition Service has released a public comment opportunity, seeking input from individuals and organizations to guide the development of the 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Individuals are invited to use the USBC action tool to submit public comments urging the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to support breastfeeding priorities.

Please note that responding to public comment opportunities is not lobbying. The federal government is actively soliciting your input to inform its decision-making.

The USBC Supports...

The USBC has joined the following organizational sign on letters from the field:

National News

*Interim Guidance on Breastfeeding and COVID-19, summarized from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a variety of materials about COVID-19 and breastfeeding:

*Funding Opportunity for WIC State Agencies, summarized from USDA/Tufts

Tufts University, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has launched a Request for Proposals titled "USDA/Tufts Telehealth Intervention Strategies for WIC (THIS-WIC)." THIS-WIC focuses on two priority areas:

  • Priority Area 1: Implement an existing telehealth solution to ensure timely access to nutritional or breastfeeding support for WIC participants by qualified professionals
  • Priority Area 2: Develop an online (mobile-friendly) resource or tool to provide nutrition education and/ or breastfeeding support to WIC participants by qualified professionals

Applicants must be a WIC state agency or consortium of WIC state agencies. The first stage of applications are due by Friday, April 10.

Study of Online Discussions on Perinatal Cannabis Use, summarized from JWH

The Journal of Women's Health has published a study titled "Women's Questions About Perinatal Cannabis Use and Health Care Providers' Responses." The authors examined publicly posted questions about perinatal cannabis use and licensed United States health care provider responses. They found that the data indicates public interest in cannabis use effects before, during, and after pregnancy. While most health care providers in the data indicated cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not safe, many did not address safety or discourage use, which the authors suggested was a missed educational opportunity by the providers. The authors also concluded that additional timely and objective data on the health risks of perinatal cannabis use are needed to help individuals make informed decisions as more states legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use.

State and Community News

Report on Barriers to Breastfeeding for Illinois Families, summarized from IPHI

The Illinois Public Health Institute has published a report titled "Challenging Cultural Barriers and Creating a More Supportive Society: Findings on Breastfeeding from Focus Groups with Moms Across Illinois." The Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) and Illinois State Physical Activity and Nutrition (ISPAN) program partners held focus groups to help inform strategy development for the ISPAN breastfeeding initiative. The focus groups convened mothers from low-income and rural communities, and communities of color to provide input on the barriers and facilitators to breastfeeding, and what more can be done to better support women to breastfeed their babies. The discussions revealed a need for more cultural and societal support for breastfeeding; more support to help with the mechanics of breastfeeding (such as latch, milk supply, etc.); the need for increased access to useful, relevant, and sufficient information about breastfeeding; more support for navigating the logistics of breastfeeding; and more support for going to work while breastfeeding; among other themes. The results of the focus groups will help to shape the breastfeeding support strategies implemented by the ISPAN program from 2020 through 2023.

Collective Impact Connection

Webinar on Cross-Sector Collaboration, summarized from PHF

The Public Health Foundation is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, April 14, from 1-2 p.m. ET titled "Cross-Sector Collaboration: Making Partnerships Work for Your Community." Speakers will discuss why many organizations are partnering to achieve shared objectives, tools participants can use to build and sustain a cross-sector collaboration, examples of cross-sector collaborations and their impact on communities, and resources to help participants address common community health challenges. There will also be time for questions from participants.

Article on Development Impact Bonds and Maternal and Child Health, summarized from SSIR

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an article titled "Development Impact Bonds for Maternal and Child Health." The main goal of a development impact bond (DIB) mechanism is to attract private capital to social projects, and for private investors to earn a profit if the social outcome is achieved. This article is intended to contribute to the evidence base on DIBs by analyzing two case studies of DIB projects in the field of maternal and child health and survival. The author's analyses of these projects, both launched in the past two years, are based on reviews of program evaluation documents and in-depth interviews with DIB participants, donors, and experts. Their experiences and challenges may help further the understanding and use of DIB financing for development interventions.

News & Views

Biloxi Sun Herald: "Mississippi has lowest breastfeeding rate. Here's a list of free Baby Cafes on the Coast."

FSG blog: "COVID-19⁠—Seven Things Philanthropy Can Do"

*Lactation Matters: "Ten Strategies for Supporting LGBTQIA Families"

MedPage Today: "Reducing the Maternal Mortality Rate: What Will It Take?"

Networks of Opportunity: "NEW! Episode 7: Community Data into Action: An African American Breastfeeding Blueprint"

New Security Beat: "U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood on U.S. Maternal Health and Policy Solutions"

URI Today: "URI nursing professor's study on infant birth weight, breastfeeding wins national award from leading women’s health organization"

 USLCA press release: "USLCA urges AAP to reconsider partnership with Nestlé Nutrition Institute"

WFSB: "Hearing held on proposed bill to exempt breastfeeding supplies from sales tax"

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