At the start of each new congressional session, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) hosts the Welcome Congress campaign to educate policymakers on breastfeeding policy priorities for that congressional session. These priorities reflect the policy changes that are most urgently needed over the next two years and are identified and selected through extensive feedback from USBC’s stakeholders and member organizations.
117th Congressional Session Breastfeeding Policy Priorities:
The Welcome Congress Campaign will launch on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9. The deadline to ensure that your organization is an original signatory has been extended to Sunday, May 9, but we will include additional signers on an ongoing basis.
USBC leadership will share this organizational letter with legislators during Congressional office visits throughout Welcome Congress week. USBC will also launch a separate action tool for constituents across the country to share these priorities directly with their representatives.
By completing the form below, you are indicating that you have permission or authority from the organization to sign on to this letter. Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Members of the 117th Congress:
As your constituents, we warmly welcome you to the new congressional session and extend our best wishes for the years ahead. As you embrace opportunities to address national challenges during this session, we urge you to consider the role that human milk feeding plays in giving infants and mothers important and long-lasting health protections that contribute to significant public health cost savings.
The majority of pregnant people and new mothers want to breastfeed. Yet, numerous barriers in healthcare, community, and employment settings impede breastfeeding success. While 84% of infants are breastfed at birth, only 25% of U.S. infants are still exclusively breastfed at six months of age. There are persistent breastfeeding disparities by racial, geographic, and socioeconomic factors. The pandemic made matters worse. COVID-related maternity care practice shifts unduly compromised the establishment of breastfeeding, and the behavioral drivers of chronic disease—poor nutrition, inactive lifestyle, excessive drinking, and tobacco use—increased during the pandemic. These facts suggest that COVID-19 will exacerbate negative health status trends for years to come.
The American people, especially our babies, are the nation’s most valuable resource. We must support their health, vitality, and resilience through systemic interventions that ensure every family has the opportunity to reach their breastfeeding goals. Thank you for your careful consideration of the following priorities you can move forward in the 117th Congress to help support lactating families:
As a member of the 117th Congress, we encourage your leadership on these critical policy priorities. Congressional history shows that breastfeeding is truly a bipartisan issue that legislators from both sides of the aisle can agree on. Families are counting on all of us to work together and eliminate the barriers that impede breastfeeding success.
We look forward to working with you to advance these policy priorities.
The final version of the letter will be uploaded to this link: http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/d/do/3891
Please direct questions and comments to email@example.com.