Breastfeeding in the United States is becoming an endangered practice. Mothers meet numerous cultural, institutional, and commercial barriers to both initiation and continuation of optimal breastfeeding. The National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA) was formed to fill the existing gaps in breastfeeding protection, promotion, and support. NABA advocates for breastfeeding at the state and federal levels, to move breastfeeding into the public health arena, and restore breastfeeding as the cultural norm. NABA is the organization representing IBFAN (International Baby Food Action Network) in the United States and as such monitors the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes in the US. NABA is a member of the US Breastfeeding Committee and is represented on USDA’s Breastfeeding Promotion Consortium.
- Look what's new in formula marketing tactics!
NABA has been receiving reports of new formula and bottle marketing tactics and has created a 13-page brochure to inform breastfeeding advocates of these new strategies. We may wish to urge hospitals and healthcare providers to avoid, abandon, or discourage using these formula company marketing materials and services. The brochure can be downloaded here and given to colleagues and administrators.
- National WIC Association releases statement on endorsement of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes
Washington, DC, August 15, 2011 – The National WIC Association has endorsed the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes with its publication entitled the “NWA Statement on the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes.” read more
- The Joint Commission urges mothers to “Speak Up” about breastfeeding
In March 2002, The Joint Commission, together with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, launched a national campaign to urge patients to take a role in preventing health care errors by becoming active, involved and informed participants on the health care team. read more
- The Institute of Medicine provides strong support for breastfeeding
The Institute of Medicine continues to demonstrate strong support for breastfeeding in two recently-released reports. Advocates may wish to secure both documents for use in their efforts to integrate stronger breastfeeding support into healthcare provider, hospital, governmental, and insurance policies.
• Early Childhood Obesity
n Prevention Policies
• Clinical Preventive Services
n for Women: Closing the
n Gaps read more
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports on the state of breastfeeding in the US with three new publications
• “Vital Signs: Hospital Support
n for Breastfeeding” reports on
n the results of the nPINC surveys
n conducted in 2007 and 2009.
• Breastfeeding Report Card,
n United States-2011 is in its 5th
n year, providing data on state and
n national trends in breastfeeding.
• Detailed state reports on
n CDC’s 2009 Maternity
n Practices in Infant Nutrition
n and Care (mPINC) survey
n are available. read more
- ‘Let’s Move’ Childcare Check-list from the White House
As part of the effort to reduce childhood overweight and obesity, the White House’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign includes a checklist of recommendations for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in childcare settings relative to activities that reduce overweight and obesity. There is a significant section on breastfeeding recommendations for childcare settings. This is a valuable resource for breastfeeding mothers with infants in childcare and is available here.
ACTIONS & ALERTS
- Nestle anti-obesity campaign--coming to a city near you
Nestle is attempting to win some positive PR from sponsoring a healthy eating and anti-obesity campaign. The Nestle Corporation and the Nestle-Newark Advisory Board has teamed with the City of Newark to engage in a campaign to reduce childhood obesity. Nestle has presented the city of Newark with a check for $100,000 for a 2-year pilot program to provide infant and toddler nutrition information to parents in Newark. Read more about it here. Nestle, who makes products that cause obesity and who is a Code violator in its marketing of infant formula, is hiring nutritionists who will advise parents in 15 of the city's Family Success Centers, about how to feed their infants and young children. Nestle formula ads appeared on the press release. This involvement by Nestle appears to be part of an aggressive marketing effort and is likely to spread to other states. Nestle has partnered with the entire state of Michigan to "educate" medical schools, hospitals and the community about breastfeeding. Read more about it here. Nestle’s efforts are aligned with “Let’s Move Cities, Towns and Counties” which is an initiative to engage mayors across the country in improving nutrition and physical activity, coordinated out of the HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA). However, the Mayor is acting outside of this initiative by partnering with Nestle.
There is a petition to encourage the Mayor of Newark to end the relationship with Nestle that you may wish to sign on to. It can be found here. You may also wish to check to see if cities in your state have been approached by Nestle offering the same type of arrangement.
- Breastfeeding Promotion Act
In August 2011, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (NY) and Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) introduced the Breastfeeding Promotion Act in both the House (H.R. 2758) and the Senate (S. 1463). Both bills are in great need of more sponsors and more visible support within the committees to which they have been referred. Both Senator Merkley and Rep. Maloney successfully included protections and benefits for many breastfeeding mothers in the Affordable Care Act. This allows millions of mothers to have the option of using unpaid break time to express milk in a private space. The Affordable Care Act however, applies only to those mothers who are non-exempt employees. This means that they are eligible for overtime compensation and are usually non-professional employees. S. 1463 and H.R. 2758 expand upon breastfeeding accommodations to include salaried workers, and also protects women from discrimination for exercising their rights under the law.
read more on how you can help
- An alert from Moms Rising presents an opportunity to contact Federal legislators regarding an important infant feeding issue. Breastfeeding suffers from a number of barriers, including the often unsubstantiated claims that formula manufacturers engage in to persuade vulnerable mothers to use their products.
- The CDC needs health provider input on the importance of administering the mPINC survey in 2011. This survey has been an important catalyst for hospital improvement of lactation care and services.
- Breastfeeding testimony at House Committee on Education and Labor hearing
The House Committee on Education and Labor heard testimony on breastfeeding relative to reauthorization for child nutrition programs. Take this opportunity to follow up with a letter supporting recommended changes.
- Poor Medicaid coverage for lactation care and services
Poor Medicaid coverage for lactation care and services was revealed in a survey of state Medicaid agencies conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and George Washington University.
- Be a Code monitor
As the IBFAN organization responsible for monitoring the Code in the US, NABA is always on the lookout for Code violations. We need your eyes and ears throughout the country to recognize and report incidences of Code violations. These are used in the US country report on Code progress (or lack thereof) and to help reduce commercial pressures on breastfeeding mothers that encourage them to avoid or abandon breastfeeding. Code monitoring is easy and takes little time. read more
Still Selling Out Mothers and Babies: Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes in the USA
The updated US Country report, published in 2007 for the 25th anniversary of the Code, demonstrates continued Code violations. 68 pages order here
Report breastfeeding in public or workplace/employment problems