Weekly Wire: December 11, 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
- Share Your Story with the USBC!
- New Event Calendar
- USBC Supports...
- Special Section on COVID-19
- Special Section on Action Plan to Improve Maternal Health
- International News
- Report on International Nutrition Profiles, summarized from Global Nutrition Report
- National News
- New Action Plan, Call to Action to Improve Maternal Health, summarized from HHS/Surgeon General/OWH
- Opportunity for Comment on WIC Systematic Review, summarized from AHRQ
- Webinar on Mom-Friendly Workplace Policies, summarized from NWA
- Webinar on Breast Pain During Lactation, summarized from IABLE
- Public Comments Open on Infant Formula Labeling, summarized from FDA
- Petition to Address Toddler Milk Marketing, summarized from CSPI
- Letter in Support of WIC Funding, summarized from Congress
- Continuing Resolution Advances in House, summarized from Congress
- State & Community News
- Partnership with Mi Milk Collective, summarized from MIBFN
- Equity Lens
- National Day of Racial Healing, summarized from WKKF
- Collective Impact Connection
- Resource on Workplace Breastfeeding Support during COVID-19, summarized from Workplace Support Constellation
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Share Your Story with the USBC!
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee released a new support story collector. Individuals are invited to share insights and experiences as a breastfeeding parent, a community member, a lactation support or health care provider, a public health worker, and/or as someone passionate about the importance of human milk feeding. The USBC works with our members and partners to educate policymakers and push for breastfeeding-friendly policy and practice changes for all families. Personal stories and experiences from constituents help decision-makers understand what is at stake and why action is needed. Your story is unique and can make a big impact! Please consider sharing with us!
New Event Calendar
The USBC launched a public event calendar featuring events hosted by USBC member organizations. The calendar includes webinars, trainings, and other events happening across the First Food fields. USBC member organizations are invited to submit their events to the calendar. Learn how your organization can become a member of the USBC.
The USBC joined the following organizational sign-on letter from the field:
- Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs: Sign on letter in support of H.R. 4995 and H.R. 4996
Special Section on 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:
- ABB: A Better Balance released two model state or local-level bills addressing paid sick time during public health emergencies. One model bill provides general paid sick time with additional leave during a public health emergency; and the other model is a standalone bill for paid sick time only during public health emergencies.
- ACNM/CWLL: The American College of Nurse-Midwives and the Center for WorkLife Law have published a document titled "Pregnancy and Breastfeeding During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Your Workplace Rights." The publication includes information for breastfeeding and pregnant employees about accommodations and leave during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released "Interim Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel and Long-Term Care Facility Residents." The publication includes a section on considerations for vaccinating pregnant and breastfeeding health care providers.
- CWLL: The Center for WorkLife Law released "COVID-19 Prenatal Care Provider's Guide: Supporting Pregnant and Breastfeeding Patients with Work Issues." The guidance includes information on how health care providers can support their breastfeeding and pregnant clients, including examples of effective work accommodation notes.
- HHS: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a request for information that seeks to gain a comprehensive understanding of effective and innovative approaches and best practices adopted by health care systems and providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. HHS plans to identify and learn from effective innovative approaches and best practices implemented by non-HHS organizations in order to inform HHS priorities and programs. Public comments must be submitted electronically through HHS's online portal by Thursday, December 24.
- MTAP: The Maternal Access Telehealth Project published a report on their community grant program as part of their series of reports on maternity care via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report includes highlights of MTAP's community grant application process, information about the 91 grantees, and the services they provided. Twenty-nine of the grantees provided breastfeeding and lactation support.
- SMFM: The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine published a statement titled "SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination in Pregnancy." The letter calls for the inclusion of pregnant and lactating women in vaccination trials, recommends that pregnant women have access to COVID-19 vaccines in all phases of future vaccine campaigns, and that pregnant women and their healthcare professionals engage in shared decision-making regarding her receipt of the vaccine.
COVID-19 News & Views
JAMA (editorial): "Infants Born to Mothers With COVID-19—Making Room for Rooming-in"
Special Section on Action Plan to Improve Maternal Health
On Thursday, December 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a landmark Maternal Health Initiative to reduce maternal deaths and disparities that put women at risk before, during, and after pregnancy.
- HHS: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published "Healthy Women, Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Futures: Action Plan to Improve Maternal Health in America." The action plan provides a roadmap for addressing risk factors before and during pregnancy, improving the quality of and access to maternity and postpartum care, and supporting a research agenda to fill gaps in current evidence. Increasing breastfeeding rates and decreasing breastfeeding disparities is included within the action plan's third goal: "achieve healthy futures by optimizing postpartum health." The action plan highlights current HHS initiatives and describes upcoming efforts to support breastfeeding through a multi-year national campaign. The Breastfeeding Education and Promotion Campaign for African American Mothers and Families campaign will encourage African American mothers to breastfeed for at least the first six months, with support from their families. Read the press release.
- HHS/March of Dimes: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and March of Dimes announced a public-private partnership to address the disparity gap in maternal health outcomes for black women through the implementation of evidence-based best practices to improve healthcare quality in hospital settings. Read the press release.
- OWH: The Office on Women's Health launched a new "Maternal Health" webpage featuring information about the action plan to improve maternal health as well as the plan's goals and objectives.
