Weekly Wire: January 13, 2021
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 Year, New USBC!
- Call for Proposals for the 2021 National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening is Open!
- Special Section on COVID-19
- National News
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans Released, summarized from USDA/HHS
- Deadline Extended on Opportunity for Comment on WIC Systematic Review, summarized from AHRQ
- Fiscal Year 2021 Federal Budget Appropriations Passed into Law, summarized from Congress
- Fiscal Year 2021 Defense Bill Establishes Pilot Project on Maternal Health Services, summarized from Congress
- Scarlett's Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act Passed Into Law, summarized from Congress
- Infant Mortality Committee Meeting Announced, summarized from HRSA
- Call for Manuscripts on Infant and Young Child Feeding, summarized from JHL
- Equity Lens
- Resource on WIC Technology, summarized from CWA
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
New Year, New USBC!
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is thrilled to present our new logo and colors! After a survey of USBC staff, Board, members, and partners, the communications team spent over a year engaging with designer, Kerstin Vodges Diehn of 501c Design, to update the USBC branding, including a fresh new logo that represents our role as a convener with a color palette that is warm and welcoming.
We hope you love it as much as we do!
Call for Proposals for the 2021 National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening is Open!
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is pleased to announce that the call for proposals for the 2021 National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening (NBCC) is open! The fully online event will take place from Wednesday, June 9, to Friday, June 11, 2021. The theme is Ready for Anything: Rising & Thriving Breastfeeding Communities in the Face of Uncertainty. The NBCC brings together advocates within the First Food field including representatives from breastfeeding coalitions, community-based organizations, national non-governmental organizations, and relevant governmental agencies. This gathering is designed to develop and strengthen leadership capacity to effectively protect, promote, and support breastfeeding at the national, state, and local/community levels. The conference team has developed several resources to support the submission process. The deadline to submit a proposal is Sunday, February 7, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PT.
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:
- CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new COVID-19 resource webpage titled "Resources for Community Health Workers, Community Health Representatives, and Promotores de la Salud." The webpage includes information on adapting practices for COVID-19, communication tools, and stress and coping resources for community health workers during the pandemic.
- USBC Insight: Community health workers, including promotores de la salud, play an important role in supporting breastfeeding families.
- iScience: iScience published an article titled "Robust and Specific Secretory IgA Against SARS-CoV-2 Detected in Human Milk." The authors discuss the results of testing a small group of human milk samples from COVID-19-recovered and COVID-19-suspected donors for antibody binding to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein.
- JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open published an original investigation titled "Assessment of Maternal and Neonatal SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load, Transplacental Antibody Transfer, and Placental Pathology in Pregnancies During the COVID-19 Pandemic." The study followed 127 pregnant women who were admitted to Boston hospitals during the spring of 2020. Among the 64 pregnant women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, no newborns tested positive for the virus. Additional highlights include:
- JHU: Johns Hopkins University updated its "COVID-19, Breastfeeding, Infant Feeding, Breast Milk—Literature Repository" to include ten new publications.
- UNC Greensboro: The Department of Public Health Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro updated the document titled "Recommendations and Considerations for the Use and Cleaning of Lactation Rooms During the COVID-19 Pandemic." The publication includes recommendations to address air quality and flow in lactation spaces, cleaning, and behavior.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans Released, summarized from USDA/HHS
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services released the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. The guidelines provide science-based recommendations designed to foster healthy dietary patterns for Americans of all ages – from birth through older adults. This edition expands the guidance, for the first time including recommended healthy dietary patterns for infants and toddlers as well as pregnant and lactating women. The Dietary Guidelines recommend exclusive human milk feeding for about the first 6 months of life, and to continue to feed infants human milk through at least the first year of life, and longer if desired. The Dietary Guidelines serve as the basis for Federal nutrition education materials designed for the public and for the nutrition education components of USDA and HHS nutrition programs. View the downloadable graphics. Media highlights included:
- HHS: "USDA and HHS Just Released the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025"
- USDA: "Make Every Bite Count: USDA, HHS Release Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025"
- NWA: "USDA and HHS Announce Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025"
Deadline Extended on 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 the 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 has been extended to Friday, January 15. Learn more about submitting supplemental evidence and data.
Fiscal Year 2021 Federal Budget Appropriations Passed into Law, summarized from Congress
Congress passed and the President signed the Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Spending and COVID-19 Relief Package (H.R. 133). The legislative package included all 12 appropriations measures as well as additional COVID-19-related aid. Provisions impacting breastfeeding families are included in four of the 12 appropriations bills. Funding for breastfeeding includes $9.5M for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program, a $500K increase from FY 2020, $63.95M for the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program, a $4M increase from FY 2020, and $90M for the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program, level funding from FY 2020. Read the press release.
