Weekly Wednesday Wire: May 18, 2016

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

Take Action by 5/23 on USPSTF Draft Recommendation on Primary Care Interventions to Support Breastfeeding

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released a new draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on primary care interventions to support breastfeeding. USPSTF recommendation statements influence which preventive services insurers are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act. The draft evidence review describes the studies the Task Force reviewed before developing the draft recommendation statement. Individuals and organizations are strongly encouraged to review the drafts and submit comments by the deadline of Monday, May 23, at 8 p.m. ET. Mobilizing a large volume of specific and individualized comments to the draft recommendation statement, using the following two points to inspire one's own words, is especially crucial:

  • Restore the word "promote" to the recommendation summary: Health care providers are the primary source of information for patients. Many women of childbearing age may not have ever considered breastfeeding prior to pregnancy, and depend on their primary care providers to bring attention to its importance. It is crucial to recognize that creating environments of optimal breastfeeding support is the best method of promotion. Additionally, this USPSTF review is an ideal opportunity to examine how the timing, method, and personnel involved in promotion affect breastfeeding rates, especially for promotion activities among different racial/ethnic groups; this could better inform the recommendation summary.
  • Providers should be informed by scientific evidence, not commercial marketing interests: Despite a lack of evidence, substantial attention is paid in the drafts to the potential harms of interventions, including the "theory" that interventions might create guilt related to not breastfeeding. I share the concern regarding feelings of guilt and anxiety in mothers, however, that's why it's so important to address the impact of direct-to-consumer advertising of infant formula and the practice of marketing through the health care system. These practices are proven to have deleterious effects on breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity, while also violating principles of business ethics. I expect my primary care providers to inform me about infant feeding and care based on scientific evidence, free from commercial marketing influences.

Parents' Month Matching Gift Opportunity

Through the Parents' Month: Celebrating, Centering, Connecting campaign, the USBC is working to provide opportunities for parents to share their stories, express their ideas for and experiences with supportive communities, and then take those ideas forward to policymakers to truly move the needle for our Nation's families. Contributions from the Friends of the USBC are the only unrestricted funds available to support our advocacy initiatives. Every dollar counts. That's why the USBC Board of Directors has come together to pledge $3,000 to match all individual donations to the USBC during the campaign! Please consider making a donation to amplify our impact today.

New Member Spotlight: Mom2Mom Global

Mom2Mom Global is a nonprofit worldwide network of breastfeeding support and advocacy for military families. Our purpose is to provide consistent, high-quality peer support through local chapters and liaisons at U.S. military installations, to increase access to accredited lactation professionals for all military families, and to provide a channel to raise awareness and solutions for the concerns of military breastfeeding families. Our hallmark Peer Mentor program trains mothers who have breastfed a minimum of six months to provide one-on-one support to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and our chapters hold regular group support meetings. In addition, each chapter administers a closed Facebook group, monitored by trained lactation professionals, which provides round-the-clock peer support. All our chapter board members are required to hold or obtain an accredited lactation credential in order to provide accurate, evidence-based breastfeeding information, and to give military service members and spouses the opportunity for career advancement in the field of lactation support. We monitor federal and Department of Defense (DOD) policies and regulations about breastfeeding, and provide mothers with the information they need to advocate for themselves and their families, for example the recent addition of Mom2Mom-Ft. Bragg to the Womack Army Medical Center Charter as an official member to assist in providing education and support for our breastfeeding military families and to collect data on the annual breastfeeding rates of Active Duty Soldiers. These pilot programs are being evaluated by top MEDCOM officials for potential replication Army-wide. We bring the unique voices of military families to the national and DOD discourse and advocate for new and improved policies to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, and to provide a global community that meets the unique needs of breastfeeding military families. Mom2Mom Global values inclusivity, cooperation, and respect for each woman's individual breastfeeding journey, and we build partnerships with community-based, nonprofit, and command-sponsored organizations at both local and national levels in order to create a seamless network of support. In the first year of existence, Mom2Mom Global has developed an active presence at over a dozen military installations, and we continue to grow and change as the needs of breastfeeding military families evolve.

Federal News

Final Nondiscrimination Rule, from HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a final rule to advance health equity and reduce health care disparities. Under the rule, individuals are protected from discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping. Read the press release, and see the fact sheets on key provisions and frequently asked questions.

New Zika Preparedness Funding, from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced funding for states and territories to prepare for the Zika virus. More than $85 million in redirected funds identified by the Department of Health and Human Services is being made available to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika infection and associated adverse health outcomes, including the serious birth defect microcephaly. Applications for the funds are due by June 13, 2016; funds will be disbursed during the summer and remain available through July 2017.

Updated Zika Resources, from HHS/ASPR/TRACIE

The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and The Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange have updated the Zika: Resources at Your Fingertips document to provide the most up-to-date knowledge about the virus. The document contains information about how the virus is transmitted, clinical testing considerations, and issues surrounding patient care, preparedness, and prevention.

Hurricane Preparedness Week Resources, from HHS/ASPR

May 15-21 is Hurricane Preparedness Week, and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has released resources to help Americans prepare for hurricanes.

