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 NBCC Reimagined Webcast Released
- Public Comments on Dietary Guidelines Scientific Report Submitted
- FY21 Funding Sign On Letter Delivered
- USBC Supports...
- Special Section on National Breastfeeding Month
- Special Section on COVID-19
- International News
- Updated BFHI Training Materials for Maternity Staff, summarized from WHO/UNICEF
- Competency Toolkit for Providers in BFHI Facilities, summarized from WHO/UNICEF
- Guidance on BFHI Care for Preterm Newborns, summarized from WHO/UNICEF
State and Community News
Funding Award Opportunity for Communities, summarized from RWJF
News & Views
New NBCC Reimagined Webcast Released
USBC released the second free, on-demand webcast session in the NBCC Reimagined series, "Centering Voices to Create Change." The session features two presentations:
Centering Patients Voices and Organizational Readiness for Change: Lessons Learned from NYC Hospitals' Baby-Friendly Implementation
- Presented by: Jenna McCready, Brittany Wright, and Debbie Tennant, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Big Ship Turning: Changing the Culture of Feeding Black Babies
Presented by: Renae Maree Green, Healthy Start, Inc.: Healthy Start Center for Urban Breastfeeding program
This session has been approved for continuing education by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please review the after accreditation information before participating in this session. Register for the webcast. Thank you to our partner Lactation Education Resources for hosting the series!
Public Comments on Dietary Guidelines Scientific Report Submitted
The USBC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in response to the "Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee" public comment opportunity. USDA and HHS will consider the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's Scientific Report, along with public and agency comments, as the Departments develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. USBC comments urge the Departments to make a clear recommendation in the DGA for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced for at least the first year of life. USBC comments also urge the Departments to ensure that the DGA reflects the most recent, salient, evidence-based science and is free of industry bias.
FY21 Funding Sign On Letter Delivered
USBC delivered a joint letter urging members of Congress to direct $13 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program in the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill. This funding level is critically needed to support the breastfeeding field to adapt lactation support services in the context of restraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to build upon multi-year, multi-pronged initiatives that support breastfeeding families in maternity care settings, communities, and workplaces. The letter has been signed by 27 international, national, and tribal organizations and 29 regional, state, and local organizations. USBC delivered the letter to Senators Shelby (R-AL), Leahy (D-VT), Blunt (R-MO), Murray (D-WA), Merkley (D-OR), and Murkowski (R-AK).
The USBC joined the following organizational sign on letter from the field:
- Public Health Advocacy Institute: FDA Citizen Petition on regulations related to transition formulas
Special Section on National Breastfeeding Month
August is National Breastfeeding Month! This year's theme is Many Voices United. All month long, we are sharing news, resources, and events in the Weekly Wire and on social media. Please submit your free virtual events, tools, or resources for consideration.
August 9-15 is also Native Breastfeeding Week. This year's theme is Strong. Resilient. Latched. Learn more about activities and events organized by Native Breastfeeding Week.
- BB365: Black Breastfeeding 365 is hosting the "Black Breastfeeding Week Virtual Vision Board Contest." The event invites individuals to share a vision board based on one of the following prompts:
For parents, what does the theme of Revive, Restore, & Reclaim mean to you? For professionals, how do you intend to incorporate the theme of Revive, Restore & Reclaim into your practice setting year round?
BSTARS: Breastfeeding Sisters That Are Receiving Support, in solidarity with 19 other black breastfeeding organizations, is hosting the Walk/Run in Solidarity: Million Milk March. The event is being held virtually with the aim to reach 100,000,000 collective steps during the month of August. View the "BSTARS Million Milk March for Individual Registration" video for additional detail.
- GBC: The Northwest Georgia and Georgia Breastfeeding Coalitions are hosting the "Express Your SuperPower 5K/10K" on Saturday, Sept 19, in Canton, GA. The 6th annual celebration is a family friendly event to support breastfeeding in Georgia.
- Native Breastfeeding Week: Native Breastfeeding Week issued a call for Indigenous Milk experiences. Stories will be shared by Native Breastfeeding Week to grow awareness of the many families who keep this tradition alive. Share your story through the "Native Breastfeeding Week Social Media Feature Form."
- NPA: The National Perinatal Association has published a webpage titled "We're celebrating Breastfeeding Awareness Month." The webpage features a library of images, free articles, resources, and materials.
- USDA/FNS: Each year in August, National WIC Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week to promote and support breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for a baby's first year of life. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service published a celebratory video titled "WIC Breastfeeding Week."
- Various: Connecticut WIC, Yale New Haven Hospital, the New Haven Breastfeeding Task Force, and CARE: Community Alliance for Research and Engagement are hosting a virtual celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week on Tuesday, August 25, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET. Participants will hear from their peers, learn about the benefits of breastfeeding, get connected to community resources, and join an optional nurse-in during the virtual event.
- USBC: The USBC published a blog posting from Executive Director, Nikia Sankofa, commemorating National Breastfeeding Month titled "Happy National Breastfeeding Month! We are Many Voices United #NBM2020."
