Weekly Wire: April 30, 2021

Weekly Wire: April 30, 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
    • Campaign to Educate Congress on Breastfeeding Policy Priorities
    • Webinar on Commercial Milk Formula Marketing
    • Information Sessions for Prospective Members
    • Virtual Identity Caucus Meetings
    • USBC Supports...
  • International News
    • Webinar on Updated IYCF Image Gallery, summarized from USAID/UNICEF
  • National News
    • WIC Week of Action Activities, summarized from NWA/SCAN
    • Public Comment Opportunity on Infant Formula Requirements, summarized from FDA
    • Paid Leave Predictive Simulation Model Published, summarized from DOL
    • Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Introduced in Senate, summarized from Congress
    • Invitation to Participate in Study on Lactation Experiences of Black Women, summarized from University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
    • Open Access Articles, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine
    • Study on Impact of COVID-19 on Maternal and Infant Mortality, summarized from JAMA Pediatrics
    • Factsheet on Economics of Paid Leave, summarized from WCEG
  • State and Community News
    • Webinar on Expressing Milk at Work, summarized from Public Health Law Center
  • Equity Lens
    • Survey on Native Breastfeeding Week 2020, summarized from Native Breastfeeding Week
  • News & Views

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

USBC Updates

Campaign to Educate Congress on Breastfeeding Policy Priorities 

At the start of each new congressional session, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee hosts the Welcome Congress campaign to educate policymakers on breastfeeding policy priorities for that congressional session. This year, the Welcome Congress Campaign will launch on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9, with a focus on the following five breastfeeding policy priorities:

  • Federal funding for breastfeeding
  • Infant and young child feeding in emergencies
  • Access to breastfeeding support and supplies
  • Paid family and medical leave
  • Maternity care practices 

USBC launched a joint letter welcoming members of Congress to the 117th congressional session and urging action on the field's breastfeeding policy priorities. USBC leadership will share this organizational letter with legislators during Congressional office visits throughout Welcome Congress week. USBC will also launch a separate action tool for constituents across the country to share these priorities directly with their representatives. The deadline to ensure that your organization is an original signatory is Friday, May 7. 

Webinar on Commercial Milk Formula Marketing

The USBC is hosting a webinar titled "Commercial Milk Formula Marketing: International Contexts and Tools," on Monday, May 3, from 12-1:30 p.m. ET. Panelists Laurence Grummer-Strawn from the World Health Organization and Rachel Crossley from the Access to Nutrition Initiative, will describe the international contexts of commercial milk formula marketing practices and impacts, as well as the role the U.S. plays in the global community. They will discuss the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, which was published in 1981, but has yet to be adopted in the United States, while highlighting potentially useful shifts in language and approach moving forward. They will share tools for recognizing and tracking commercial milk formula marketing practices in the United States. Key findings will be shared from the 2018 "U.S. Access to Nutrition Index," which included evaluation of three major manufacturers of infant formula and other products marketed as a partial or total replacement for breast milk. All USBC member organizations and interested individuals from the breastfeeding and lactation field are invited to attend. Please share this invitation widely with your networks!

Information Sessions for Prospective Members

The USBC will host two virtual information sessions for prospective member organizations. The first session will be held on Friday, May 21, at 12 p.m. ET. The interactive session will highlight the benefits of USBC membership to your organization, the application process, and the wide range of membership categories available. Member representatives to the USBC and USBC staff will be on hand to answer any questions and discuss their experience joining the USBC. 

Virtual Identity Caucus Meetings

The USBC is continuing to host virtual identity caucuses to support individuals of the same identity to be in community with one another. These facilitated safe spaces can be used to share stories and strategies toward solidarity and liberation, as we collectively work toward creating a world with thriving families and communities. Registration is required for each meeting. Upcoming meetings include:

While prejudice affects everyone, the ways in which we are affected, and thus the work that we have to do to address prejudice and oppression, is different. Identity Caucuses allow us to meet separately to do our different work. These spaces are not meant to be used to learn from or recruit members of these communities, so please only register for groups with which you authentically identify.

USBC Supports...

International News

Webinar on Updated IYCF Image Gallery, summarized from USAID/UNICEF

USAID Advancing Nutrition and UNICEF are hosting a webinar titled "New Resources for IYCF Programming – Updated Image Bank" on Sunday, May 11, at 8 a.m. ET. The webinar will discuss an update to the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Image Bank, a collaboration between UNICEF and USAID Advancing Nutrition. The project was designed to make high-quality illustrations available for nutrition programs to use and adapt in their IYCF programming. The latest version of the IYCF Image Bank aims to expand its repertoire of IYCF images to include content on topics closely related to IYCF, including responsive feeding and responsive care, and overweight and obesity. It continues to grow in content as programs and projects share their developed illustrations related to IYCF. 

