Weekly Wire: August 5, 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
- New USBC Member Organizations
- Special Section on National Breastfeeding Month
- National News
- Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy, summarized from ACOG/SMFM
- Statement on Breastfeeding and Human Milk, summarized from AWHONN
- Statement on Infant Feeding and Lactation-Related Language and Gender, summarized from ABM
- PWFA Voted Out of HELP Committee, summarized from Congress
- Paid Parental Leave Included in NDAA Markup, summarized from Congress
- Feedback Opportunity on Social Determinants of Health, summarized from Congress
- Equity Lens
- Project on Reducing Breastfeeding Disparities, summarized from HealthConnect One
- News & Views
denotes a USBC member organization news item denotes a USBC-affiliated constellation news item
New USBC Member Organizations
The Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition (IABC) is a new Breastfeeding Coalition Member of the USBC with a mission of providing, promoting, and coordinating breastfeeding education, support, and evaluation through local coalitions, health care providers, educational institutions, and other interested individuals. The IABC first gathered in 1986 as the Iowa Lactation Task Force, changing to their current name in 2010. In recent years, the coalition has focused on providing breastfeeding education through the coalition-developed training "Breastfeeding Education for Iowa Communities," hosting speakers during annual meetings with continuing education, partnering with Blank Children's Hospital to put on the Iowa Annual Breastfeeding Conference, and releasing a breastfeeding newsletter.
The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc. (MBC) is a new Breastfeeding Coalition Member of the USBC. The MBC is dedicated to improving infant and maternal health and well-being through education, outreach, and advocacy to promote and support breastfeeding. The coalition was founded in 1999 in recognition of the need for a statewide coalition that would coordinate the efforts of many diverse breastfeeding advocacy groups in the Commonwealth. The MBC hosts an annual conference in the fall and manages the Zipmilk.org breastfeeding support registry that connects moms and providers to breastfeeding education and support. The goal of the MBC is to help providers recognize, appreciate, and solve breastfeeding problems should they occur.
Special Section on National Breastfeeding Month
August is National Breastfeeding Month! The theme of National Breastfeeding Month 2021 is Every Step of the Way. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is sharing and celebrating lactation-focused events and resources in each edition of the Weekly Wire newsletter. Submit your National Breastfeeding Month events, news, and resources so we can share them in USBC communication channels throughout the month.
- 1,000 Days coordinated and released the "2021 Breastfeeding Inspiration Guide," an open-source, unbranded library of content to use to promote, protect and support breastfeeding during National Breastfeeding Month and beyond. The Inspiration Guide includes social media messaging and graphics that cover general breastfeeding/chestfeeding/infant feeding content as well as messaging geared towards each week’s theme.
- The Binational Breastfeeding Coalition, Chihuahua Secretaria de Salud, NaSer, and the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force are partnering to host "La Gran Tetada sin Fronteras / The Big Latch On without Borders" on Saturday, August 7, from 7:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. ET. The event will be held virtually and feature participants from three states and two countries meeting to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.
- BreastfeedLA is hosting a webinar titled "Revitalizing Culture through Breastfeeding and Chestfeeding," on Thursday, August 12, from 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m. ET. Speakers Kimberly Moore-Salas, IBCLC , and Amanda Singer, CLC, will discuss the ancestral teachings around breastfeeding/ chestfeeding in the Navajo culture in honor of Indigenous Milk Medicine Week. Additional panelists Briana Groten, BSN, IBCLC, and Natasha Bowman, will further the conversation around ancestral breastfeeding/ chestfeeding practices.
- Essex County proclaimed August as "Breastfeeding Awareness Month" in Essex County. The proclamation also acknowledges support for the goals of National Breastfeeding Month, World Breastfeeding Week, Native Breastfeeding Week, Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week, and Black Breastfeeding Week.
- Hawai'i Indigenous Breastfeeding Collective is coordinating the first-ever ʻŌiwi Breastfeeding Week, Sunday, August 8 – Saturday, August 14. The theme of the week is Ola I Ka Wai Kea A Nuakea, The Life Giving Milk of Nuakea.
- Kansas governor Laura Kelly proclaimed August as "National Breastfeeding Month" in Kansas. This proclamation recognizes the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of Kansans and lifts up the crucial work of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition.
- Mamava launched an online hub titled "Lactation Consultant Resources." The resources include free digital downloads for lactation consultants and birth workers on a wide range of topics including breastfeeding holds and safely freezing breast milk.
- Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed August 2021 as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Michigan. The proclamation highlights the key work of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Breastfeeding Network, and community breastfeeding coalitions to support breastfeeding in the state.
- Michigan Breastfeeding Network published a landing page titled "2021 August Breastfeeding Awareness Month." The webpage includes information on weekly observances and a calendar of breastfeeding events in Michigan.
- The Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition is hosting a calendar of National Breastfeeding Month events in Minnesota. Events include a mix of in-person and virtual gatherings, as well as community and state-level ones.
- The Metro Nashville Public Health Department and the Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition collaborated to create the "Nashville Breastfeeding Education Video Series," an online breastfeeding resource that includes education content, personal experiences, and local resources. Video segments in the series feature stories from Black breastfeeding families in the Nashville community.
- New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham proclaimed August 2021 as "New Mexico Breastfeeding Month." The proclamation also affirms and celebrates Native Breastfeeding Week, Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week, and Black Breastfeeding Week.
