Weekly Wire: June 25, 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
- Organizational Sign On Letter in Support of the PUMP Act
- Find Upcoming USBC Member Events All in One Place!
- Access USBC Conference Recordings
- USBC Supports...
- Special Section on Paid Family & Medical Leave
- National News
- Action Tool Urging Support for Momnibus, summarized from MomsRising
- Recommendations for Enhancing the WIC Food Package, summarized from NWA
- 2021 Theme Announced, summarized from Black Breastfeeding Week
- Appropriations Process Advances, summarized from Congress
- Article on COVID-19 Vaccines and Pregnant and Lactating Women, summarized from JAMA Network
- Report on Impact of Safety Net Programs, summarized from NWLC
- Notice of Standard-Setting Activities, summarized from U.S. Codex Office
- State and Community News
- Call for Applications of BIPOC Breastfeeding Supporters that Partner with Child Care Providers, summarized from MIBFN
- Partnership to Support Breastfeeding and Child Care Partnerships, summarized from West Virginia
- Funding Opportunity to Assist Workplaces in Becoming Infant-Friendly, summarized from North Dakota
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
Organizational Sign On Letter in Support of the PUMP Act
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is coordinating an organizational sign-on letter supporting the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act, featuring updated language to reflect recent Congressional action. In May, the House Education & Labor Committee debated, amended, and advanced the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, with support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would protect breastfeeding employees across the nation by closing coverage and enforcement gaps in the existing Break Time for Nursing Mothers law. Organizations, businesses, and coalitions are urged to sign on in support of this critical bill.
Find Upcoming USBC Member Events All in One Place!
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee hosts an Events Calendar with upcoming events related to human milk feeding and lactation hosted by our extensive network of USBC member organizations. Events include online trainings, virtual conferences, and more. Member organizations are encouraged to submit free or paid events and conferences to be featured on the Events Calendar.
Access USBC Conference Recordings
Session recordings from the National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening are now available. Conference attendees can access the recordings through the conference platform, Whova for six months. If you missed the live event, it is still possible to access the session recordings, connect with attendees on the conference platform, and explore the exhibits and poster presentations by registering for the conference. Post-event registrants enjoy a 10% discount on conference rates. The deadline for post-event registration is July 8. Please note, continuing education is not available for the recorded sessions.
The USBC joined the following organizational sign on letter from the field:
- AMCHP: Letter in support of Fiscal Year 2022 funding for federal programs to improve maternal health
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.
- Congress: The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing titled "Leading by Example: The Need for Comprehensive Paid Leave for the Federal Workforce and Beyond" on Thursday, June 24, at 10 a.m. ET. Speakers explored how providing comprehensive paid family and medical leave will strengthen the federal workforce and create a model for nationwide standards on paid leave.
- FV@W: Family Values @ Work is hosting a tweetstorm on Tuesday, June 29, from 2-3 p.m. ET highlighting paid leave and paid sick and safe days laws implemented throughout the United States. The tweetstorm will showcase victories, highlight why effective implementation is important, and lift up the need for national paid leave policies. Organizations can sign up to participate via the online form.
- PL+US: PL+US launched an action tool titled "Email Your Members of Congress: We Can Pass National Paid Family and Medical Leave." Individuals can use the tool to contact their congressional representatives in support of the American Families Plan, which includes a proposal for a national paid family and medical leave program that provides up to 12 weeks of parental, caregiving, and personal medical leave to all working people.
Action Tool Urging Support for Momnibus. summarized from MomsRising
MomsRising launched an individual action tool titled "Urge Congress to support comprehensive legislation addressing the Black maternal health crisis!" Advocates can use the tool to contact their members of Congress in support of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus to help end the crisis of Black moms dying at disparate rates across the country from preventable, pregnancy-related complications.
Recommendations for Enhancing the WIC Food Package, summarized from NWA
The National WIC Association released a report titled "Enhancing the WIC Food Package: Impacts and Recommendations to Advance Nutrition Security." The publication discusses recommendations for a more robust WIC food package and examines how WIC positively impacts the communities it serves by reducing nutrition insecurity, including through breastfeeding support programs. The report recommends greater individualized tailoring of infant food packages to encourage improved breastfeeding outcomes.
