CWA partners with breastfeeding advocates all over the state to draw attention to the stark health inequities caused by inadequate breastfeeding support policies in many California hospitals. We seek policy reforms through local organizing, administrative and legislative advocacy.Learn More
Need a Little Good News?Laurie True - October 30, 2013
American hospitals have been steadily trending toward ending formula promotion over the past decade. Public Citizen’s new report, Top Hospitals’ Formula for Success: No Marketing of Infant Formula, shows how the vast majority of the nation’s most reputable hospitals—including 7 in California—are acting ethically and thwarting pressure from formula companies to aggressively market to their patients, which can undermine breastfeeding.
These new findings underline what we already know: hospital breastfeeding policy is finally trending in the right direction! The CDC Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey shows that, by 2011, almost 46% of hospitals had discontinued formula discharge bags – way up from 27% in 2007. All hospitals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have voluntarily banned discharge bags, while others, including Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma and New York, are progressively moving in that direction. The number of Baby-Friendly hospitals continues to increase every month, and California is leading the pack with 59 and dozens more in the pipeline.
More than 16,500 people have signed Public Citizen’s petition calling on the three major formula companies—Abbott, Mead Johnson and Nestle—to stop marketing in healthcare facilities. ACTION: Sign the petition and forward it to friends before Public Citizen advocates deliver it to these companies next month!
Turn Down the Heat - But Keep the Stove On!Laurie True - October 17, 2013
At the eleventh hour, Congress finally came together to re-open the government, thus averting any further damage to our economy and allowing WIC to keep the doors open without disruption or harm to the families we serve. What a relief!
Thanks to all who helped us send a strong message to end the shutdown. While cynical and unsupportable from a policy perspective, it was politically important to see House Republicans try to pass a bill restoring WIC funds. If nothing else, that somewhat desperate action showed that your voices were loud, clear, and most definitely heard!
We can now “turn down the heat” that we have been sending daily, in the form of real WIC stories and voices, to members of the California Congressional Delegation. But it’s too early to turn the stove off. The Continuing Resolution passed on October 16 only keeps the government funded until January 15, and raises the debt limit until February 7. This means WIC funding level of $6.5 billion is now available retroactive to October 1 but only through mid-January, leaving more uncertainly for WIC providers and participants.
Congress is supposed to come up with a negotiated budget plan by December 13. Maybe they will re-think the draconian sequester cuts that loom in January. Maybe they will work out a “grand bargain” on larger tax and entitlement issues. But don’t hold your breath!
Because of continued uncertainty, CWA will continue to urge Congress to protect WIC and other critical health and safety net programs and avoid repeating the extremely damaging brinksmanship we’ve witnessed in recent weeks. In other words, we still need “WE NEED WIC!” The campaign will continue into 2014; we won’t stop until WIC stands on the solid ground it deserves.
ACTION: Keep your advocacy simmering! Reassure WIC families and grocers, continue providing quality services, and get some rest over the holidays. We may need you again!