Weekly Wire: May 7, 2021

Weekly Wire: May 7, 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
    • Congratulations to the NBCC Awardees!
    • Technical Assistance Sessions for Coalitions
    • Membership Information Sessions
    • Organizational Sign-On Letter in Support of Breastfeeding Policy Priorities
    • Letter of Record to Ways and Means Committee in Support of Paid Family Leave
  • Special Section on Paid Family & Medical Leave
  • International News
    • Statement on International Labour Day, summarized from WABA
  • National News
    • Updated PRAMS Data Released, summarized from CDC
    • Action Tool Supporting Breastfeeding Employees, summarized from MomsRising
    • Resources on Labor Force Participation, summarized from DOL/BLS
    • Congressional Hearing on Black Maternal Health Crisis, summarized from Congress
    • Week of Action in Support of Pregnant Workers, summarized from ABB
    • Report on States' Essential Health Benefits Coverage and Maternal Care, summarized from CAP 
    • Resources on Safe Infant Sleep and Breastfeeding Myths, summarized from NICHQ
  • State and Community News
    • Webinar on Baby-Friendly Designation in California, summarized from CBC
  • Collective Impact Connection
    • Early Childhood Health Equity Landscape Project, summarized from Child Trends/NICHQ
  • News & Views

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

Congratulations to the NBCC Awardees!

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is honored to recognize the outstanding members of the 2021 cohort of National Breastfeeding Conference and Convening Awardees! They will be recognized along with the 2020 cohort at this year's gathering, where attendees will hear directly from them about their stories and experiences. Each year, the USBC offers a limited number of awards to support the participation of cultural, tribal, and emerging breastfeeding leaders at the National Breastfeeding Conference and Convening. These awards are one component of our ongoing efforts to recognize individuals who dedicate their service to communities with breastfeeding rates below the U.S. national average. Please join us in celebrating these outstanding individuals at the June 9-11 online convening!

Emerging Leader Awardees

  • Stacy Yeager-Okosi (2021)
  • Rosa Sisneros Jimenzez (2021)
  • Hannah Halliwell (2020)
  • Pa Houa Shasky (2020)

Tribal Trailblazer Awardees

  • Tammy Dixon (2021)
  • Shashana Craft (2021)
  • Takayla Lightfield (2020)
  • Anita Mihtukwsun (2020)

Cultural Changemaker Awardees

  • Ana Maria Linares (2021)
  • Fulkumari Rozario (2021)
  • Whitney Dula (2020)
  • Jada Metcalf (2020)

Technical Assistance Sessions for Coalitions

Join the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee for two upcoming sessions in the Coalitions Technical Assistance series, designed to help strengthen every coalition's ability to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

  • "Building Inclusive Communication Strategies" will take place Tuesday, May 11, from 1-3 p.m. ET. Subject experts To-Wen Tseng, Carmen Cabrer, and Linda Kopecky will take a deep dive through appreciative inquiry to discuss different communication approaches, the need to explore new technology, and the importance of incorporating inclusive language and imagery in a coalition's communications.
  • "Quick Ideas for Busy Coalitions" will take place Thursday, May 13, from 2-4 p.m. ET. Coalition-building experts Candi Cornelius, Elsa Quintana, and Linda Kopecky will facilitate a roundtable discussion on quick ideas for coalitions, including planning methods, tools, and community partnerships.

Membership Information Sessions

Join the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee to learn more about the membership application process, member categories, and the benefits your organization will receive as a part of the USBC member network by joining one of our interactive info sessions:

This is an exclusive opportunity for you to learn more about the USBC and how the USBC network can support your organization to achieve its mission. Staff and current member representatives will be ready to answer your questions during this interactive dialogue.

Organizational Sign-On Letter in Support of Breastfeeding Policy Priorities

In honor of Mother's Day, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee will host the Welcome Congress campaign next week to educate policymakers 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 

Organizations are invited to sign the joint letter welcoming members of Congress to the 117th congressional session and urging action on these policy priorities. USBC leadership will share this organizational letter with legislators during Congressional office visits throughout the week. The deadline to ensure that your organization is an original signatory has been extended to Sunday, May 9. Stay tuned for the launch of our new action tool to help constituents share these priorities directly with their representatives! 

USBC Statement in Support of Paid Family Leave for House Hearing

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee submitted a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee. The letter was submitted for consideration to be included in the written record for the recent committee hearing, "In Their Own Words: Paid Leave, Child Care, and an Economy that Failed Women." The USBC letter demonstrates how the establishment of a paid family and medical leave insurance program in the United States would positively impact human milk feeding families and contribute to national efforts to increase breastfeeding rates.

Special Section on Paid Family & Medical Leave

In the U.S., nearly 1 in 4 employed mothers return to work within two weeks of childbirth. Research shows that access to paid family and medical leave contributes to improved breastfeeding outcomes. However, the U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that does not guarantee paid leave.

