CWA Flash E-Newsletter - January 28, 2020
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Unemployment Resources, Debt, and Financial Literacy  
Being unemployed isn't easy, but  WIC Can Help   by referring families to a multitude of resources that can assist with everything from job training to learning how to get out of debt after lost wages from not working. WIC can provide resources to help families learn about the difference between credit and savings, and knowing who to trust when making financial decisions for themselves or others. 
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Starting an Art Habit   
Making art is good for your mind and body. The act of creation can reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood, give you a stronger sense of agency - the ability to solve problems by imagining possible solutions. Here are some tips for making it a habit! 
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SCOTUS Rules that Public Charge Can Move Forward  
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled  to lift a nationwide injunction on the Trump Administration's expanded public charge rule, allowing the rule to be implemented while several lawsuits work their way through the lower courts. CWA is deeply disappointed in the court's decision. Allowing these changes to take effect will cause millions to forego food, healthcare, and housing in order to keep their families together in this country. Additionally, the fear and misunderstanding surrounding public charge has caused a chilling effect on programs, even among people who would not be subject to the public charge test. Immigrant families are part of California communities, and CWA opposes the public charge rule, which is the most likely to hurt immigrant families with young children, in the strongest terms. It is important to remember that many immigrant families are not subject to the public charge test - concerned individuals can use a screening tool online to help determine whether or not they are subject to public charge. It is also critical to inform participants and eligible families that WIC is explicitly excluded from the public charge rule, as is Medicaid for children (up to age 21) and pregnant women (up to 60 days postpartum). 
Telehealth, Broadband, and Maternal Health Outcomes 
Congressional leaders are introducing bills to improve broadband access, rural health care gaps, and telehealth to address maternal health and mortality and ultimately improve health equity. Check out this report that provides information on a number of proposals. And while you are thinking about telehealth policy, check out the resources provided by the Center for Connected Health Policy, The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center.
Trump Administration to Roll Back School Lunch Standards 
The Trump administration earlier this month announced plans to roll back school lunch standards on vegetables and fruits originally promoted by Michelle Obama. The new standards will allow schools more flexibility "because they know their children best," the Agriculture Department said in a press release. The new rules would loosen requirements for serving size on fruits and vegetables. The latest change follows a 2019 rollback of restrictions on milk and sodium content in school lunches. Critics said the change will pave the way for greasier, more unhealthy foods such as pizza, french fries and burgers. In 2019, the first comprehensive analysis of the Obama administration's lunch plan by the Department of Agriculture found the updates "had a positive and significant influence on nutritional quality" as students ate more whole grains, greens, and beans, as well as fewer "empty calories." The report found evidence of food waste, but the levels were not substantially higher than food waste under previous lunch regulations.
CWA News
Spring Conference - Register Now!
Have you registered yet? Please join us in sunny San Diego, April 5-8, 2020, to connect, collaborate, and network with WIC staff and community partners from across the state. This year's agenda will feature a full-day two-track pre-conference (breastfeeding and leadership) and 2.5 days of a five-track conference, trade show, exciting keynote speakers, and plenty of chances to gather, celebrate, and learn from one another. Register here. Read more about the 2020 conference here. Check out the draft agenda here.  
Hospital Breastfeeding Report Released!
California hospital breastfeeding policies work to improve health equity as described in Achieving Breastfeeding Equity in California, the annual state and county fact sheets reporting on hospital breastfeeding rates and policies. The reports use in-hospital infant feeding data, generated by the Newborn Screening Program in California's delivery hospitals. Exclusive breastfeeding in California's hospitals has improved significantly with 70.4% of infants being exclusively breastfed in the hospital in 2018, up from 56.6% in 2010. Baby-Friendly and similar policies improve maternity care, but not all California women experience these policies and practices the same way. To achieve breastfeeding equity in California hospitals, we must build on the foundation created by widespread adoption of supportive policies. Resources, quality improvement processes, and community partnerships are needed to ensure equitable structures and approaches are in place to meet the needs of California's diverse families. CA WIC Association, UC Davis Center for Human Lactation, and CA Breastfeeding Coalition released the reports last week, at the 20/20 Vision: Creating a Clear Focus for Equitable Breastfeeding Care, the 10th Annual CA Breastfeeding Coalition Summit.  
Our Top News Picks
US Baby-Friendly Hospitals Reach 600!