USBC Insight: The USBC published a detailed analysis on how the fiscal year 2021 federal budget impacts breastfeeding families in a blog titled "Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Signed Into Law." Each year funding is allocated to a variety of federal programs that include breastfeeding support through the federal appropriations process. Appropriations for breastfeeding help build and strengthen critical programs and initiatives to improve maternity care practices, increase access to peer & professional support, ensure continuity of breastfeeding care, increase support for breastfeeding employees, and address disparities in breastfeeding rates. Thank you to all of the individuals and organizations who urged members of Congress to support this critical public health priority with the USBC "Ask Congress to Invest in Breastfeeding Families" action tool!
Fiscal Year 2021 Defense Bill Establishes Pilot Project on Maternal Health Services, summarized from Congress
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (H.R. 6395) has been passed into law. The NDAA authorizes Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations and sets forth policies for Department of Defense programs and activities. This year's version includes a provision which requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a demonstration project designed to evaluate the cost, quality of care, and impact on maternal and fetal outcomes of using extramedical maternal health providers under the TRICARE program. The demonstration project will be used to determine the appropriateness of making coverage of such providers under the TRICARE program permanent. The demonstration project will include access to lactation consultants who are not otherwise authorized to provide services under the TRICARE program. In addition, the provision requires the Secretary to administer an annual survey to determine how many members of the Armed Forces, or spouses of such members, use doula support or lactation consultants. The NDAA also includes components of the Mothers of Military Service Leave Act, which closes a paid leave access gap by allowing women servicemembers of the National Guard and Reserve to receive pay and points towards retirement while on maternity leave. The bill was vetoed by the President but later passed over veto by both the House and Senate to become public law.
Scarlett's Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act Passed Into Law, summarized from Congress
Congress has passed and the President has signed into law Scarlett's Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act (H.R. 2271). The bill establishes various programs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to award grants to states, local agencies, and nonprofit organizations to address sudden unexpected infant and childhood deaths. The bill provides grants for training medical examiners, and other appropriate personnel, about standardized investigative practices, including the infant or child's medical history, and other circumstances surrounding the death. The bill requires the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to provide grants to states to develop the capacity for local governments to comprehensively review 100% of all infant and child deaths and maintain the National Fatality Review Case Reporting System. Additionally, the bill would require the ACF to award grants to promote evidence-based best practices, support prevention efforts, provide safe-sleep products, and support the provision of services to families who have had an infant or child die from sudden unexpected death.
USBC Insight: Scarlett's Sunshine Act grants could open the way to improve consistency of investigation and reporting criteria for SUID across municipalities. This lever for change has been identified in the First Food field as an important mechanism for data improvement that would significantly contribute to breastfeeding research and safe sleep messaging for families.
Infant Mortality Committee Meeting Announced, summarized from HRSA
The Health Resources & Services Administration announced that the next public meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM) will take place Monday. January 25, from 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. ET and Tuesday, January 26, from 11:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ET. The meeting will take place via webinar. SACIM advises the Secretary and the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration on Department of Health and Human Services' programs that are directed at reducing infant mortality and improving the health status of pregnant women and infants.
Call for Manuscripts on Infant and Young Child Feeding, summarized from JHL
The Journal of Human Lactation is soliciting manuscripts for its February 2022 issue. Manuscripts should pertain to topics and issues regarding laws and policies related to infant and young child feeding. The editors welcome original research, literature reviews, case studies, and insights into practice and policy. The deadline to submit is Friday, October 1.
Resource on WIC Technology, summarized from CWA
The California WIC Association released a resource titled "WIC Tech: A Matter of Equity." The brief examines different technology needs, challenges, and opportunities for WIC participants and staff. It also provides recommendations for needed changes to better serve WIC families and modernize the WIC program.
News & Views
Daily Kos: "We Must Protect BIPOC Mothers During Covid-19"
Future of Health: "An Intergenerational Breastfeeding Story"
Institute for Patient Access: "Human Milk's 'Secret Ingredients'"
The Milk Way (Healthy Children Project blog): "Lactation counselor expands access to pasteurized donor human milk"
Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast blog: "Remembering Clyde Through Milk Donation"
Scientific American: "Pregnant Women Must Be Included in Medical Research"