CWA Flash E-Newsletter - June 11, 2019
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June: Alcohol and Substance Abuse  
Among California low-income women included in the 2013-14 Maternal and Infant Health Assessment (MIHA) Survey, up to 30 percent reported smoking before, during, or after pregnancy, up to 30% reported binge-drinking before getting pregnant, and up to 13 percent reported drinking during the third trimester. WIC Can Help provide information and referrals to help prevent these harmful effects.     
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Even One Extra Walk a Day May Make a Big Difference  
A new study of activity and mortality that looked at health and habits of older women, finds that the total number of recommended daily steps could be lower than many of us expect, and that even small increases in steps can be meaningful. For some, walking as few as 4,500 steps a day reduced mortality compared with those who took only 2,700 steps a day. So remember, every little bit helps! Park your car a little farther from the store entrance! 
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Speak Up for Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Funds! 
This year represents the first opportunity in nearly a decade to increase funding for Breastfeeding Peer Counselors, with the House of Representatives including a funding increase in their first version of the FY 2020 appropriations bill. The Senate has yet to draft their appropriations bill for FY 2020. ACTION: This month, please speak out to either educate your member of Congress about the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program or to call for full funding of the program at $90 million in the final FY 2020 funding bill. You can use this action alert to email, tweet, or call your members of Congress. NWA has already written the message for you, so all you need to do is provide your name and address. 
California Legislative Update 
We have fought the good fight to secure an increase in reimbursement rates for breast pumps provided by Medi-Cal plans - testifying in both houses and connecting with legislative offices and leadership. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, our proposal did not survive the final Conference Committee negotiations. We appreciate the collaboration with CA Breastfeeding Coalition and Moms Rising on this effort and any calls made by individuals to legislative offices. We are also supporting AB 526 (Petrie-Norris) which will be heard in Senate Health, although unfortunately the accompanying budget proposal to support express lane eligibility was not included by the conference budget committee. This relates to our efforts to improve program linkages between WIC and Medi-Cal. This effort is spearheaded by Children's Partnership. Regarding bills, CWA is also a co-sponsor of SB 142, a bill to further improve lactation accommodation, led by CA Breastfeeding Coalition and Legal Aid at Work, which will be heard in Assembly Labor Committee on June 26. Additionally we are supporting many bills that address the well-being of young families. 
Our Top News Picks
ACEs Affect Cognitive Skills, Focus
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as poverty, residential instability, parental divorce or substance abuse, can affect executive function and lead to changes in a child's brain chemistry, muting the effects of stress hormones, according to a new study. Children from families that had lower income and higher adversity tended to have both lower executive function and an atypical diurnal cortisol pattern. Each of those contributed to more behavior problems and lower social-emotional competence in children when they were about to start kindergarten. The study shows that not only do low income and adversity affect children's adjustment, but they also impact these self-regulation systems that then add to children's adjustment problems. While past research has pointed to the effects of adversity on executive function, and to the specific relationship between cortisol and executive function, this new study shows the additive effects over time, researchers say. The research could be used to inform parenting programs, early childhood and school-based interventions. 
To Help New Parents, Give Both Paid Family Leave 
A new study suggests what most new parents already know - paid parental leave and the flexibility to use it on days the mother needs extra support, can make a significant difference in mothers' postpartum health. Researchers studied the effects of a Swedish law that allows partners to take up to 30 days, as needed, while the mother is still on leave. In the first six months postpartum, there was a 26 percent decrease in anti-anxiety prescriptions compared with mothers who gave birth just before the policy went into effect. There was a 14 percent reduction in hospitalizations or visits to a specialist, and an 11 percent decrease in antibiotic prescriptions. The United States is the only wealthy country with no mandated paid leave. American maternal mortality - which includes childbirth-related deaths in the year after a birth - has increased 50 percent in a generation, and there is a growing movement to help mothers during this critical period. Researchers say that the study should highlight for policymakers the importance of offering leave that is not limited to the baby's primary caregiver, and that can be used without advance planning. 
Mining Breast Milk Components   
Companies are gearing up to be part of the expanding markets expected for synthetic human oligosaccharides, naturally occurring in breastmilk. Not only infant formula companies, but a variety of corporations see billions in profits for products for infants, adults and targeted health issues, as more is being understood about the microbiome, and pre and probiotics. Using a component of human milk in a formula will never replicate the complex interactions in human milk. As an example, the infant formula industry has a complex history with the addition of fatty acids, DHA and ARA, originally marketed widely for nearly all infants and later to toddlers, without the research to show the outcomes.  
Feeding Your Baby Magazines
The Feeding Your Baby magazine series is a collaboration between NWA, California State WIC, New York State WIC, and Foundry 360. The magazines are available in both English and Spanish and can help you: Reinforce WIC nutrition education with engaging, beautifully designed content; Offer a warm and supportive voice to first-time moms and remind experienced moms of the best practices to give their babies a healthy start; Reach a broad audience by providing information in both English and Spanish. The order deadline for the printed magazines is September 19, 2019. Click here to print an order form, or click here to order online. For any questions about these magazines, please contact 
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Action Tool
MomsRising has released an online action tool titled, "U.S. Representatives: Support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act!" The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would ensure reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. 
Barriers to Care Experienced by Women in the U.S.
This Visualizing Health Policy infographic looks at barriers to care experienced by women in the United States. Women incur greater health care costs than men, particularly during the reproductive years. Despite a lower uninsured rate than men (11% vs 14%), women are more likely to skip a recommended medical test or treatment due to cost. However, cost barriers to contraception have decreased for insured women since the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) coverage requirement took effect. Three of 4 women reported that insurance covered the full cost of birth control during their most recent visit. Younger women are less likely to report having a regular clinician. Women without a regular clinician are less likely to receive certain preventive services, such as a mammogram and Papanicolaou test. Women are more likely than men to have a preexisting health condition (29% vs 24%) and express concern about the consequences of lifting ACA protections that ban preexisting condition exclusions.  
Breadwinning Mothers Report
The Center for American Progress has published a report titled "Breadwinning Mothers Continue To Be the U.S. Norm." The report outlines changing trends in family demographics and employment, and compares rates of mothers being the primary earner by marital status, family income, race and ethnicity, education, age of children, and state. Breadwinning mothers are more likely to be young, low-income, and have younger children, and they are disproportionately more likely to be women of color. These women persist in supporting their families, generally without access to affordable child care, paid family and medical leave, pay equity, paid sick days, or any of the other host of supports that allow people to better juggle the demands of working while also raising a family and caring for others.
California WIC Association
3120 Freeboard Dr., Suite 101, West Sacramento, CA 95691

Phone: 916-572-0700; Fax: 916-572-0760