National News

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg  WIC Week of Action Activities, summarized from NWA/SCAN

The National WIC Association and Save the Children Action Network are co-hosting the WIC Week of Action digital campaign from Monday, May 3, through Sunday, May 9. The campaign plans to raise awareness among the public and Congress about the need to improve the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). During the WIC Week of Action, NWA and SCAN are hosting a panel discussion focused on policy solutions to improve WIC on Thursday, May 6, at 8 p.m. ET.

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg  Public Comment Opportunity on Infant Formula Requirements, summarized from FDA

The Federal Drug Administration launched a public comment opportunity for proposed collection of information from infant formula manufacturers, including labeling requirements and the estimated burden for the collection of information. Comments will be collected by the Office on Management and Budget. Comments may be submitted in written or electronic form using the public comment portal. The deadline to submit comments is Monday, May 24.

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Paid Leave Predictive Simulation Model Published, summarized from DOL

The U.S. Department of Labor Chief Evaluation Office launched a predictive simulation model titled the Worker Paid Leave Usage Simulation (Worker PLUS). Individuals may use Worker PLUS to estimate the effects of worker leave scenarios and policy options on worker leave-taking behavior, including estimating the benefits and costs of administering a paid leave program at state and local levels.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Introduced in Senate, summarized from Congress

U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (S. 1486). 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. The House version of the bill was introduced in February and passed out of committee earlier this month. Read the press release.

Invitation to Participate in Study on Lactation Experiences of Black Women, summarized from University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, launched a study focused on capturing the voices, experiences, demographics, and insight of African American families who breastfeed for a year or more, including those who exclusively pumped. Individuals who qualify to participate in the study may choose to either complete an online survey or participate in a virtual interview.

Open Access Articles, summarized from Breastfeeding Medicine

The journal Breastfeeding Medicine announced free access to the following articles from 2019 and 2020 through Monday, May 10.

Study on Impact of COVID-19 on Maternal and Infant Mortality, summarized from JAMA Pediatrics

The JAMA Pediatrics journal published an article titled "Maternal and Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality Among Pregnant Women With and Without COVID-19 Infection: The INTERCOVID Multinational Cohort Study." The authors found that women with a COVID-19 diagnosis were at risk of an increased composite maternal morbidity and mortality index, and newborns of women with COVID-19 diagnosis had significantly higher severe neonatal morbidity index and severe perinatal morbidity and mortality index compared with newborns of women without COVID-19 diagnosis.

Factsheet on Economics of Paid Leave, summarized from WCEG

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth published a factsheet titled "What does the research say about paid family and medical leave policies?". The publication examines research on state-provided paid family and medical leave programs in the United States and lessons learned in support of establishing a national paid leave program. The fact sheet also highlights the impact of paid leave on women in the labor force.

State and Community News

Webinar on Expressing Milk at Work, summarized from Public Health Law Center

The Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law is hosting a webinar titled "Breastfeeding & Expressing Human Milk at Work" on Wednesday, May 5, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Speakers will discuss federal, Tribal and Minnesota laws that provide protections for people who want to nurse or express milk at the workplace and how these laws apply in various workplaces in Tribal communities and across Minnesota. They will also discuss best practices for supporting lactation accommodations in the workplace and how Minnesota businesses can support nursing employees by passing supportive workplace policies.

Equity Lens

Survey on Native Breastfeeding Week 2020, summarized from Native Breastfeeding Week

Native Breastfeeding Week launched a survey titled "Native Breastfeeding Week 2020 Feedback Survey." Individuals can complete the survey to share their opinions on events hosted during Native Breastfeeding Week 2020 as part of the planning process for 2021. The survey will close Friday, April 30.

News & Views

CNBC: "17 state treasurers urge Congress to include federal paid family leave in Biden's American Families Plan"

CNN Health: "Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines do not appear to pose serious risk during pregnancy, research shows"

The Hill: "Biden pushes for 12-weeks of paid family leave in presidential first"

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg  ILCA blog post: "Beyond Borders: Creating Collaborations that Work"

JAMA (invited commentary): "Providing Data to Empower Pregnant Patients to Make Evidence-Based Choices"

MMBNE blog post: "National Public Health Week: Donor Milk as a Bridge to Breastfeeding"

 MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg USLCA blog posts:

U.S. News & World Report: "States Move Ahead on Medicaid Extension to Improve Maternal Health"

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