Weekly Wire: March 20, 2021

Weekly Wire: March 20, 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
    • House Hearing on the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act
    • 2021 Conference Registration Now Open!
    • 2021 Conference Award Applications Deadline Extended: 3/28
  • Special Section on COVID-19
  • National News
    • Live Session on Supporting Spanish-Speaking Parents and Safe Infant Sleep, summarized from NICHD
    • Response to Concerns About Heavy Metals in Baby Food, summarized from FDA/CFSAN
    • Action Tool Supporting Pregnant Workers, summarized from ABB
    • Sleep Awareness Week Social Media Toolkit, summarized from NICHQ
    • Funding Opportunities Addressing Public Health Issues, summarized from NIH
    • REACH Funding Sign On Letter, summarized from SOPHE
    • Resource on Aligning Businesses and Public Health, summarized from deBeaumont Foundation
  • Equity Lens
    • E-Learning Program on CLAS in Maternal Health Care, summarized from OMH
    • Tribal Leader Letter Seeking Input, Announcing Consultation Sessions, summarized from HHS
  • News & Views

 MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg denotes a USBC member organization news item  CollectiveImpact.jpg denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item

USBC Updates

House Hearing on the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act

The House Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee and Workforce Protections Subcommittee hosted a joint hearing on Thursday, March 18, titled "Fighting for Fairness: Examining Legislation to Confront Workplace Discrimination." The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act and Pregnant Workers Fairness Act were included as part of the hearing. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee submitted a statement to be included in the hearing record and mobilized a joint letter signed by 51 international, national, and tribal organizations, and 47 regional, state, and local organizations urging support for the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act. In addition, USBC signed on to a joint letter in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. View the recording of the hearing

The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would strengthen the 2010 Break Time law by closing the coverage gap, providing employers clarity on when pumping time must be paid and when it may be unpaid, and providing remedies for nursing mothers. The PWFA would help eliminate discrimination and promote women's health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission "Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues" states that lactation is a pregnancy-related medical condition. Stay tuned for news and action opportunities on these crucial pieces of legislation!

2021 Conference Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for this year's National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening (NBCC), to be held online June 9-11. Register by logging into the website and using our online form. The theme for this year's convening is, Ready for Anything: Rising & Thriving Breastfeeding Communities in the Face of Uncertainty. The event will feature a unique intersection of plenary speakers, panel presentations, and networking opportunities. Explore the conference goals and learning arcs for more information about the event agenda. Early bird registration discounts are available until Thursday, April 15. Individuals from USBC Member Organizations are eligible for reduced member pricing. USBC Member Representatives: please check your email for details.

2021 Conference Award Applications Deadline Extended: 3/28

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee extended the deadline to apply for an Award for the National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening to Sunday, March 28. Eligible and interested maternal and child health grassroots workers are invited to apply for three award categories: Emerging Leader, Tribal Trailblazer, and Cultural Changemaker. Award recipients will receive a free full-access registration to the June 9-11 online conference, promotion of their work, and more. Please share this extended deadline widely with your networks!

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:

National News

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Live Session on Supporting Spanish-Speaking Parents and Safe Infant Sleep, summarized from NICHD

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is hosting a Facebook Live event for Spanish-speaking parents and infant caregivers on creating safe infant sleep spaces on Friday, April 2, at 1 p.m. ET. Safe sleep experts will answer frequently asked questions and respond to other queries live in the comments. Parents, caregivers, healthcare and service providers, and advocates are invited to tune in.

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Response to Concerns About Heavy Metals in Baby Food, summarized from FDA/CFSAN

The Food & Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition published an update titled "FDA Letter to Industry on Chemical Hazards, including Toxic Elements, in Food and Update on FDA Efforts to Increase the Safety of Foods for Babies and Young Children." The update includes information on FDA's letter to baby and toddler food manufacturers and processors reminding them of their existing responsibility to consider risks from chemical hazards, including toxic elements, when conducting a hazard analysis, including for products for babies and young children. The FDA also states that they are finalizing a comprehensive plan to further reduce levels of toxic elements in foods for babies and young children.