- New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce published a landing page for National Breastfeeding Month. The webpage includes information on weekly observances and events happening around New Mexico in August.
- Nurturely is hosting a series of free events in celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week. These events include a babywearing and bodyfeeding workshop on Tuesday, August 31, at 9 a.m. ET.
- Pumpspotting launched a landing page for National Breastfeeding Month. The webpage includes resources for breastfeeding families, breastfeeding supporters, and breastfeeding-supportive employers.
- The United States Lactation Consultant Association published a landing page with National Breastfeeding Month resources. The webpage highlights social media and education content, and USLCA will continue to update it through the month.
- Wisconsin governor Tony Evers proclaimed August as National Breastfeeding Month in the state of Wisconsin. The proclamation celebrates parental health and breastfeeding advocates throughout the state working to build individual, family, and community support for breastfeeding.
- The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action is offering World Breastfeeding Week 2021 (WBW2021) seed grants for organizations to carry out activities aligned with the WBW2021 key actions. They are seeking projects that are innovative, impactful, involve a range of stakeholders, and can be replicated. The application deadline is Saturday, August 14.
National Breastfeeding Month News & Views
Ark Valley Voice: "Chaffee County Breastfeeding Coalition Participating in World Breastfeeding Week"
Hartford HealthCare's More Life podcast: "Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility"
Lactation Matters: "Eight Easy Ways to Get Involved with World Breastfeeding Week"
MomsRising blog post: "Celebrating National Breastfeeding Month"
North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition newsletter: "August is Almost Here! Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month"
Vermont Biz: " "Vermont celebrates World Breastfeeding Week"
National Breastfeeding Month Apparel Available for a Limited Time
Show your commitment to supporting families with a National Breastfeeding Month t-shirt or tank top featuring this year's theme and the official NBM design from USBC! The artwork represents the spheres of influence in a breastfeeding family's world and the continuity of care that every family deserves along the human milk feeding journey. The National Breastfeeding Month design is available for a limited time in a variety of styles and colors for adults and kids. Shirts are hand printed in the U.S. and are sourced from a select group of vendors who are WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) certified. A portion of each purchase goes to support USBC advocacy efforts. The initial campaign has been extended an extra week, but don't delay!
Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy, summarized from ACOG/SMFM
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine released updated guidance recommending that all pregnant individuals get vaccinated against COVID-19. This recommendation is based on evidence demonstrating the safe use of the COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy from tens of thousands of reporting individuals over the last several months, as well as the current low vaccination rates and concerning increase in cases.
Statement on Breastfeeding and Human Milk, summarized from AWHONN
The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses published a position statement titled "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk." The publication affirms and emphasizes that breastfeeding and the provision of expressed human milk are critical components to ensure the health and well-being of newborns, young children, and childbearing women. It also states that if a mother's own milk is not available, pasteurized donor human milk is the preferred substitute and should be offered when available and medically appropriate before supplementation with infant formula.
Statement on Infant Feeding and Lactation-Related Language and Gender, summarized from ABM
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine released a position statement and guideline on "Infant Feeding and Lactation-Related Language and Gender." The statement outlines considerations for using gender-inclusive language, includes a table of suggested terms, and highlights recommendations for future studies focused on gender inclusion and lactation.
PWFA Voted Out of HELP Committee, summarized from Congress
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted out the bipartisan "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)" (S. 1486). The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. In May, the House version of PWFA passed the House with bipartisan support. 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. Media and partner highlights include:
- A Better Balance statement: "STATEMENT: A Better Balance Applauds Senate Committee Approval of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act; Calls for Senate Floor Vote & Swift Passage"
- Senator Jeanne Shaheen press release: "Shaheen-Casey-Cassidy Bill to Protect Pregnant Workers from Workplace Discrimination Clears Key Committee Hurdle"
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce statement: "U.S. Chamber Statement on Senate Advancement of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act"
Paid Parental Leave Included in NDAA Markup, summarized from Congress
The Senate Committee on Armed Services completed a markup for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022. The bill now heads to the Senate floor for consideration. The bill includes 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all servicemembers in the case of birth, adoption, or long-term foster placement of a child. Read the press release.
Feedback Opportunity on Social Determinants of Health, summarized from Congress
A bipartisan group of Representatives has formed the Congressional Social Determinants of Health Caucus to bring together members of Congress from disparate jurisdictions to highlight the opportunities for coordination across programs, to improve health outcomes, and to maximize existing and future federal investments in health, food, housing, transportation, and other important drivers of health. The caucus has invited the public to share feedback on challenges and opportunities in this domain. The deadline to submit feedback is Tuesday, September 21.
USBC Insight: The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee has identified this as a key opportunity for breastfeeding, lactation, and maternal and child health to be considered in multisectoral public health programs and decisions.
Project on Reducing Breastfeeding Disparities, summarized from HealthConnect One
HealthConnect One announced a partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) as part of the First Food Equity project. The project aims to improve the initiation and duration of breastfeeding rates among low-income communities by expanding community-based, peer-to-peer support models that diversify the maternal and child health workforce, and to increase access to community-based peer-to-peer breastfeeding support, which is critical to increasing breastfeeding rates and driving down infant mortality rates in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. Read the press release.
News & Views
CHEER blog post: "CHEER Champion of the Week: Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)!"
Missouri Independent: "New Missouri law mandates private space and break times for breastfeeding teachers"
Pumpspotting blog post: "A Light-Hearted Approach to Breastfeeding Success"