Paid Leave News & Views

The Hill: "A historic moment to truly honor mothers"

The Nation: "How to Get 4 Million Women Back in the Workforce"

New America blog post: "New National Paid Leave Proposals Explained"

International News

Statement on International Labour Day, summarized from WABA

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action released a statement in recognition of International Labour Day titled "Supporting breastfeeding families in the workforce." The statement highlights the positive and negative impact that work environments can have on breastfeeding mothers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

National News

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg  Updated PRAMS Data Released, summarized from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the release of the 2019 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data. PRAMS collects state-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy. The questionnaire includes questions on prenatal care, breastfeeding, WIC participation, and more. PRAMS is funded in 50 sites covering 83% of all live births in the U.S. Researchers can request the most recent year of data, as well as prior years' data.

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg  Action Tool Supporting Breastfeeding Employees, summarized from MomsRising

MomsRising launched an action tool titled "Support ALL Breastfeeding & Working Moms." Individuals may use the action tool to contact lawmakers in support of expanding protections for breastfeeding and working mothers.

Resources on Labor Force Participation, summarized from DOL/BLS

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics released the 2020 edition of "Women in the labor force: a databook." The report includes a summary of women's involvement in the labor market and earnings in 2019, with breakdowns by key characteristics, including demographics, occupation, industry, and the presence and age of children. BLS also released an Economic News Release titled "Employment Characteristics of Families."

USBC Insight: More than half of mothers return to the paid labor force before their children are three months old, with as many as one in four returning within just two weeks of giving birth. Nine million women — nearly one in four women of childbearing age — have been omitted from critical protections to ensure that employees have reasonable break time and a private place to pump breast milk. Take action to close this gap with the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act!

Congressional Hearing on Black Maternal Health Crisis, summarized from Congress

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing titled "Birthing While Black: Examining America's Black Maternal Health Crisis" on Thursday, May 6. The hearing, co-chaired by Representative Carolyn Maloney (NY-12-D) and Representative Robin Kelly (IL-2-D), examined the maternal mortality and morbidity crisis experienced by Black birthing people in America. 

Week of Action in Support of Pregnant Workers, summarized from ABB

A Better Balance is hosting the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Week of Action from Monday, May 3, to Friday, May 7. The campaign is working to raise awareness about the treatment thousands of pregnant workers, disproportionately women of color, continue to face on the job every year and urge Congress to swiftly pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The week of action is sponsored by more than 50 organizations, including the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee. It's not too late to take action: Tell Congress to Honor Mothers & Prioritize the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act this Mothers Day.

Congressional Hearing on Black Maternal Health Crisis, summarized from Congress

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing titled "Birthing While Black: Examining America's Black Maternal Health Crisis" on Thursday, May 6. The hearing, co-chaired by Representative Carolyn Maloney (NY-12-D) and Representative Robin Kelly (IL-2-D), examined the maternal mortality and morbidity crisis experienced by Black birthing people in America. 

Report on States' Essential Health Benefits Coverage and Maternal Care, summarized from CAP

The Center for American Progress published a report titled "States' Essential Health Benefits Coverage Could Advance Maternal Health Equity." The report examines essential health benefits coverage and maternity and newborn services included in state benchmark plans, including breastfeeding support and supplies. The authors of the report conclude that through benchmark plans, states can set higher standards for health plans offered in their state, impacting the services that enrollees can access. They also conclude that federal and state policymakers can learn from the practices of benchmark plans that contain robust maternal health coverage without harmful limitations.

Resources on Safe Infant Sleep and Breastfeeding Myths, summarized from NICHQ

The National Institute for Children's Health Quality published a pair of fact sheets on common myths around safe sleep and breastfeeding. Health care providers, including pediatricians and family physicians, can use these documents during conversations with families to address myths and facts about safe infant sleep and breastfeeding.

State and Community News

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg  Webinar on Baby-Friendly Designation in California, summarized from CBC

The California Breastfeeding Coalition released the recording of a webinar titled "Why Baby-Friendly Designation Matters for California: The Countdown to 2025." Presenters on the webinar provide an overview of historical breastfeeding rates in California, an explanation of the Baby-Friendly designation process, and share Baby-Friendly success stories in California. 

Collective Impact Connection

Early Childhood Health Equity Landscape Project, summarized from Child Trends/NICHQ

Child Trends and the National Institute for Children's Health Quality published materials and findings from the Early Childhood Health Equity (ECHE) Landscape Project. The project explored and documented innovative practices across the United States that sit at the intersection of early childhood development and health equity. Materials include briefs that share an overview of findings from their survey of ECHE initiatives, reports on key themes, and an interactive map highlighting individual, statewide, and nationwide ECHE initiatives. The "Cross-Sector Support for Health Equity in Early Childhood During COVID" brief includes the establishment of a Breastfeeding Task Force in the Healthy Babies Initiative as an example of cross-sector support. 

News & Views

AFT blog post: "The Importance of Respectful Maternity Care for Women of Color"

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg  Baby-Friendly USA blog post: "Baby-Friendly in the Pandemic: Ingenuity, Flexibility, and Doing Whatever It Takes"

IFPA blog post: "Human Milk: The Best Medicine for Vulnerable Babies"

Insider: "Early in the pandemic, new moms with COVID-19 were separated from their babies at birth — and postpartum depression rates soared"

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg  MomsRising blog post: "How friends, family, teachers and other caregivers can support new mothers"

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