253: Breastfeeding Policies

Deborah Backman, ASTHO’s Senior Analyst for Maternal and Infant Health, calls attention to policies in place to protect breastfeeding during National Breastfeeding Month; Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the...


Deborah Backman, ASTHO’s Senior Analyst for Maternal and Infant Health, calls attention to policies in place to protect breastfeeding during National Breastfeeding Month; Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, discusses the importance of National Immunization Awareness Month; for International Overdose Awareness Day, ASTHO has a video highlighting work Colorado has done to address this concern; and ASTHO is hiring for several open positions.

ASTHO Blog Article: Strategic Policies Protect Breastfeeding in Workplaces and Schools

CDC Webpage: Immunization Schedules

CDC Webpage: National Immunization Awareness Month

ASTHO Blog Article: How Strong Partnerships Improved Colorado's Suicide And Overdose Prevention Strategy

CDC Webpage: International Overdose Awareness Day Partner Toolkit

ASTHO Webpage: Careers at ASTHO

ASTHO logo

Transcript

ROBERT JOHNSON:

This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Wednesday, August 31st, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson.

Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

 

DEBORAH BACKMAN:

National Breastfeeding Month was established in 2011 by the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee with the aim of advancing breastfeeding on the national agenda through collaboration, leadership, and advocacy. So, that all U.S. families who want to breastfeed have the opportunity to do so.

JOHNSON:

ASTHO'S Deborah Backman calling attention to policies that protect breastfeeding and workplaces and schools.

BACKMAN:

The most prominent one is the break time for nursing mothers provision of the Affordable Care Act, which requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide reasonable break time and space for employees to express breast milk up to one year after their child's birth.

However, this applies generally only to employees that are eligible for overtime and thus excludes many employees, such as teachers and other salaried employees, but also does not address protections for students.

JOHNSON:

Backman says many ASTHO members have taken action to ensure parents are able to breastfeed if they choose to do so.

BACKMAN:

For example, Louisiana passed a law in May 2021 requiring all public schools to adopt policies for pregnant and parenting students, including providing reasonable accommodations for lactation space and break time. And in the area of workplace protections, to date 30 states, Puerto Rico, and D.C. have enacted laws on workplace lactation protections.

JOHNSON:

National Breastfeeding Month ends today, but you can read more about policies enacted to promote breastfeeding in a new ASTHO blog article. There's a link in the show notes.

 

August also is National Immunization Awareness Month. Nebraska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone says COVID-19 has made people more aware of the importance of vaccines.

GARY ANTHONE:

You know, the other thing that I think this pandemic has taught us is not just the initial vaccines or immunizations, but also your booster doses—to make sure you're up-to-date on those, because that's what really helps prevent the illness or developing a severe illness to lead to a hospitalization.

JOHNSON:

Anthone says people fell behind on their shots for themselves and their kids during the pandemic, adding public health agencies will continue to remind people to get caught up.

ANTHONE:

I think that vaccinations and immunizations are probably the most important public health intervention developed, and we need to keep people vaccinated. Again, we were reminded with the pandemic that, you know, some people don't want to get vaccinated. But we need to educate them on how important it is, not just for them, but for the public in general.

JOHNSON:

The CDC has a website and toolkit on this topic. You can check it out with the link in the show notes.

 

Also this morning, another critical public health issue is on the calendar. Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. ASTHO has a video highlighting work Colorado has done to address this concern in six counties where rates are high.

The CDC has created resources health agencies can use to call attention to the growing problem of overdose in their communities. Look for the links in the show notes.

 

Finally today, ASTHO is hiring to fill several open positions. The organization is looking for a coordinator in the executive office, and analysts to work on family and child health issues, and a senior analyst of chronic disease and health improvement with island jurisdictions. As always, you can learn more using the link in the show notes.

 

While you're visiting the show notes, don't forget to follow the newscast. If you do, you'll get every daily episode.

That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back tomorrow morning with more ASTHO news and information.

I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great day.

Deborah Backman MPH

Senior Analyst, Maternal and Infant Health. ASTHO

Gary Anthone MD

Director and Chief Medical Officer, Division of Public Health, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services