Weekly Wire: April 10, 2020

Weekly Wire: April 10, 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​
    • CDC Resources on COVID-19 Updated to Protect Breastfeeding
    • COVID-19 Infant & Young Child Feeding Constellation and Advisory Council Launched
    • Action Tool Urging Support for Breastfeeding in Dietary Guidelines for Americans
    • Welcome New USBC Member: Arizona Breastfeeding Coalition
  • Special Section on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) 
  • International News
    • Joint Statement on World Health Day, summarized from LLLI/WABA
  • National News​
    • Study on Baby Café Effectiveness, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine
    • Article on Breastfeeding and Decreased Ovarian Cancer Risk, summarized from JAMA Oncology
  • State & Community News
    • Black Maternal Health Week Webinar Series, summarized from BMMA
  • News & Views

*denotes a USBC member organization news item

USBC Updates

CDC Resources on COVID-19 Updated to Protect Breastfeeding

Thanks to the efforts of the USBC Board of Directors and advocates from across the field, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released updated versions of two critical resources related to COVID-19 and infant feeding. Thank you to our colleagues at the CDC for making these important clarifications! 

  • The CDC guidelines titled "Interim Considerations for Infection Prevention and Control of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Inpatient Obstetric Healthcare Settings" have been updated to clarify considerations related to visitors and essential support persons to pregnant women who have known or suspected COVID-19 infection; prioritized testing of pregnant women with suspected COVID-19 at admission or who develop symptoms of COVID-19 during admission; testing of infants with suspected COVID-19 and isolation from other healthy infants; and determination of whether to keep a mother with known or suspected COVID-19 and her infant together or separated after birth on a case-by-case basis, using shared decision-making between the mother and the clinical team. 
  • The CDC webpage titled "Pregnancy and Breastfeeding" has been updated and adapted to reflect new information in an easier to understand format, including an affirmative statement on breastfeeding and COVID-19.

COVID-19 Infant & Young Child Feeding Constellation and Advisory Council Launched

The USBC has mobilized the creation of a COVID-19 Infant & Young Child Feeding Constellation. The Constellation will serve as a bi-directional learning forum and centralized advocacy hub for the First Food field, working through an equity lens to support and coordinate the response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 across the United States. The Constellation is comprised of USBC member organizations representing the grassroots to the treetops. This rich group of participants will work collaboratively to influence the policies and systems that are impacting infant feeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, develop materials and resources to address gaps, and inform the curation of materials that will be shared via the Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire and on the Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies webpage. All resources developed by the Constellation will be free and accessible to the public. The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute and the USBC will serve as co-Stewards of this Constellation. To inform the Constellation's collective efforts, the Stewards have recruited an Advisory Council of seasoned emergency response organizations and public health entities. COVID-19 Infant & Young Child Feeding Advisory Council members currently include: 

  • American Medical Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
  • CARE U.S. 
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • National WIC Association
  • PATH
  • Save the Children Federation, Inc.
  • United States Agency for International Development

Action Tool Urging Support for Breastfeeding in Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The USBC has updated the template messages in the 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 USBC's action tool to submit public comments. The deadline to submit comments has been extended to Monday, June 1. 

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

Welcome New USBC Member: Arizona Breastfeeding Coalition

The Arizona Breastfeeding Coalition (ABC) is a new Coalition Member of the USBC. The mission of the ABC is to work collaboratively within the community to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates to improve the health of Arizona's families. The ABC is committed to revitalizing the coalition after a decade of fluctuation in leadership, membership, and activity. The coalition has a robust internet presence through social media, a resource-rich website, and via a quarterly newsletter to their members. The ABC hosts monthly online meetings to encourage participation from breastfeeding advocates across the state. 

Special Section on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

As communities around the nation respond to the global Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the USBC has continued to serve as a communication hub for the breastfeeding field. View the updated "Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies" webpage for key resources on COVID-19 and infant feeding. See the Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire archive for previous compilations of COVID-19 resources and updates. Submit additional resources for consideration via the online form. Highlights from the field include:

