Weekly Wednesday Wire: June 4, 2014

Please note: Inclusion of an item in this e-newsletter does NOT imply endorsement or support of such item by the United States Breastfeeding Committee, unless specifically noted.

USBC Updates

Support Paid Family Leave: Join the #FAMILYAct Thunderclap

Its time to tell Congress that America is serious about the need for paid family leave. Help us flood social media with messages about the FAMILY Act this Father's Day by joining our Thunderclap! Those who join the Thunderclap will automatically share the same message at the same time through Facebook and Twitter. The Thunderclap will take place on Father's Day, Sunday, June 15 at 12 noon ET to share this message linking to our easy action tool: "No one should have to choose between their job & child. This #FathersDay tell Congress America needs the #FAMILYAct: http://thndr.it/1kiYbdK". When we speak together, our voices are amplified. Please consider adding your voice to our Thunderclap today.

Virtual Town Hall Meeting Report

On May 22, USBC hosted its first ever Virtual Town Hall Meeting to hear from moms, grassroots advocates, and all interested supporters. Participants used a live online chat room to respond to questions and engage in dialogue while invited speakers responded verbally. There were 112 attendees sharing key insights and feedback about how USBC can best engage with families and grassroots advocates to create the policy, systems, and environmental changes breastfeeding families need. Learn more in the Virtual Town Hall Meeting: Executive Summary Report, or for the full transcript, please contact us at office@usbreastfeeding.org.

Town Hall highlights included:

  • Paid family leave and cultural changes need to be prioritized on the national breastfeeding agenda (see our just-launched FAMILY Act easy action tool to ask your legislators to support the FAMILY Act).
  • Families and advocates want to engage with USBC to support national initiatives, in addition to being supported to develop community-level advocacy efforts.
  • Changes in communities, in health care, and in the employment arena are key to improving the landscape of breastfeeding support.

Thank you to Cheryl Lebedevitch, USBC Media/PR & Development Coordinator; Andrea Serrano from Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE); Jessica Martin-Weber from The Leaky Boob; and Michelle Hickman from the Best for Babes Foundation for sharing their perspectives as our special Town Hall guest speakers!

Federal News

Funding Announcements, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released five new funding opportunities, and the deadlines for letters of intent for several of these are later this week. The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) letters are due via e-mail by 5:00 p.m. (EDT) or if by mail, postmarked by Saturday, June 6. The Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) and National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention letters are due via e-mail by 5:00 p.m. (EDT) or if by mail, postmarked by Friday, June 5. See last week's issue of the Weekly Wednesday Wire for the complete list and details.

In addition, the CDC's Division of Population Health has announced the selection of 26 new Prevention Research Centers (PRCs). The funding will support a network of PRCs to conduct applied public health prevention research. The research will include behavioral interventions, environmental, or systems-wide solutions and strategies that address major causes of death and disability and will address underserved communities.

Military Bill Updates

The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved a provision by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill to require TRICARE, health insurance provided to members of the military and their families, to cover breastfeeding support and supplies, as required by most private health plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Additionally, the House has passed the Military Opportunities for Mothers Act as an amendment to a defense spending bill. The bill would provide military women giving birth with six weeks of unpaid maternity leave in addition to the six weeks of paid leave currently available.

News from the Field

Statement on Baby Feeding Industry Sponsorship of Medical Education, from ISSOP

The International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health has called on the baby feeding industry, including infant formula manufacturers, to end sponsorship of medical education. The new ISSOP Position Statement on sponsorship of paediatricians/paediatric societies by the Baby Feeding Industry reports that sponsorship is damaging to the reputation of pediatricians, to the health of mothers and infants, and to the status of breastfeeding, citing complete disregard by the industry for the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Read the press release.

State of the World's Midwifery Report, from UNFPA

The United Nations Population Fund, the International Confederation of Midwives, the World Health Organization, and partners have published a reported entitled, The State of the World's Midwifery: A Universal Pathway – A Woman's Right to Health, shining a light on the vast shortage of midwives across low- and middle-income countries, and on the progress made since the inaugural report in 2011. The report found that when trained and supported by a functional health system, midwives could provide 87% of the essential care needed for women and newborns, and could potentially reduce maternal and newborn deaths by two thirds. Read the press release.

News and Views

Oman Daily Observer: "Melinda Gates spearheads global push to save newborns"
The Herald Scotland: "Conference is axed in Nestle sponsor furore"
Medium.com: "The Media Lab 'Make the Breast Pump Not Suck' Hackathon"

The Huffington Post: "The U.S. Is The Only Developed Nation With A Rising Maternal Mortality Rate"

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