Weekly Wire: April 17, 2020

Weekly Wire: April 17, 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​
    • Stories from the Field on COVID-19 and the Infant Feeding Landscape
    • USBC Comments to Support Development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
    • Webinar Recording Posted on Building Strong Breastfeeding Coalitions
  • Special Section on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) 
  • National News​
    • Deadline to Submit Public Comments on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Extended, summarized from FNS/USDA
    • Virtual Public Health Nutrition Meeting, summarized from ASPHN
    • Article on Baby Food Industry Lobbying, summarized from IBJ
    • Webinar on Breastfeeding and Prevention, summarized from GOLD Lactation
  • State & Community News
    • Pregnant Worker Accommodation Bill Signed Into Law, summarized from Virginia
  • Equity Lens
    • Social Media Resources for National Minority Health Month, summarized from NICHQ
    • Statement on Health Justice and COVID-19, summarized from PPC
  • Collective Impact Connection
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Webinar on Community Partnerships to Address Global Issues, summarized from Tamarack

*denotes a USBC member organization news item

USBC Updates

Stories from the Field on COVID-19 and the Infant Feeding Landscape

The USBC has published a synthesis document titled "Voices from the Field: COVID-19 & Infant Feeding." As communities around the nation respond to the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the infant feeding landscape has rapidly shifted. The USBC is collecting stories from families, clinicians, and allied health workers to create a public record of the lived experiences of families and providers. The stories demonstrate the impact of the virus, as well as the policy responses that are shaping the lives of families and communities. This document is a synthesis of 55 stories that were shared with the USBC from March 20 through April 9. Synthesis documents will be published on an ongoing basis. Individuals are encouraged to continue sharing stories via USBC's online tool titled "How is the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacting Infant Feeding?".

USBC Comments to Support Development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The USBC has submitted public comments on the 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) 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. The USBC previously submitted public comments in March 2018, at an earlier phase of the DGA development. Individuals are invited to use the USBC's action tool titled "Urge the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to Support Breastfeeding" to submit public comments.

Webinar Recording Posted on Building Strong Breastfeeding Coalitions

The USBC has published an archived version of the webinar "Taking Your Breastfeeding Coalition to the Next Level." Presenters from the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition and the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force discussed the practicalities of building a strong state breastfeeding coalition, including funding streams and diverse partnerships. Individuals who are active members of breastfeeding coalitions are invited to join the Coalitions Learning Connection to continue the conversation and share information and resources with other coalition leaders and members. You must be logged into the USBC website to access the Coalitions Learning Connection. Create an individual profile

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:

COVID-19 News & Views

ASTHO blog: "States Leverage Telehealth to Respond to COVID-19"

*Baby-Friendly USA statement: "Now More Than Ever, Baby-Friendly Facilities Must Protect Parents from Commercial Interests"

Breastfeeding Medicine podcast: "Adapting the Practice of Breastfeeding Medicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Anne Eglash MD, IBCLC & Karen Bodnar MD, IBCLC, & Panelists"

*Mom2Mom Global blog: "Pregnancy, Birth, and #COVID19"

*NWA blog: "Black Maternal Health Week: Centering Black Mamas: The Right to Live and Thrive"

The BayNet.com: "Southern Maryland Engineers Hope to Solve Ventilator Shortage With Breast Pumps"

Truthout: "As COVID-19 Spreads Behind Bars, Will Officials Release Pregnant People?"

The Washington Post: "Worries over formula shortages have stirred interest in re-lactation. Here's what to know."

National News

*Deadline to Submit Public Comments on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Extended, summarized from FNS/USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Serve has extended the deadline to submit public comments on the 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to Monday, June 1. In consideration of new demands on members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee due to COVID-19, the entire 2020 schedule has been extended by one month

USBC Insight: The 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) will include, for the first time ever, nutrition recommendations for infants, toddlers, and pregnant and lactating parents. Individuals are encouraged to use the USBC's action tool titled "Urge the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to Support Breastfeeding" to submit public comments. 

*Virtual Public Health Nutrition Meeting, summarized from ASPHN

The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists is hosting the "2020 Vision & Leadership in Public Health Nutrition" event Monday, June 15, through Wednesday, June 18. The event will be held online and free of charge. Visit the ASPHN webite for details about the schedule, session topics, speakers, and networking opportunities.

Article on Baby Food Industry Lobbying, summarized from IBJ

The International Breastfeeding Journal has published an article titled "Corporate political activity of the baby food industry: the example of Nestlé in the United States of America." The authors aimed to systematically identify and monitor the corporate political activity of the baby food industry in the United States, shown by the activities of Nestlé, the largest industry actor in this sector in the country. Through an analysis of publicly available information, the authors concluded that Nestlé used various corporate political activity strategies which may have influenced public health policy, research and practice in ways favorable to the baby food industry. The authors also state that their findings could be used by public health advocates, the media, and the public to further recognize and pre-empt the influence of corporations on health, in order to ensure that commercial interests do not prevail over public health goals.

Webinar on Breastfeeding and Prevention, summarized from GOLD Lactation

GOLD Lactation will host a free keynote presentation titled "Breastfeeding As A Preventative Care Change Model: How to Affect Change" on Monday April 27, from 12-1:15 p.m. ET. Mona Liza Hamlin will present on how to engage with non traditional stakeholders and make connections where breastfeeding is not traditionally included.

State and Community News

Pregnant Worker Accommodation Bill Signed Into Law, summarized from Virginia

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed into law House Bill 827 and Senate Bill 712. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and childbirth; and creates a private cause of action for workplace pregnancy discrimination. Read the press release

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.

Equity Lens

Social Media Resources for National Minority Health Month, summarized from NICHQ

The National Institute for Children's Health Quality has published a social media toolkit in recognition of National Minority Health Month. The toolkit includes sample posts and infographics that address racial and ethnic health disparities in infants and mothers, including breastfeeding.

Statement on Health Justice and COVID-19, summarized from PPC

The Poor People's Campaign has released a statement titled "COVID-19 Health Justice Advisory Committee Statement." The statement highlights six priority action areas to ensure an equitable, just, and moral response to the pandemic. 

Collective Impact Connection

Webinar on Community Partnerships to Address Global Issues, summarized from Tamarack

The Tamarack Institute will host a webinar titled "Addressing Global Issues Starts with Community" on Monday, May 4, from 1–2 p.m. ET. The presentation will explore the increased potential for impact when governments and agencies partner with communities.

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