We’re so close! Your Senators need to hear from you this week
The legislative process in Texas is a daunting one. the Lege only meets every 2 years to do the work of the people and that period in only a couple of months long so we have to work fast.
Of the 4 bills in support of breastfeeding mothers that were filed this session, 1 still has a chance in last weeks of this legislative session.
HB 786 By Rep Walle which would increase access for public employees including teachers to pump milk for their babies as they return to their noble work has passed the house and now needs support so that it can be voted on by the senate.
All the info including sample letters, call script, and tweets can be found HERE
Please show your support, contact your senator today!
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Thank you to all who called and wrote legislators to move these breastfeeding bills through the House.
The breastfeeding bills we were advocating for didn’t make it through this session but there was a lot of awareness raised about breastfeeding issues in both chambers. It is time now to take a deep breath, reflect on our successes and where we could have done things differently, and get ready for next session.
The work of legislation mostly occurs in the year prior to the active session so keep your eyes and ears open Texas. We will be much more actively asking for your support and participation this next time around. If you’re interested in truly taking a leadership role on these or any other issues related to healthy families, I urge you to join HMHB and the Texas Breastfeeding Coalition. Membership of both organizations is made up of people from all walks of life, many who also work full time jobs. We need people who are willing to spend even just a small amount of time and effort to make a change in the lifes of mothers, babies, and the health of families in Texas.
You can make a difference… Let’s start today.
Keep your eyes open for updates and calls to action and thanks again for your support of moms and babies everywhere.
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The Texas Legislature has the opportunity to give moms of Texas a great Mothers Day gift
Thanks to those of you who contacted your legislator and the Calendar’s Committee. Very late on Monday night May 7, both breastfeeding bills were added to the legislative calendar! They will come up for debate and vote this week, just in time for Mother’s Day. Because they are running behind schedule HB 741 will probably be heard Thurs May 9 and 1706 will probably be heard on May 10. We will definitely be watching legislators votes on this issue and will establish a report on who our breastfeeding friendly Representatives are, but we need your help before the vote to make sure that all the legislators across the state are familiar with the issue. Please call your Rep and send an e mail to all legislators expressing your support for these very important bills
The language of the bills can be found here
HB 1706 Strengthens the right to breastfeed in public HB 1706 provides enforcement for the nursing in public law that was established in Texas in 1994. This bill instructs the comptroller to inform all businesses in the state that a woman does in fact have the right to breastfeed her baby anywhere that she is otherwise authorised to be and her right to be there can not be revoked simply because she begins to breastfeed.
HB 741 Extends pumping protections for working mothers who are also public employees (including teachers of public school districts)
Please call and send your e mail of suport today!
Find sample letters at txbfleg.com but even just a few sentences about why these issues are important to you are fine. The important thing is that you let your voice be heard and urge support for both of these bills.
Find your rep here
Send an e mail to everyone in the Texas Legislature with this list:
breastfeeding legislation, breastfeeding support, lactation consultant Austin, texas, texas breastfeeding legislation
Great news Texas! Both breastfeeding bills up for consideration in our Texas legislature have passed out of the Business and Industry Committee. Now they need to be put on the calendar for consideration by the full house and senate respectively. We still have a lot of work to do in moving these bills through. Our legislative session is very short and if they don’t make it out of the Calendar Committee these important pieces of legislation will lie dormant for another 2 years.
Which bills are we talking about?
HB 741 Extends pumping protections for working mothers who are also public employees (including school districts)
What you can do:
Write letters to the Calendar Committee members asking them to add these bills to the house callendar quickly. There are several examples of letters that you can make your own and send along to the calendar committee as well as your own representative here.
Find your rep here
Here are the members of the Calendar Committee.
|Chair:||Rep. Todd Hunter|
|Vice Chair:||Rep. Eddie Lucio III|
|Members:||Rep. Roberto R. Alonzo|
|Rep. Carol Alvarado|
|Rep. Dan Branch|
|Rep. Angie Chen Button|
|Rep. Byron Cook|
|Rep. Myra Crownover|
|Rep. Sarah Davis|
|Rep. Craig Eiland|
|Rep. John Frullo|
|Rep. Charlie Geren|
|Rep. Helen Giddings|
|Rep. John Kuempel|
|Rep. Doug Miller|
austin, breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding legislation, breastfeeding legislation texas, breastfeeding support, lactation consultant Austin, lactation consultants
Show your support for this legislation that increases public health and awareness.
Thank you to Representative Farrar for introducing amendments to the current right to breastfeed legislation. Under our current legislation, even though it is strongly worded, we continue to receive reports of discrimination year after year. Mothers report being accosted at the park, in restaurants, department stores, and most recently at AISD. For many moms it is very embarrassing to attempt to breastfeed in public especially in the first months. Many moms report that they are so afraid someone will say something negative that they pump milk in order to feed their baby if he\she gets hungry when they are out. Many problems occur when this fear is fostered. First, a mothers ability to make milk for her baby is very fragile. If she does not take milk from the breast each time that the baby eats, she is telling her body that she doesn’t need to make that milk. Her body responds through either severe engorgement which can lead to infection, loss of milk production, or both. No mother should be asked to put her health or her baby’s health at risk because it might make someone else uncomfortable to see an infant eat. Second and just as important, when more women are giving bottles we are teaching the next generation that babies should eat processed foods from a bottle instead of human milk from their mother. Both consequences are dangerous not just to moms and babies now but generations to come.
