World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2011 is finally here and there is much to report from USBC, your breastfeeding advocacy headquarters! This year's WBW theme, "Talk to Me! Breastfeeding – a 3D Experience," reminds us that communication is critical to breastfeeding success. We encourage you to talk to others within and outside your personal networks about ways to support breastfeeding moms, as the U.S. Surgeon General called us to do earlier this year.
But why stop at one week? This Saturday, August 6, the United States Breastfeeding Committee will officially declare that August is National Breastfeeding Month! Join us Saturday for a Community Baby Shower event hosted by Howard University Hospital and the DC Breastfeeding Coalition. In addition to the National Breastfeeding Month proclamation, the day's events will include participation in the Big Latch On and a visit from the Latch On America cross-country bus tour.
This is shaping up to be an incredibly busy week for breastfeeding: there is so much news we don't even know where to begin!
- Yesterday The Joint Commission launched a Speak Up™ educational campaign, "What You Need to Know About Breastfeeding," to help support and prepare mothers to successfully breastfeed. The award-winning Speak Up program urges people to take an active role in their own health care; materials are distributed through accredited hospitals and on YouTube and other websites.
- Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this month's Vital Signs: "Hospital Practices to Support Breastfeeding." Vital Signs offers recent data and calls to action for important public health issues.
- Yesterday, HHS issued historic guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost, including breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling. Beginning August 1, 2012, all private insurance plans will be required to cover these services without a co-pay or deductible. Be sure to read HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's blog, "Prevention at the Heart of Keeping Women Healthy."
- Detailed state reports on CDC's 2009 Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey have just been released to facilitate work with hospitals and birth centers in improving breastfeeding care.
- The 2011 Breastfeeding Report Card is now available, depicting state and national trends in breastfeeding data.
- Check out the MomsRising breastfeeding blog-a-thon this Wednesday, August 3 and look for USBC's blog post...
- Last, but not least, the Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2011 is about to be reintroduced by Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Carolyn Maloney. USBC and the American Dietetic Association will host a Congressional Briefing on Wednesday, August 3. Stay tuned for details on the bill and an action alert!
This has been an amazing year, and we have much to celebrate for World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month! But we need your support to continue USBC's efforts to advance breastfeeding on our Nation's agenda thorough Collaboration, Leadership, and Advocacy. Please consider becoming a Friend of USBC to support this important work.
And yet there's another way to show your support: our holiday t-shirt promotion was so successful that we've created our very own USBC t-shirt shop, hosted by CafePress. The shop features men's and women's shirts, baby onesies, and other fun USBC products. A portion of each purchase goes to support our advocacy efforts to ensure that every mom is empowered and supported to reach her personal breastfeeding goals. Wear your support for breastfeeding this summer: order your USBC t-shirt today!
Many thanks for your continued support, and happy World Breastfeeding Week!
Megan E. Renner