Weekly Wire: April 22, 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 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
- Joint Letter Supporting Federal Funding for Breastfeeding Delivered
- Preliminary Agenda for National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening
- Last Call for Equity Experts!
- USBC Supports...
- Special Section on COVID-19
- National News
- Survey on Postpartum Experience, summarized from OWH
- Action Plan to Measure and Limit Heavy Metals in Baby Foods, summarized from FDA
- Public Comment Opportunity on MIECHV Program, summarized from HRSA
- Committee Hearing on Paid Leave Impact on Women and the Economy, summarized from Congress
- Equity Lens
- On-Demand Webinar on Dismantling Racism in Lactation, summarized from MIBFN
- Collective Impact Connection
- Webinar on Future of Philanthropy, summarized from SSIR
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Joint Letter Supporting Federal Funding for Breastfeeding Delivered
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee delivered a joint letter to Members of Congress in support of federal funding for breastfeeding in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) appropriations process. The letter asks legislators to direct $20M to the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program in the FY22 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The letter was signed by 67 international, national, and tribal organizations and 132 regional, state, and local organizations. Additional signatures will be added on a rolling basis.
Preliminary Agenda for National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee published a preliminary agenda for the 2021 National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening. Explore the presentations, presenters, and networking opportunities scheduled for the event. The online conference will be hosted Wednesday, June 9 - Friday, June 11, from 12-5 p.m. ET daily. Registration is open, continuing education is being applied for, and there are opportunities to showcase your brand or project via a virtual exhibit or sponsorship. Review the Frequently Asked Questions page for information.
Last Call for Equity Experts!
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is working to identify a cohort of equity experts to be included in a directory on the USBC website. This new resource will make it easier for individuals and organizations in our network to find the support they need to move forward in their equity journey. Individuals with experience supporting organizations to operationalize equity are encouraged to complete the equity champion form by Friday, April 30.
The USBC joined the following organizational sign on letter from the field:
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:
- ASPE: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation published an issue brief titled "Medicaid Churning and Continuity of Care: Evidence and Policy Considerations Before and After the COVID-19 Pandemic." The brief highlights that the postpartum period is a high-risk time for beneficiaries moving in and out of Medicaid coverage.
- Congress: Representative Ayanna Pressley (MA-7-D) introduced a bill titled "COVID-19 Safe Birthing Act" (H.R. 2598). The bill would would provide protections and access to care for pregnant people during the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring that hospitals and health care settings allow birthing individuals to be accompanied by a loved one, in addition to a doula or other birthing support professional; expanding access to maternal telehealth services for Medicaid recipients; extending Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program postpartum coverage to a full year; and ensuring that all pregnant persons, regardless of insurance status or source of insurance, have access to free COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination during and after the emergency declaration period. Additional materials from Representative Pressley's office include:
- Press release: "Rep. Pressley Unveils Bold Legislation to Support Pregnant People During COVID-19 Pandemic"
- Organizational letter: "Support the COVID-19 Safe Birthing Bill"
- IHS: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Services, released a Dear Tribal Leader and Urban Indian Organization Leader on the allocation of $95 million for telehealth services with funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
- JAMA: JAMA published a research letter titled "SARS-CoV-2–Specific Antibodies in Breast Milk After COVID-19 Vaccination of Breastfeeding Women." The study examined breast milk samples from a small cohort of breastfeeding women in Israel that had received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This study found robust secretion of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgA and IgG antibodies in breast milk for 6 weeks after vaccination.
- SMFM: The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine published a statement titled "Statement on the US Food & Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control Recommendation to Pause Administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) Vaccine." The statement includes information on the pause and response, and it highlights the effectiveness of surveillance efforts to ensure the safety of vaccines and the transparency with which federal agencies are communicating about possible adverse events.
Survey on Postpartum Experience, summarized from OWH
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health launched a survey titled "New Mom's Health & Wellness Survey." OWH is seeking information about the experiences of new mothers to learn how to make it easier for them to get help if they feel pressure with a new baby and other life issues. Please share widely with your networks!
Action Plan to Measure and Limit Heavy Metals in Baby Foods, summarized from FDA
The Food and Drug Administration announced an action plan to establish new metrics for assessing and limiting heavy metals in baby foods titled "Closer to Zero: Action Plan for Baby Foods." Under the plan, the FDA will evaluate the scientific basis for setting limits on levels of heavy metals permitted in baby foods—starting with lead, followed by arsenic, and then other heavy metals—and propose limits based on those reviews.
Public Comment Opportunity on MIECHV Program, summarized from HRSA
The Health Resources and Service Administration launched a public comment opportunity for proposed revisions to data collection programs from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. Proposed changes will improve clarity, protect privacy, and address increased reporting burden. Comments will be collected by the Office of Management and Budget. Comments may be submitted in written or electronic form using the public comment portal. The deadline to submit comments is Wednesday, May 19.
Committee Hearing on Paid Leave Impact on Women and the Economy, summarized from Congress
The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing titled "In Their Own Words: Paid Leave, Child Care, and an Economy that Failed Women" on Wednesday, April 21. An archived video and written statements from Members of Congress and expert witnesses are available.
On-Demand Webinar on Dismantling Racism in Lactation, summarized from MIBFN
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network released an on-demand webinar titled "Dismantling Racism and Implicit Bias in Breastfeeding and Human Lactation." Speaker TaNefer L. Camara, MS-HCA, IBCLC, will address how racism, specifically anti-Black racism is the root cause of disparities in breastfeeding and lactation. She will use case studies and parent narratives to highlight the insidious ways breastfeeding is casually disrupted and undermined by medical providers, nurses and others who interface with birthing and lactating people. Participants will leave the webinar with recommendations for identifying racism, addressing implicit bias and how to support, and affirm Black, Indigenous and a people of color in breastfeeding/chestfeeding and lactation.
Collective Impact Connection
Webinar on Future of Philanthropy, summarized from SSIR
The Stanford Social Innovation Review is hosting a webinar titled "The Road Ahead: How the Events of 2020 Might Shape the Future of Philanthropy" on Tuesday, May 4, from 2-3 p.m. ET. Panelists will explore the ways that philanthropists have responded to the unprecedented events of the past year, what they learned as a result of having to quickly adapt their giving strategies to address rapidly-mounting and desperate need, and how the philanthropic ecosystem – donors and grantees – can continue prepare for what's next. They will also discuss philanthropy issues and approaches at local, national, and international levels.
News & Views
Amplify (USLCA blog): "Are you ready to neuro-diversify your lactation practice this month?"
Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health blog post: "Incarcerated women need better lactation support policies"
Tucson Local Media: "Arizona study examines health risks faced by female firefighters"