The language in this bill that will fulfill the goal that HMHB has had for many years in educating businesses of the right of mothers to feed their children and establishing recourse if that right is abridged.
The bill adds to sec. 165.001: “The legislature intends that all persons be informed of the rights of breast-feeding mother and child and be prohibited from interfering with those rights.”
it adds important language to sec. 165.002 as well (underlined): “A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is otherwise authorized to be. A mother’s authority to be in a location may not be revoked for the sole reason that she begins to breast-feed.
b. A person may not interfere with or restrict the right of a mother to breast-feed in accordance with this section.
HB 1706 also instructs the comptroller to notify businesses of the current law which has been Texas law since 1995 and ensures the right of civil complaints if that right is denied. Please tell Representative Farrar thank you for her contribution to healthy moms and babies all across Texas and let your representative know that you want them to co sponsor this bill.
Full language and instructions on how to follow this bill here.
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Peer support makes a difference for breastfeeding moms…
Tell Congress to Fund WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors in FY 2013!
Below is an excerpt from the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) Call To Action.
Yesterday, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin released the National Prevention Council Action Plan, which “outlines the federal commitment to implementing…the nation’s first ever National Prevention Strategy.”
Recommendation #5 under the Strategy’s Healthy Eating section specifically calls to: “Support policies and programs that promote breastfeeding,”
Another recent highlight for breastfeeding was last month’s release of the Institute of Medicine report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, which calls in Strategy 4-4 to “promote breastfeeding-friendly environments.”
Our Nation’s public health leaders are coming together to call for real changes in the policies, systems, and environments that impact breastfeeding families. But despite the fact that these two new documents, as well as The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, and the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report, call for the expansion of breastfeeding peer support programs, we’ve just learned that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies has passed a Fiscal Year 2013 bill which would cut all funding for WIC breastfeeding peer counselors.
Mother-to-mother support has proven to be one of the most successful approaches to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies. It has been so successful that after piloting this project, it was established as a core service in the WIC Program. Texas had a head start on this initiative; our state was one of the first in the nation to implement a Peer Counselor Program. The national WIC organization states that “The failure to fund breastfeeding peer counselors would mean an immediate loss of jobs and a reduction in breastfeeding rates.” WIC estimates that women who attend its breastfeeding support groups are twice as likely to plan to breastfeed as those who do not.
Since the program began in April 1991, over 3,500 mothers have been trained in Texas as breastfeeding peer counselors and numerous studies have confirmed the success and importance of peer support.
- Effect of Peer Counselors on Breastfeeding Initiation, Exclusivity, and Duration Among Low-income Urban Women Naomi Kistin, Rachel Abramson, and Peg Dublin. J Hum Lact, March 1994; vol. 10, 1: pp. 11-15.
- The Differential Impact of WIC Peer Counseling Programs on Breastfeeding Initiation across the State of Maryland. Gross S., Resnik A., et al. J Hum Lact, November 2009; vol. 25, 4: pp. 435-443
- They’ve Walked in My Shoes”: Mothers of Very Low Birth Weight Infants and Their Experiences With Breastfeeding Peer Counselors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Rossman B., Engstrom J., Meier P., et al. J Hum Lact, February 2011; vol. 27, 1: pp. 14-24
- The Effect of a Peer Counseling Program on Breastfeeding Initiation and Longevity in a Low-income Rural Population. Shaw E., Kaczorowski J. J Hum Lact, March 1999; vol. 15, 1: pp. 19-25.
As of April 2012 Texas WIC population has met the Healthy People 2020 goals for breastfeeding innitaition at 81.9% See the progress WIC has made since the Peer Counselor program began below.
It will only take a few minutes and could make a difference for millions of mothers across the United States.
Share your experience as a WIC mom here
Beyond talking to your representative please also contact
https://carterforms.house.gov/email-john2/. And anyone else on the sub committee.
The full list of committee members listed here.
- Harold Rogers, Kentucky, Chairman
- C.W. Bill Young, Florida
- Jerry Lewis, California
- Frank R. Wolf, Virginia
- Jack Kingston, Georgia
- Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
- Tom Latham, Iowa
- Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama
- Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri
- Kay Granger, Texas
- Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
- John Abney Culberson, Texas
- Ander Crenshaw, Florida
- Denny Rehberg, Montana
- John R. Carter, Texas
- Rodney Alexander, Louisiana
- Ken Calvert, California
- Jo Bonner, Alabama
- Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio
- Tom Cole, Oklahoma
- Jeff Flake, Arizona
- Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida
- Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania
- Steve Austria, Ohio
- Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming
- Tom Graves, Georgia
- Kevin Yoder, Kansas
- Steve Womack, Arkansas
- Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi
- Norman D. Dicks, Washington
- Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
- Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
- Nita M. Lowey, New York
- José E. Serrano, New York
- Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut
- James P. Moran, Virginia
- John W. Olver, Massachusetts
- Ed Pastor, Arizona
- David E. Price, North Carolina
- Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
- Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
- Sam Farr, California
- Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Illinois
- Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania
- Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey
- Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Georgia
- Barbara Lee, California
- Adam B. Schiff, California
- Michael M. Honda, California
- Betty McCollum, Minnesota