Weekly Wire: May 20, 2021

Weekly Wire: May 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 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
    • National Breastfeeding Month 2021 Theme Announced
    • Action Tool Supporting Increased Federal Funding for Breastfeeding Programs
    • Updated Event Agenda for June 9-11 USBC Conference
    • Welcome New USBC Members: Birthmark Doula Collective and Healthy Horizons
  • Special Section on the PUMP Act
  • Special Section on 40th Anniversary of the WHO Code
  • International News
    • IYCF and COVID-19 Tools for Health and Nutrition Workers, summarized from Save the Children
  • National News
    • Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Passes House, summarized from Congress
    • Paid Leave Action Tool, summarized from MomsRising
    • Bill Improving Maternal Health Care Passes House, summarized from Congress
    • Bill Expanding Parental Leave for Military Servicemembers Introduced, summarized from Congress
    • Report on Maternal Mortality in Rural and Underserved Areas, summarized from GAO
    • Social Media Toolkit on Telehealth, summarized from 4th Trimester Project/MTAP
  • State and Community News
    • Webinar on Barriers to Breastfeeding in Chicago's South Side, summarized from HealthConnect One
    • Report on Community Solutions for Perinatal Period, summarized from Colorado
    • Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community Proclaimed, summarized from Carrboro, NC
    • Webinar on Maternal Health in Illinois, summarized from POLITICO
  • Equity Lens
    • Scholarship for Lactation Professionals Serving African-American Communities, summarized from IBLCE
    • Webinar on Importance of Black Doulas, summarized from MIBFN
  • News & Views

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

USBC Updates

National Breastfeeding Month 2021 Theme Announced

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is thrilled to announce that the theme for National Breastfeeding Month (NBM) 2021 will be Every Step of the Way. This theme speaks to the continuity of care that every family needs and deserves through all stages of their infant feeding journey. On Friday, June 11, as part of the upcoming Conference, the USBC will be hosting a plenary session with the weekly observance founders; to hear about the origin of each week and learn about plans for this year's activities and events. We look forward to celebrating all things lactation-related throughout the month of August. Bookmark the NBM webpage as we'll be adding links, information and resources about activities and weekly observances in the coming weeks!

Action Tool Supporting Increased Federal Funding for Breastfeeding Programs

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee launched an individual action tool titled "Urge Congress to Increase Funding for CDC Breastfeeding Programs." Individuals can use the tool to contact their members of Congress to encourage increased investment in the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program for fiscal year 2022. The CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program provides critical support to advance breastfeeding continuity of care and increase access to lactation-friendly environments in states, hospitals, and communities. Take action with us to support this crucial funding!

Updated Event Agenda for June 9-11 USBC Conference

The National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening is only a few weeks away! The first all-online USBC conference will be hosted Wednesday, June 9, through Friday, June 11, from 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm ET daily. Plan your time in advance by exploring the updated event agenda. It lists session descriptions, speaker information, networking opportunities, and more. Registration is still open, but June 6 is the last day to register. There are opportunities to exhibit or sponsor, with a deadline in one week: Friday, May 28.

Welcome New USBC Members: Birthmark Doula Collective and Healthy Horizons

Birthmark Doula Collective was founded in 2011 to address community needs in the New Orleans metro area, including the need for increased accessibility to doula services for low-income families, supportive structures for professional doulas, and organized advocacy to improve the quality of perinatal health services. Birthmark offers birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth education, and lactation support services. In January 2021, Birthmark teamed up with the New Orleans Breastfeeding Center (NOBC) to provide lactation support services and support programming for breastfeeding families. The team of lactation counselors and Nurse Practitioner provide lactation support via virtual, in-home, and in-clinic visits to families in the New Orleans metro area, as well as culturally appropriate breastfeeding support circles and continuing education opportunities. Through the Infant Ready initiative, the organizations promote breastfeeding as the safest feeding option in emergencies through training, educational materials, and the distribution of emergency infant feeding kits.

Healthy Horizons was founded in 1991 and is operated by the mother-daughter team of Sheila Dukas-Janakos and Cassi Janakos. Their goal is to support nursing mothers and their families at work and at home, by providing the resources women need to pump and store milk for their babies. Healthy Horizons offers a number of services including Breastfeeding Centers, lactation support, breast pump rentals, and corporate lactation services. Breastfeeding Centers are staffed by Certified Lactation Educators and are a space where parents can weigh their infant, feed their baby, shop for breastfeeding essentials, and see a lactation consultant. The Healthy Horizons Corporate Lactation Services establishes long-term relationships with businesses to provide a comprehensive suite of products and services to meet all corporate breastfeeding needs onsite for employers in more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

Special Section on the PUMP Act

The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act (S. 1658/H.R. 3110) was introduced in the Senate with bipartisan support. The Break Time for Nursing Mothers law, passed in 2010, provided critical protections to ensure that employees have reasonable break time and a private place to pump during the workday. However, nearly one in four women of childbearing age are excluded from coverage and have no clear right to break time and space. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would expand coverage of the Break Time law to cover all workers and ensure that employees have access to remedies that are available for other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Special Section on 40th Anniversary of the WHO Code

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes by the 34th World Health Assembly. Several organizations are hosting events in celebration of the anniversary.

International News

IYCF and COVID-19 Tools for Health and Nutrition Workers, summarized from Save the Children

Save the Children launched a series of micro-videos on infant and young child feeding and COVID-19 with key messages for frontline health and nutrition workers. The videos are available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. Save the Children is also hosting a webinar titled "Strengthening frontline public health services during COVID-19: Introducing innovative IYCF tools for health and nutrition workers" on Tuesday, May 25, at 8 a.m. ET. Panelists will share their insights on new tools related to IYCF and COVID-19, including the micro-videos.

