Weekly Wire: March 13, 2020

Weekly Wire: March 13, 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​
    • Important Update About the NBCC 2020 
    • PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act: Organizational Signatures Accepted on a Rolling Basis
    • The USBC Supports...
  • Special Section on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) 
  • International News​
    • Advocacy Brief on Breastfeeding and Obesity Prevention, summarized from UNICEF 
  • National News​
    • Webinar Launch of Healthy People 2030, summarized from HHS
    • Black Maternal Health Momnibus Introduced, summarized from Congress
    • Public Comment Opportunity on Increasing Collaboration in Prevention Research, summarized from NIH  
    • Literature Review on Health Impact of Paid Maternity Leave, summarized from Harvard Review of Psychiatry 
  • State & Community News
    • Pregnant Worker Accommodations Bill Signed Into Law, summarized from New Mexico 
    • Bill to Establish Paid Parental Leave for State Workers Advances, summarized from Georgia
    • Model Policy for Supporting Breastfeeding in Schools, summarized from SDDOH
  • Collective Impact Connection
    • Online Tool to Establish Principles for Engagement, summarized from Tamarack
  • News & Views

 * denotes a USBC member organization news item

USBC Updates

Important Update About the NBCC 2020 

The USBC staff team and Board of Directors, in partnership with our funders, have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the Tenth National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening (NBCC) until next year, as a result of the rapidly changing public health situation created by coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This decision has been made in the interest of protecting public health and out of uncertainty about the disease trajectory. The USBC will host the conference at the same location in Scottsdale, Arizona, next year, June 11-12, 2021. In lieu of the in-person gathering, our team is assessing possibilities for a virtual gathering utilizing the dynamic proposals that were submitted for this year's NBCC. Thank you to all who took the time to carefully submit proposals and awards applications—your efforts are deeply appreciated. Full refunds to registrants and vendors have been processed. People who had reserved their rooms at the hotel received cancellation notices. Connect directly with the hotel if your refund has not arrived by next week. Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage "Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019" webpage for additional information. The USBC team is grateful for the messages of support from the First Food field regarding this cancellation and extends support to our partners facing similar circumstances.

PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act: Organizational Signatures Accepted on a Rolling Basis

The USBC has continued collecting signatures on a joint letter urging Members of Congress to cosponsor the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers 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. Throughout the Congressional session, USBC will continue to collect signatures and share the joint letter with key Senators and Representatives. Organizations are invited to sign on by completing the online form. Please share this sign on opportunity widely with the organizations in your network. In addition, individuals are encouraged to contact Members of Congress in support of the bill with USBC's online action tool titled "Ask your Members of Congress to Support Breastfeeding Employees." 

The USBC Supports... 

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

The USBC has endorsed the following bills from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus:

  • Social Determinants for Moms Act
  • Kira Johnson Act
  • Protecting Moms Who Served Act
  • Perinatal Workforce Act
  • Moms MATTER Act
  • Justice for Incarcerated Moms Act
  • Tech to Save Moms Act
  • IMPACT to Save Moms Act

Special Section on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) 

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. It has now been been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. Statements and resources from the field include: 

International News 

Advocacy Brief on Breastfeeding and Obesity Prevention, summarized from UNICEF 

UNICEF, in partnership with the Global Breastfeeding Collective and the World Health Organization, has published an advocacy brief titled "Breastfeeding and Prevention of Overweight in Children." The publication summarizes how breastfeeding can reduce the risk of childhood obesity. It also includes examples of policies and programs that effectively increase the prevalence of breastfeeding practices, which can also improve health and wellbeing and reduce healthcare costs related to obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases.

National News

Webinar Launch of Healthy People 2030, summarized from HHS 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is hosting a presentation titled "Launch of Healthy People 2030" on Tuesday, March 31, from 1-3 p.m. ET. The presentation will highlight the new Healthy People 2030 goals and objectives, provide an overview of the development of Healthy People 2030, and feature a panel discussion showcasing how select organizations and communities have successfully used Healthy People to promote health and address the social determinants of health, health equity, and well-being. 