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) has reached another important milestone: over 600 birthing facilities are now Baby-Friendly designated in the US, representing more than 28% of the nation's births. Since 1996, when the first hospital in the US was designated Baby-Friendly, more than 6.5 million babies have been born in Baby-Friendly designated facilities in the US. This moment is all the more rewarding because the 599th and 600th designated hospitals are both from Mississippi, a state with enormous opportunity to improve health outcomes and reduce racial disparities related to breastfeeding practices. The addition of these two hospitals to the Baby-Friendly ranks bring the total number of designated hospitals in that state to 18, representing more than 50% of Mississippi births. California is home to 96 Baby-Friendly hospitals. 
New Data on Effects of Cannabis Use During Pregnancy 
As access to cannabis becomes more widespread across the United States, a recent study has concluded that cannabis use during pregnancy may negatively impact fetal growth and development. The study compared birth and early developmental screens of infants who had been exposed to cannabis during the course of the pregnancy with those who had not. The study observed more than 3,400 women who were receiving prenatal care within a large health-care system and tested for cannabis using a routine urine and toxicology screen. The study also considered other variables that could cause growth defects, such as cigarette smoking in addition to looking at the effects of THC. The results found a small uptick in babies with low birth weight, a two-fold jump in abnormal 12-month developmental screens, and a 70 percent increase in small-for-gestational-age births. As of June 2019, 11 states have legalized recreational marijuana use and 21 additional states have legalized the use of medical marijuana.
Babies and Moms Need Flu Protection Through Spring
Flu (influenza) is especially dangerous to pregnant women, babies and young children, resulting in premature delivery, low-birth weight, stillbirth, hospitalization, and even death or mother or child. The best protection is flu vaccine, available through the end of Spring. At WIC, you can protect the families you serve from flu just by helping them find a flu shot:
  • Routinely ask all parents if they and their children 6 months of age and older have been immunized against flu. You might say: "Have you received the flu vaccine yet? A flu shot is the best way to protect you and your family from flu. If not, I highly encourage you to the entire family immunized as soon as possible. Your insurance should cover these shots. Please ask your child's doctor for the vaccine and go to your doctor or pharmacy to get vaccinated, too."  (For those without health insurance, please refer them to their local health department.)
  • Encourage pregnant women to get a flu vaccine. Flu shots are fully covered by Medi-Cal. Pregnant women on Medi-Cal can get immunized at no cost at their doctor's office (if available) or at the pharmacy where they pick up their prenatal vitamins.  Private health plans should also be covering the shot.
  • Post information about flu vaccine in your waiting rooms and other areas visible to WIC participants. Consider posting this flyer for pregnant women (also in Spanish) and this bilingual poster for families. Please also consider ordering these FREE brochures (also in Spanish) to distribute at WIC from the Immunization Coordinator at your local health department.
For more information  about flu, visit the  CDPH influenza web page . 
National Children's Dental Health Month
Did you know that cavities are the most common chronic disease of children? Cavities, also called tooth decay can cause pain, loss of sleep, lack of concentration and absence from school. February is National Children's Dental Health Month - a month-long observance that provides the opportunity for dedicated dental professionals, health care providers, educators, community partners, parents and caregivers to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health in childhood. Celebrate National Children's Dental Health Month by downloading the new Smile, California oral health lesson packages created for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. The lesson packages include age-appropriate activities and worksheets designed to help children understand the importance of good oral health and regular dental check-ups! The lesson packages also include take-home information for parents and guardians. Also available for download will be the Smile, California Healthy Smiles pledge certificates designed to promote and strengthen a child's commitment to healthy dental habits. These certificates are designed for children but can be completed by anyone! The Smile, California lesson packages and pledge certificates will be available for download on the Partners & Providers page of later this month. Stay tuned on when Smile, California will debut these lesson packages by subscribing to their Smile Alert newsletter. Visit for more Medi-Cal member materials to use in your organization! 
Free Breastfeeding and Pumping Images Available
The CDC, in partnership with the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition, have published a group of royalty-free photos of breastfeeding and pumping in everyday settings . The photos are available through the CDC's State and Community Health Media Center at no cost to nonprofit organizations and government agencies. To access these photos, select "Nutrition: Breastfeeding" in the "Topics" dropdown menu while searching. 
New Statement on Safe Sleeping
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine just released  new guidelines on bedsharing. The guidelines address breastfeeding, bedsharing for safe sleep, and risk minimization. The guidelines include very specific information for breastfeeding and bedsharing in the home.
California WIC Association
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Phone: 916-572-0700; Fax: 916-572-0760