Final Overtime Rule, from DOL

President Obama and Secretary Perez have announced the publication of the U.S. Department of Labor's final rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations. Effective on December 1, 2016, the final rule raises the standard salary level for overtime eligibility so that salaried workers making up to $47,476 will be eligible for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek; automatically updates the salary threshold every three years based on wage growth over time; strengthens overtime protections for salaried workers already entitled to overtime; and provides greater clarity for workers and employers. By increasing the number of employees who are considered nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the proposal also expands the right to workplace accommodations for breastfeeding under the federal "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law. The new rule will expand these protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation. A variety of resources are available on the DOL webpage, including FAQs, Fact Sheets, and Guidance for Businesses. Media and partner highlights include:

Member News

WHO Code Day of Action, from Public Citizen

Saturday, May 21, 2016, is the 35th anniversary of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Join Public Citizen for a WHO Code Day of Action on May 21 which will focus on the predatory marketing of infant formula using the hashtag #ProtectParentsAndBabies. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to:  

  • Take photos or videos holding a homemade sign and post on the event page on Facebook. "Protect Parents and Babies: Keep Marketing out of Healthcare Facilities" or "Follow the WHO Code" are suggested messages for signs.
  • Post photos/videos/personal messages to the Facebook pages of Code violators.

Partner News

Family Caregivers Litigation Update, from Center for WorkLife Law

The Center for WorkLife Law at the UC Hastings College of the Law has published Caregivers in the Workplace: Family Responsibilities Discrimination Litigation Update 2016, reporting that family responsibilities discrimination (FRD) continues its growth as the biggest challenge employers never see coming. FRD is employment discrimination because of an employee's caregiving obligations. When employees sue their employers for FRD, the cases include complaints of discrimination based on pregnancy, motherhood, fatherhood, care for family members who are sick or have disabilities, and care for aging or ill parents. Based on a dataset of 4,400 FRD cases that the Center collected and analyzed, the report noted that lactation cases have increased sharply, despite small numbers.

Webinar on Transformative Partnerships in Community Development & Health, from Dialogue4Health

Join Dialogue4Health on Wednesday, June 1, from 2:30-4 p.m. ET for a webinar entitled, "Building Health and Well-Being: Lessons Learned from Transformative Partnerships in Community Development and Health," part of the Community Prevention and Multi-Sector Stakeholder Web Forum Series. The forum will cover lessons learned from communities taking action to leverage community development efforts through diverse partnerships to improve population health and equity and highlight the role of partnerships in financing, evaluating, and sustaining population health improvements. Presenters will also provide recommendations for success and take participant questions.

News from the Field

Child Care Campaign Webinar, from Make It Work

Join Make It Work on Thursday, May 19, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. ET for a webinar about plans for their campaign using the run-up to the 2016 election to build and demonstrate demand for issues impacting working families, including ambitious federal child care policy change. Participants will receive messaging guidance, creative video content, and policy recommendations.

Equity Imperative Issue Briefs, from PolicyLink/Marguerite Casey Foundation

PolicyLink and the Marguerite Casey Foundation have partnered to produce a series of issue briefs highlighting the economic imperative of equity for the 13 policy planks of the foundation's Equal Voice Campaign National Family Platform. Each short brief describes key challenges and strategies to advance equity within the issue area, provides relevant data points and research findings on the economic benefits of equity, and shares an inspiring example of a win-win solution for equity and the economy already being implemented.

New Study on Age of First Solid Foods, from Childhood Obesity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new study examining the link between the age of first solid foods and later child obesity in the journal Childhood Obesity. The study analyzed data on infant feeding practices, with a six-year follow-up to determine obesity, and also explored the potential impact of breast versus formula feeding. Timing of introduction of solid foods was not associated with child obesity at six years in this sample. Given the inconsistency in findings with other studies, further studies in larger populations may be needed.

Paid Leave Policy Brief, from EOI

The Economic Opportunity Institute has released a policy brief entitled, Paid Family and Medical Leave: A Cornerstone of Equity and Opportunity for Workers and Families, presenting evidence about the importance of paid leave for families, current disparities in access to leave, state policy successes, and lessons for new state programs.

Collective Impact Connection

Community Engagement Panel Video, from Collective Impact Forum

The Collective Impact Forum & Results for America presented a panel discussion to celebrate the release of "Community Engagement Matters (Now More Than Ever)," an article published in the Spring issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The article features original research that highlights the importance of engaging community when implementing data-driven, evidence-based approaches and provides a framework for how to do so effectively. The Collective Impact Forum has just released a video featuring a thought-provoking panel of leaders from philanthropy, policy, and advocacy organizations discussing the implications of this article on how to effectively work with communities.

News & Views

Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM blog): "US Public Health guidelines should reflect evidence, not anecdote"

CBS News: "Long work hours hinder breast-feeding for new moms"

The Atlantic: "How to Bet Big on the American Dream"

The Washington Post: "Stop saying businesses can't afford paid family leave"

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