  • *AAP:
  • *CBC: The California Breastfeeding Coalition has released the recording and slides from a webinar titled "COVID-19: Infant Feeding During the Postpartum Period." The presentation discusses World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and recommendations for infant feeding and COVID-19.
  • Congress: Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) has introduced the "Food Assistance for Kids and Families During COVID-19 Act of 2020" (S.3563). The bill would modify nutrition programs to address the Coronavirus disease, including permitting state agencies administering the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to extend the infant certification periods and women's postpartum eligibility to two years.
  • COVID-19 Health Literacy Project: The COVID-19 Health Literacy Project, developed in collaboration with Harvard Health Publishing, has launched a series of fact sheets with accessible COVID-19 information to help all patients know when, and how, to seek care. The fact sheets have been translated into 35 languages and dialects. Media highlights include:
  • DoD: The U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Health Agency has published guidance titled "DoD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide Clinical Management of COVID-19." The guidelines reflect the best information available to guide decision making in the management of COVID-19 patients. Included is information on screening and triage, infection prevention, specimen collection, clinical management, treatment options, telemedicine, emergency medical services, and ethical considerations. The guidance specifically addresses postpartum care and breastfeeding.
  • EmbraceRace: EmbraceRace has published a webpage titled "Disproportionate racial impacts of COVID." The webpage compiles news links and resources addressing the uneven impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
  • *HealthConnect One:
  • *HMBANA:
    • The Human Milk Banking Association of North America has published a webpage titled "COVID-19." The webpage includes updated statements from HMBANA and resources regarding milk banking and donor milk.
    • The Human Milk Banking Association of North America has released a statement titled "Why Donor Human Milk is an Essential Need During COVID-19." The statement describes the crucial role of donor human milk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • *IBLCE: The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners has published a document titled "IBLCE Advisory Opinion on Telehealth." The advisory addresses the provision of lactation consulting services via telehealth, particularly in light of COVID-19, and whether such services can be offered in accordance with IBCLC practice.
  • KFF: The Kasier Family Foundation has published a report titled "Novel Coronavirus 'COVID-19': Special Considerations for Pregnant Women." The report outlines considerations for how the pandemic may specifically impact pregnant women and summarizes what is known about pregnancy and COVID-19, including information on breastfeeding.
  • The Lancet: The Lancet has published an article titled "US NICUs and donor milk banks brace for COVID-19." The article describes the adjustments that neonatal intensive care units and donor milk banks in the United States are making to address challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • NACHW: The National Association of Community Health Workers has published a webpage titled "COVID-19 Resources." The webpage compiles essential materials for community health workers addressing COVID-19.
  • NCAI: The National Congress of American Indians has published a webpage titled "COVID-19: Resources for Indian Country." The webpage includes a database of letters sent by NCAI to the Administration on behalf of tribal nations in response to COVID-19, as well as other news and resources.
  • UCSF: The University of California San Francisco has announced the PRIORITY (Pregnancy CoRonavIrus Outcomes RegIsTrY) study, a nationwide study of pregnant or recently pregnant women who are either under investigation for COVID-19 or have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • *ZERO TO THREE: ZERO TO THREE has published a state initiative report titled "States Modify Home Visiting Services in Response to COVID-19." The report tracks various steps states have taken to support home visiting programs during the pandemic.

COVID-19 News & Views

*HealthConnect One blog: "Doulas are not visitors; birthing moms need support"

KIRO 7: "Coronavirus: Milk bank takes extra steps to protect babies amid COVID-19 pandemic"

*Lactation Matters (ILCA blog): "Providing Lactation Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Q&A With Annie Frisbie, Practicing in New York, US"

*NWA blog: "Blog Post: WIC Shopping in the COVID-19 Emergency"

The Cut: "'They Separated Me From My Baby' Hospitals are keeping newborns from their parents over coronavirus fears."

The New York Times: "Should You Breastfeed if You Have the Coronavirus?"

Women's eNews: "Covid-19 Restrictions on Birth & Breastfeeding: Disproportionately Harming Black and Native Women"

International News

Joint Statement on World Health Day, summarized from LLLI/WABA

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and La Leche League International have published a joint statement titled "Joint Statement In Celebration Of World Health Day – Supporting Nurses and Midwives to Support Breastfeeding." The statement acknowledges the role that nurses and midwives play in forming strong and multidisciplinary healthcare teams, which in turn has a powerful influence on a family's decision to breastfeed and their opportunity to meet their breastfeeding goals.

National News

Study on Baby Café Effectiveness, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine

Breastfeeding Medicine has published an article titled "Examining the Baby Café Model and Mothers' Breastfeeding Duration, Meeting of Goals, and Exclusivity." The authors examined two populations of Baby Café attendees, one in Massachusetts and one in San Antonio, Texas. The study evaluated the mothers' achievement of personal and nationally recommended breastfeeding goals, the frequency of attending a Baby Café, and their ratings of the program as helpful in solving breastfeeding problems. The study found that mothers attending either of the surveyed Baby Cafés that served distinctly different populations reported higher breastfeeding exclusivity rates and higher rates of 12-month breastfeeding duration than national rates reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Article on Breastfeeding and Decreased Ovarian Cancer Risk, summarized from JAMA Oncology

JAMA Oncology has published an article titled "Association Between Breastfeeding and Ovarian Cancer Risk." The authors examined the association between breastfeeding and ovarian cancer risk overall and by histotype. The study found that breastfeeding is associated with a significant decrease in risk of ovarian cancer overall and for the high-grade serous subtype, the most lethal type of ovarian cancer. 

Equity Lens

Black Maternal Health Week Webinar Series, summarized from BMMA

Black Mamas Matter Alliance is hosting a series of webinars during Black Maternal Health Week, taking place Saturday, April 11, through Friday, April 17.

  • "Black Maternal Health and the U.S. COVID-19 Response" will take place Monday, April 13, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. ET. This webinar will feature birth and reproductive justice health professionals' experiences and guidance with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
  • "Shifting and Advancing Black Maternal Health Policy" will take place Tuesday, April 14, from 2-3 p.m. ET. This webinar will highlight BMMA's position with respect to Maternal Mortality Review Committees and their engagement with community based organizations and advocates, along with policy considerations relating to doula reimbursement. The webinar will also feature policymakers who will provide insight into federal policy initiatives seeking to address maternal health disparities.
  • "Improving Health Outcomes for Black Mamas through Holistic Midwifery Care" will take place Wednesday, April 15, from 2-3 p.m. ET. This webinar will address root causes of disparities in black maternal health outcomes and will highlight how the medicalization of childbirth has complicated and marginalized black midwifery in the United States.
  • "Centering Black Mamas: In Practice" will take place Thursday, April 16, from 2-3 p.m. ET. This webinar will feature black-led community-based organizations working to advance Black Maternal Health, Rights, and Justice at the local level. Panelists will share strategies and lessons learned from designing and implementing programs centering the needs of Black Mamas.

News & Views

*HMBANA blog: "Donor Human Milk Distribution Increases By Nearly 1 Million Ounces"

Kindred Media: "Reaching Our Brothers Everywhere, A ROBE Introduction"

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