National News

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Passes House, summarized from Congress

The House of Representatives passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 1065) this week in a bipartisan vote. 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. Partner highlights include:

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Paid Leave Action Tool, summarized from MomsRising

MomsRising launched an individual action tool titled "Paid Leave for All. Now." Individuals can use the tool to contact their members of Congress in support of permanent and inclusive paid family and medical leave in the United States.

Bill Improving Maternal Health Care Passes House, summarized from Congress

The Protecting Moms Who Served Act (H.R. 958) has passed the House. It now heads to the Senate for consideration. The bill would codify and strengthen the Department of Veterans Affairs maternity care coordination programs, and it would commission the first-ever comprehensive study of the scope of America's maternal health crisis among women veterans, with a particular focus on racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes. The Protecting Moms Who Served Act is a part of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act (H.R. 959) and is the first bill in the Momnibus to pass on the floor of the House of Representatives. Read the press release.

Bill Expanding Parental Leave for Military Servicemembers Introduced, summarized from Congress

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (R-OK-5), Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), Congressman David P. Joyce (R-OH-14), and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), introduced the Servicemember Parental Leave Equity Act (S. 1571/H.R. 3122). The bill would increase caregiver leave to 12 weeks, up from as low as 2 weeks for secondary caregivers in the Navy and Marine Corps, and it would expand the 12-month postpartum deferment from deployment to include overnight travel, physically demanding training exercises, body composition standards, and the physical fitness test. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Armed Services. Read the press release.

Report on Maternal Mortality in Rural and Underserved Areas, summarized from GAO

The Government Accountability Office published a report titled "Maternal Mortality and Morbidity: Additional Efforts Needed to Assess Program Data for Rural and Underserved Areas." The report concludes that mothers in rural and underserved areas were more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes during pregnancy or up to one year after giving birth compared with those living in metropolitan areas. The authors of the report recommend that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration disaggregate and analyze program data by rural and underserved areas and that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' workgroups establish a formal coordinated approach for monitoring maternal health efforts. Media highlights include:

Social Media Toolkit on Telehealth, summarized from 4th Trimester Project/MTAP

The 4th Trimester Project, in collaboration with the Maternal Telehealth Access Project, published a social media toolkit promoting telehealth services. The toolkit includes social media graphics, videos, and sample messages, and is available in English and Spanish.

State and Community News

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Webinar on Barriers to Breastfeeding in Chicago's South Side, summarized from HealthConnect One

HealthConnect One is hosting a webinar titled "Structural Racism & Barriers to Breastfeeding in Chicago's South Side" on Friday, June 4, at 10:30 a.m. ET. Presented as part of HealthConnect One's "Supporting Breastfeeding Intention & Promotion" series, speaker JoAnn Allen will share about the impact of structural racism on communities, and how it affects breastfeeding in the South Side of Chicago.

Report on Community Solutions for Perinatal Period, summarized from Colorado

Clayton Early Learning, Families Forward Resource Center, and Raise Colorado published a report titled "Diverse Colorado Voices - Community Based Solutions for the Perinatal Period." The report synthesizes five virtual listening sessions where participants defined three issue buckets in infant and maternal health in Colorado and explored solutions, including policy implications and recommendations. The report identifies opportunities for equitable and overall systems improvement in maternal and infant care in Colorado.

Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community Proclaimed, summarized from Carrboro, NC

Carrboro Mayor, Lydia Lavelle, signed a proclamation designating Carrboro, North Carolina, as a "breastfeeding family friendly community." The local designation supports parents and childcare staff to continue breastfeeding and offering expressed milk, when returning to work or school, and supports childcare staff with on-site breastfeeding facilities or spaces.

Webinar on Maternal Health in Illinois, summarized from POLITICO

POLITICO is hosting a virtual panel discussion titled "Health Care Innovations: Fixing America's Maternal Health Crisis" on Tuesday, May 25 at 11 a.m. ET. Panelists from Illinois will use the state as a case study to understand how social determinants of health and COVID-19 continue to complicate efforts to eliminate maternal and infant mortality. They will also explore public health and policy solutions to reduce racial disparities during pregnancy and postpartum.

Equity Lens

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Scholarship for Lactation Professionals Serving African-American Communities, summarized from IBLCE

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners announced the launch of the Dr. Clifton J. Kenon, Jr. Health Equity Scholarship. The scholarship will provide funding for initial certification or recertification to a minimum of five lactation professionals who provide lactation care primarily to the African-American community. Applications for the scholarship will open on Tuesday, June 1.

MBPSymbol_Plum.jpg Webinar on Importance of Black Doulas, summarized from MIBFN

The Michigan Breastfeeding Network launched an on-demand webinar titled "Beyond the Birth Suite: The Importance of Black Doulas in Pursuit of Maternal Infant Health Equity." Speaker Kiara Baskin will discuss the current state of maternity care in the United States, the history of obstetrics and gynecology, and the research surrounding doula support in pursuit of maternal-infant health equity. Continuing education is available for the webinar until May 18, 2022.

News & Views

BMJ: "Health of women and children is central to covid-19 recovery"

KDVR: "Multiple nursing volleyball coaches turned away from tournament"

National Health Law Program blog post: "Major Pieces of SB 65 California Momnibus Bill included in Governor's Budget Proposal"

Medical Xpress: "Twitter data unveils issues nursing mothers face, informs proposed interventions"

Ms. Magazine: "The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act Would Ensure Equal Protections in the Workforce"

Safety + Health: "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act clears House for second time in eight months"

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