CWA Flash E-Newsletter - February 27, 2018
In This Issue:
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Breastfeeding Advocacy
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Tax Season
Working families may be eligible for tax credits worth thousands of dollars, especially here in California with  the state EITC  - and free help filing their taxes - even if they did not earn enough in 2017 to owe income tax!  Check out the interactive tool from CA Budget and Policy Project to see how low-earning families and individuals can benefit from the state and federal EITC. See our  February WIC Can Help  info and referrals to help WIC households this tax season.
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Go Easy on Yourself!
Hard on yourself? Here's a reason to cut yourself a little slack: learning to respond to your failures with kindness, or self-compassion, may help offset the negative effects of perfectionism (like depression and burnout) at any age.
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Never Again
How did we get to a place where our children are put in so much danger, where they have to demand that we, the adults, keep them safe? Shootings and related deaths and injuries in schools are not acceptable. We can study gun violence data and school shooting trends, but zero is the only acceptable number. Adults' words of condolences and prayers don't cut it. We can argue the solutions, but we all know there is no single solution, there are many solutions. Our children have been forced to provide us with the leadership we have failed to take. We all play a role and can identify at least one action, no matter how small it may seem, that we can take to support our children's safety and that of our teachers and school staff. Our local, state and federal decision makers must use their positions to the fullest to keep the safety of children as the number one priority and not that of powerful industries and special interest groups.

CWA News
Conference Countdown!
The 2018 CWA Annual Conference & Trade Show is two months away. Besides the 20+ continuing education credits you can earn, you can expect to be professionally re-energized. Your days will be filled networking with colleagues; learning about tools and resources in the trade show; and being inspired and collecting best practices from dozens of workshops and speakers on a wide variety of critical topics. Back again this year is a Movie Night, featuring Resilience: the Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope, a documentary addressing how adverse childhood experiences (ACES) impact the physical and mental health of children, and how the wave of new information on ACES brings home to helping children overcome them. On the lighter side are wellness breaks and some friendly team competition, including the eWIC Go! Scavenger Hunt and the "WIC is a Team Sport" costume contest. Gather your team and come ready to compete in your best or wackiest workout gear! ACTION:  Show off your agency's innovations and submit your Local Agency Sharing application by March 15th! Study the latest agenda and information on our  Conference webpage  and  register online  before April 13th.

Our Top News Picks
More Midwives May Mean Better Outcomes for Moms and Babies
In many other countries, midwives are a critical part of reproductive healthcare services and care for many women through their pregnancies and deliveries. Those countries typically have lower rates of maternal and infant mortality than the U.S., where they are on the rise . The U.S. is also experiencing a shortage of maternal healthcare providers, with half of all U.S. counties lacking even one OBGYN, and the number of hospitals offering obstetric services down 16 percent since 2004. Midwives are relatively rare in the U.S. in comparison to other countries - they only deliver about 10 percent of babies, and their scope of practice is inconsistent among states. A new study examining regulations and scope of practice for midwives in different states indicates that empowering them could benefit maternal and infant health. Researchers say that five years of data showed states that have done the most to integrate midwives into their health care systems have some of the best outcomes for mothers and babies. Conversely, states with some of the most restrictive midwife laws and practices - including Alabama, Ohio and Mississippi - tend to do significantly worse on key indicators of maternal and neonatal well-being. Many of the states characterized by poor health outcomes and hostility to midwives also have large African-American populations, raising the possibility that greater use of midwives could reduce the significant racial disparities in maternity care.
Marketing of Toddler Formulas Problematic
Recent research analyzing formulas and drinks marketed for toddlers says that toddler formulas appear very similar in packaging and advertising to infant formulas, however, the nutritional content and labelling for toddler formula is not regulated by the FDA as it is for infant formula. Toddler formulas typically include more sugar, sodium and fat than infant formulas, are more expensive than whole milk, and not as nutritious. Most toddlers do well with food, water, and milk, and do not require a special toddler formula, yet manufacturers are spending nearly double on promoting toddler formula versus infant formula. Researchers say that requiring labelling to specify that toddler formula is not appropriate for infants would remove some of the confusion, as well as requiring a directive encouraging parents to check with a pediatrician before feeding a child a toddler formula.
Unequal Access to Dental Care Hurts Americans
All states must cover dental benefits for children in low-income families, but they aren't required to do so for adults. Currently only 17 state Medicaid programs offered comprehensive adult dental benefits - California among them, and only 14 of those did so for the population eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Lack of dental care is hurting the physical health of low-income people, as well as their economic success. Gum disease and poor dental health is associated with an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and preterm birth . People with bad teeth are also often stigmatized when it comes to searching for a job - research shows that the appearance of someone's teeth sway judgments about their intelligence and other personality traits. About one-third of adults with incomes below 138 percent of the poverty level (low enough to be eligible for Medicaid in states that adopted the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion) report that the appearance of their teeth and mouth affected their ability to interview for a job. By comparison, only 15 percent of adults with incomes above 400 percent of the poverty level said the same. The relationship between oral health and work is particularly relevant in a time when several states are considering work requirements on Medicaid enrollees.

Tips for Talking to Children About Tragedies
After any disaster, parents and other adults struggle with what they should say and share with children and what not to say or share with them. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents, teachers, child care providers, and others who work closely with children to filter information about the crisis and present it in a way that their child can accommodate, adjust to, and cope with. Guidelines for speaking to children of different ages and children with special needs, as well as signs that a child may not be coping well can be found here .
Resources to Address Gun Violence
Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. Guns kill almost 30,000 people and cause 60,000 injuries each year. The issue of gun violence is complex and deeply rooted in our culture, which is why we must take a public health approach to ensuring our families and communities are safe. We must place a renewed emphasis on improving gun injury and violence research. Ongoing work is needed to ensure firearms do not fall into the wrong hands and to expand access to mental health services to those who need it most. Check here for resources from the American Public Health Association , including fact sheets and research, tools to contact your representatives, and social media tools.
Updated CDC Guidelines on Breastfeeding and Influenza
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released  updates to their breastfeeding and influenza guidelines . The new guidance on what to do if breastfeeding infants or mothers contract influenza addresses methods for preventing transmission of influenza to infants. A mother's breast milk contains antibodies and other immunological factors that can help protect her infant from flu and is the recommended source of nutrition for the infant, even while the mother is ill. When an infant has flu, the mother should be encouraged to continue breastfeeding or feeding expressed breast milk to her infant.
Breastfeeding and Child Custody Toolkit
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network has published the " Breastfeeding and Child Custody Toolkit ". The toolkit guides readers through the issues surrounding breastfeeding and child custody, including information on the legal landscape. It includes template letters to the court, resources for parents, and a platform for sharing stories .

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