Action Tool Supporting Pregnant Workers, summarized from ABB

A Better Balance launched an online action tool titled "Tell Congress: Act Now to Protect Pregnant Workers During Women's History Month." Individuals can use the tool to contact their members of Congress in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to ensure dignity, security, and equity for pregnant workers.

Sleep Awareness Week Social Media Toolkit, summarized from NICHQ

The National Institute for Children's Health Quality released a "Safe Infant Sleep Social Media Toolkit" with resources for Sleep Awareness Week, taking place March 14-20, 2021. The toolkit includes sample posts, relevant hashtags, and shareable social media graphics that promote evidence-based safe-sleep practices, including breastfeeding, and raise awareness about sleep-related deaths.

Funding Opportunities Addressing Public Health Issues, summarized from NIH

The National Institutes of Health announced several funding opportunities that focus on addressing public health issues related to breastfeeding:

  • "Administrative Supplements for Research on Women's Health in the IDeA States": This notice of special interest highlights supplemental awards to expand research and research capacity in Institutional Development Award program (IDeA) states to address important issues of women's health across the lifespan, including maternal mortality and breast milk composition. Specific National Institute of General Medical Sciences programs are eligible to apply, and applications are due Monday, April 19.
  • "Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health": The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to support research on interventions to improve health in Native American populations. Through this funding, intervention and related research is sought to build upon community knowledge, resources, and resilience to test science-based, culturally appropriate solutions to reduce morbidity and mortality through identification and remediation of precursors to diseases and disorders and through culturally informed treatment. Letters of intent are due Saturday, April 17, and applications are due Monday, May 17.
  • "Small Business Initiatives for Innovative Diagnostic Technology for Improving Outcomes for Maternal Health": This notice of special interest invites Small Business Technology Transfer Grant applicants and Small Business Innovation Research Grant applicants to develop technologies or tools to quantitatively predict or indicate an increased risk for maternal morbidity and mortality, as part of the Implementing a Maternal health and PRegnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) initiative. Entities can apply for the IMPROVE initiative through several funding opportunity announcements listed in the notice.

REACH Funding Sign On Letter, summarized from SOPHE

The Society for Public Health Education launched an organizational sign-on letter supporting $102.5 million in funding for CDC's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program in Fiscal Year 2022. The letter specifically requests $75.5 million for the REACH grant program and $27 million for its affiliated program, Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country, to address the disproportionate impact of chronic disease on racial and ethnic populations in urban, rural, and tribal areas. The REACH program works to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities through local, culturally appropriate programs, including breastfeeding support programs. Organizations can sign on via the online form. The deadline to sign on is Friday, March 26.

Resource on Aligning Businesses and Public Health, summarized from deBeaumont Foundation

The deBeaumont Foundation, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, published a report titled "Seven Ways Businesses Can Align with Public Health for Bold Action and Innovation." The report presents seven practical steps that businesses can take to strengthen partnerships and improve the health of their employees, communities, and the nation. Each step also includes actions where businesses can take the lead, including providing paid family leave to improve the health and well-being of all employees.

Equity Lens

E-Learning Program on CLAS in Maternal Health Care, summarized from OMH

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health launched a new, free, and accredited e-learning program titled Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Maternal Health Care. The program is designed to develop maternal health care providers' knowledge and skills related to culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Tribal Leader Letter Seeking Input, Announcing Consultation Sessions, summarized from HHS

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a "Dear Tribal Leader" letter that asks for input from Tribal leaders on improvements that can be made to HHS policies and practices to better engage with Indian Country through meaningful consultation. HHS is holding six virtual consultation sessions for Tribal representatives and Tribal leaders to provide recommendations on the department's Tribal Consultation Policy throughout the month of March. 

News & Views

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg 1,000 Days blog post: "#March4Nutrition in the United States: The Impact of COVID on Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days"

A Better Balance blog post: "The Momnibus Act Provides Multi-Faceted Solutions to the Black Maternal Health Crisis"

Native News Online: "New Mentorship Program in Phoenix Aims to Help Native Women Reclaim Breastfeeding"

Scientific American: "We Must Extend Postpartum Medicaid Coverage"

SHRM blog post: "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Reintroduced"

State of New Jersey press release: "First Lady Tammy Murphy and New Jersey Department of Human Services Announce New Medicaid Initiatives to Help Improve Maternal & Infant Health"

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