USBC Insight: The Healthy People Initiative focuses on critical health promotion and disease prevention topics. Because stakeholders have indicated a desire for a more specific and targeted initiative in the next decade, Healthy People 2030 will be a streamlined set of national health objectives guiding the Nation in efforts to improve health. The proposed objectives for Healthy People 2030 included one breastfeeding objective on exclusive breastfeeding at six months. This is a steep reduction from Healthy People 2020, which included eight breastfeeding objectives (including four sub-objectives). The breastfeeding field mobilized a strong response during the public comment opportunity following the release of the draft objectives—thank you to all who contributed comments! Refer to the Breastfeeding Public Health Partners "Background, Rationale & Template Comments for Breastfeeding Objectives within Proposed Objectives for Healthy People 2030" document for additional information. 

Black Maternal Health Momnibus Introduced, summarized from Congress

Representatives Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Alma Adams (NC-12), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus have introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020, a legislative package to address the United States' urgent maternal health crisis. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus would build on existing maternal health legislation by filling gaps through the nine new bills to comprehensively address the Black maternal health crisis. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus makes investments in social determinants of health, community-based organizations, the growth and diversification of the perinatal workforce, improvements in data collection and quality measures, digital tools like telehealth, and innovative payment models. In addition to direct efforts to improve Black maternal health outcomes, the Momnibus focuses on high-risk populations, including women veterans, incarcerated women, and Native Americans. 

Public Comment Opportunity on Increasing Collaboration in Prevention Research, summarized from NIH 

The National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) has issued "Request for Information: Stakeholder Input on Opportunities for Increased Collaboration to Advance Prevention Research." The Request for Information aims to identify opportunities to foster and engage in partnerships and dialogue with stakeholders to advance prevention research. The ODP hopes this will help determine areas where they can collaboratively advance prevention research priorities, training opportunities, and better meet the needs of stakeholders. The ODP invites input from researchers in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and other interested members of the public. Responses must be received by Sunday, March 29, at 5 p.m. ET. 

Literature Review on Health Impact of Paid Maternity Leave, summarized from Harvard Review of Psychiatry 

The Harvard Review of Psychiatry has published a literature review titled "The Impact of Paid Maternity Leave on the Mental and Physical Health of Mothers and Children." The authors reviewed recent studies on the possible effects of paid maternity leave, and found that paid maternity leave is associated with beneficial effects on the mental health of mothers and children, physical health of mothers and children, and an increase in breastfeeding initiation and duration. The authors also concluded that sufficient quasi-experimental and experimental data exist to strongly encourage the institution of a national paid maternity leave policy in the United States and that such a policy would have an overall beneficial effect on public health in the United States. 

State and Community News

Pregnant Worker Accommodations Bill Signed Into Law, summarized from New Mexico 

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed into law New Mexico House Bill 25 which amends the New Mexico Human Rights Act to add pregnancy, childbirth, or conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth as a class protected from employment discrimination. New Mexico is the 28th state to pass a law protecting pregnant worker accommodations. 

USBC Insight: Pregnant worker laws help shape the legal landscape surrounding breastfeeding workers. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission "Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues" states that lactation is a pregnancy-related medical condition. Refer to the "State Pregnant Workers Fairness Laws" webpage from A Better Balance for additional information on state legislation. 

Bill to Establish Paid Parental Leave for State Workers Advances, summarized from Georgia 

The Georgia House has passed House Bill 1094, which would provide paid parental leave for state employees. The bill would apply to approximately 246,000 state staffers, including 132,000 k-12 educators and 46,000 University System of Georgia employees. Media highlights include: 

Model Policy for Supporting Breastfeeding in Schools, summarized from SDDOH 

The South Dakota Department of Health has published the "School Breastfeeding Support Model Policy." The publication includes recommendations and guidance for schools on ways to support breastfeeding administrators, faculty, staff, students, and visitors. 

USBC Insight: The development of this model policy was supported through resource sharing in USBC's online learning community, the Coalitions Learning Collection. Thank you to all who contribute to the learning community and the field—we are stronger together!

Collective Impact Connection

Online Tool to Establish Principles for Engagement, summarized from Tamarack 

The Tamarack Institute has published an online tool titled "Creating Principles for Engagement." The process of creating principles for engagement allows you to thoughtfully consider the unique needs of the community and the relationship that the Collective Impact initiative wants to have with the community. The tool was created to help Collective Impact initiatives make explicit the kind of relationship they want and to align on values with colleagues and community to ensure consistency. 

News & Views

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