- Surgeon General: The U.S. Surgeon General released the "The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Improve Maternal Health" outlining the critical roles individuals can play to improve maternal health. The Call to Action aims to engage and equip individuals, organizations, and communities with actions to improve women's health before, during, and following pregnancy. The Call to Action takes a deep dive into the current state of maternal mortality and morbidity, including the stark racial and ethnic disparities across the U.S. Read the Executive Summary.
Report on International Nutrition Profiles, summarized from Global Nutrition Report
The Global Nutrition Report released "Country Nutrition Profiles." The profiles include information about progress toward a dozen global nutrition targets, including exclusive breastfeeding. They also include data on infant and young child feeding, including breastfeeding initiation and continuation. Profiles can be viewed at a global, regional, and country level.
Opportunity for Comment on WIC Systematic Review, summarized from AHRQ
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released their research protocol for an upcoming systematic review titled "Maternal and Childhood Outcomes Associated With the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)." This systematic review intends to summarize the evidence on how participation in WIC is associated with outcomes for women and children. Individuals are invited to submit supplemental evidence and data for the research protocol. The deadline to submit is Tuesday, December 29. Learn more about submitting supplemental evidence and data.
Webinar on Mom-Friendly Workplace Policies, summarized from NWA
The National WIC Association is hosting a webinar titled "Supporting Working Moms: New Opportunities for Mom-Friendly Workplace Policy" on Thursday, December 17, at 3 p.m. ET. Presenters will discuss legislative proposals that require that employers take measures to support working parents, including paid family leave and lactation accommodations. Cheryl Lebedevitch, the USBC Senior Advocacy & Communications Manager, will be a panelist on the webinar.
Webinar on Breast Pain During Lactation, summarized from IABLE
The Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding and Lactation Education is hosting a webinar titled "Clinical Case Discussions in Breastfeeding Medicine" on Sunday, December 13, from 9-10 a.m. CT. The presenters will identify new strategies to evaluate and treat common and uncommon cases in breastfeeding medicine, share ideas on clinical practice in breastfeeding medicine, share patient education handouts and clinical protocols on breastfeeding medicine topics, and identify areas of breastfeeding medicine where evidence is lacking, and where more research is needed.
Public Comments Open on Infant Formula Labeling, summarized from FDA
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration released an opportunity for public comments on the information collection provisions of their infant formula regulations, including infant formula labeling, quality control procedures, notification requirements, and recordkeeping. Comments may be submitted through electronic or written means and must be submitted on or before Monday, February 1, 2021.
Petition to Address Toddler Milk Marketing, summarized from CSPI
The Center for Science in the Public Interest launched an action tool titled "Tell FDA to address awful and unlawful toddler beverage marketing." Individuals may use the action tool to contact the Food and Drug Administration and ask them to act on a Citizen Petition submitted by CSPI in July. The petition requests enforcement of and updates to labeling regulations in order to address consumer confusion and public health harms posed by "transition formulas" and "toddler milks."
Letter in Support of WIC Funding, summarized from Congress
A group of 12 U.S. Senators have submitted a letter to the leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee expressing support for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in next year's spending bill. The letter includes specific mention of WIC's positive impact on breastfeeding families, including the WIC breastfeeding peer counselor program. Highlights from the field include:
- NCPR: "Sen. Gillibrand urges Congress to maintain WIC funding in 2021 appropriations bill"
- U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand press release: "As Record Numbers Of New Yorkers Face Food Insecurity, Gillibrand Urges Congress To Invest $6 Billion To Meet Growing Nutrition Needs"
Continuing Resolution Advances in House, summarized from Congress
The House has passed Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021, and Other Extensions Act (H.R. 8900). This bill provides Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 continuing appropriations to federal agencies through December 18, 2020. It is known as a continuing resolution (CR) and prevents a government shutdown that would otherwise occur if the FY2021 appropriations bills have not been enacted when the existing CR expires on December 11, 2020. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill today. Learn more about the status of appropriations bills with the Congressional Research Service "Appropriations Status Table: FY2021."
National Day of Racial Healing, summarized from WKKF
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced that the 2021 National Day of Racial Healing will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. The annual National Day of Racial Healing originated as part of WKKF's national Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts – a national, community-based process of transformative, sustainable change, addressing the historic and contemporary effects of racism. The day will be centered around experiences rooted in truth-telling that lead to racial healing for a more just and equitable future. WKKF also published resources for individuals, students, educators, philanthropic organizations, libraries, and more.
Collective Impact Connection
Resource on Workplace Breastfeeding Support during COVID-19, summarized from Workplace Support Constellation
The USBC-affiliated Workplace Support Constellation developed a printable resource for breastfeeding workers titled "Your COVID-19 Workplace Rights: Breastfeeding and Lactation." Co-published by the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee and the Center for WorkLife Law, the handout aims to ensure that employees have information about their workplace rights as well as practical solutions to make breastfeeding work during the pandemic and beyond. The resource addresses key questions about workplace rights for breastfeeding employees in the context of COVID-19 including remote working, pumping at work, and childcare facilities. Breastfeeding coalitions and other interested organizations are invited to work with the USBC and the Center for WorkLife Law to develop co-branded versions of the resource by completing the online form.
News & Views
Financial Planning: "On being a Black, breastfeeding wealth management professional"
Reveal: "Reproducing Racism"