2021 Theme Announced, summarized from Black Breastfeeding Week
Black Breastfeeding Week organizers announced that the theme of Black Breastfeeding Week 2021 is The Big Pause: Collective Rest for Collective Power. The theme was announced during a Juneteenth conversation on the Black Breastfeeding Week Facebook page with a video from the organizers. Follow the conversation at #BBW2021 to stay up-to-date on activities and announcements.
Appropriations Process Advances, summarized from Congress
The House of Representatives passed H.Res 467, a budget resolution to establish government funding at $1.5 trillion for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). Passage of the budget resolution allows appropriators to move forward with the federal budget process. In addition, the House Appropriations Committee published the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) markup schedule. Funding relevant to the breastfeeding field are primarily included in the Labor-HHS and Agriculture appropriations bills. The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill is scheduled for a subcommittee markup on Friday, June 25, with a full committee markup on Wednesday, June 30. The Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill is scheduled for subcommittee markup on Monday, July 12, with a full committee markup on Thursday, July 15. Learn more about federal appropriations for breastfeeding.
Article on COVID-19 Vaccines and Pregnant and Lactating Women, summarized from JAMA Network
The JAMA Network published an article titled "Immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines in Pregnant and Lactating Women." The authors completed an exploratory analysis of a small convenience sample, finding that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were immunogenic in pregnant and lactating women, and vaccine-elicited antibodies were transported to infant cord blood and breast milk.
Report on Impact of Safety Net Programs, summarized from NWLC
The National Women's Law Center released a fact sheet titled "By the Numbers: Data on Key Programs for the Well-Being of Women & Their Families." The publication highlights participation and anti-poverty impacts of several programs that boost nutrition, income, and housing affordability, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. The fact sheet underscores that investing in these programs is especially important for women, particularly women of color, and examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the need for these public programs.
Notice of Standard-Setting Activities, summarized from U.S. Codex Office
The U.S. Codex Office published a notice of standard-setting activities in the federal register. The notice solicits public comment on standards that are currently under consideration or planned for consideration and recommendations for new standards. The notice states that the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses is scheduled to meet virtually from November 19-December 1, 2021, and is expected to continue working on a review of the "Standard for Follow-Up Formula."
State and Community News
Call for Applications of BIPOC Breastfeeding Supporters that Partner with Child Care Providers, summarized from MIBFN
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network launched an open call for applications to their "Supporting Racial Equity in Breastfeeding and Child Care Fund." MIBFN is seeking to award breastfeeding supporters and/or organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color that partner with child care providers who serve Black, Indigenous, and families of color. Applications are due Friday, July 2.
Partnership to Support Breastfeeding and Child Care Partnerships, summarized from West Virginia
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Division of Early Care and Education (ECE) launched the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation initiative. ECE worked in partnership with KEYS 4 HealthyKids, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the West Virginia Breastfeeding Alliance to create this voluntary designation. Licensed child care centers, registered facilities, and family child care providers in West Virginia are eligible to participate in the ten-step process. Child Care Nurse Health Consultants, Child Care Health Educators, and Infant/Toddler Specialists are available to lend their expertise and support throughout the ten-step process.
Funding Opportunity to Assist Workplaces in Becoming Infant-Friendly, summarized from North Dakota
The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program announced funding to support the Infant Friendly Workplace Designation. The primary focus of the funding is to assist workplaces with creating a private environment of space for breastfeeding employees. Workplaces may request up to $500 in federal MCH funds to assist with creating the private environment. Funds will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Workplaces must apply by Sunday, August 1, and projects must be completed by Thursday, September 30.
News & Views
Lactation Matters (ILCA blog): "A Letter from the ILCA President: Our Shared Obligation to the Code"
WABA blog post: "Father’s Day Message 2021: Working Together As A Breastfeeding Team"