Special Section on COVID-19
As communities across the U.S. 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:
- CBC: The California Breastfeeding Coalition published "Parent's Guide To Shared Decision-Making For Breastfeeding And COVID-19." The resource provides information for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding and think they might have COVID-19 about what they will discuss with their health care provider during shared decision-making, and examples of breastfeeding care options for mothers with COVID-19.
- COVID Mother Study: The COVID Mother Study released new downloadable flyers in a variety of languages to spread the word about the study. Mothers who had COVID-19, or mothers whose baby has had COVID-19, are invited to share about their experiences with the short survey.
- HCO/ROSE: HealthConnect One and Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere are hosting a series of listening sessions on navigating COVID-19 and perinatal support. The sessions are held as part of the "Supporting Providers and Families to Access Telehealth and Distant Care Services for Maternal Health" initiative with the University of North Carolina and funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Upcoming session:
- Friday, August 14, at 1 p.m. ET: Spanish session for birthing families
- HHS/OMH: The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Minority Health is hosting a virtual symposium titled "Advancing the Response to COVID-19: Sharing Promising Programs and Practices for Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities" on Thursday, September 17, from 12-6 p.m. ET. The symposium will highlight state, tribal, territorial, and community-based efforts to address COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority populations.
- MHLIC: The Maternal Health Learning and Innovation Center published "Request for Application: Supporting Providers and Families to Access Telehealth and Distant Care Services for Maternal Health Services." The goal of this funding is to ensure that women at highest risk receive quality maternal care services before, during, or after pregnancy via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The competitive Request for Applications will be released on Monday, August 17, for time-limited funding. All agencies and organizations delivering or interested in delivering maternal health care services via telehealth during COVID-19 are encouraged to apply.
- ROSE: Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere released the "Supporting Providers and Families to Access Telehealth and Distant Care Services for Maternal Health" award. Through this award, ROSE will distribute a total of $200,000 in funding and $70,000 worth of telehealth resources to birth workers, lactation support providers, and community based organizations that serve Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (BIPOC) and marginalized rural communities in perinatal health services. The selected awardees will form The Village Innovating Perinatal Services (VIPs) Cohort. The deadline to submit an application is Tuesday, September 8.
Updated BFHI Training Materials for Maternity Staff, summarized from WHO/UNICEF
The World Health Organization and UNICEF published updated training materials titled "Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative training course for maternity staff." All health workers who care for women and children during the postnatal period and beyond have a key role to play in establishing and sustaining breastfeeding. Many health workers cannot fulfill this role effectively because they have not been trained to do so. This updated training course is built upon the revised 2018 Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the latest version of the guidance for implementing the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative in facilities providing maternity and newborn services. The materials in this training course complement existing courses and can be used as part of the pre-service education of health workers.
Competency Toolkit for Providers in BFHI Facilities, summarized from WHO/UNICEF
The World Health Organization and UNICEF published a toolkit titled "Competency verification toolkit: Ensuring competency of direct care providers to implement the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative." The 2018 BFHI Implementation Guidance called for greater pre-service education on breastfeeding and called upon all maternity facilities to "Ensure that staff have sufficient knowledge, competence and skills to support breastfeeding (Step 2)." This guide presents a comprehensive competency verification toolkit to assist countries, health care systems, and individual facilities to assess staff competency in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to implement the Ten Steps. The toolkit introduces a Competency Verification Tool with performance indicators, and Examiners Resource to clearly spell out correct and incorrect responses/behaviors, a set of multiple-choice questions, case studies, and observation tools.
Guidance on BFHI Care for Preterm Newborns, summarized from WHO/UNICEF
The World Health Organization and UNICEF published guidance titled "Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding: the baby-friendly hospital initiative for small, sick and preterm newborns." All inpatient newborns, except those affected by rare metabolic diseases, will benefit from breastfeeding and human milk. For many, it will mean their survival. This guidance aims to establish a system of care which emphasizes the provision of human milk to small, sick and/or premature infants, especially those who are initially unable to feed directly at breast. Historically, neonatal wards have presented obstacles to successful breastfeeding but a supportive environment can increase access to human milk and exclusive breastfeeding. This document addresses the application of the BFHI principles for small, sick, and premature newborns and their mothers in neonatal wards. It describes the implementation of the Ten Steps for the care of these newborns while giving additional clinical guidance as needed.
State and Community News
Funding Award Opportunity for Communities, summarized from RWJF
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is accepting applications for the 2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize. An annual award, the RWJF Culture of Health Prize elevates and honors communities that are at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all. Winners receive a $25,000 prize and the chance to share their accomplishments with the nation. The application deadline is Thursday, October 15.
News & Views
- "L.I.F.E. Support Amid The Pandemic"
- "Exciting News From Two Historically Black Universities In North Carolina"
Healthy Women: "Closing the Racial Gap in Breastfeeding"
Kids Eat Right: "Dads and Breast-feeding"
Medium: "Why Our Fight Is for Paid Leave for All"
Mom2Mom Global blog: "For Supervisors and Co-Workers: How to Support Breastfeeding in the Field"