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Month: December 2016

Reflecting on 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, we at 1,000 Days are struck by the important work that has been accomplished – and how much is left to be done. Over the past year we have continued to fight for a healthier future for moms and babies here in the U.S. and around the world. We launched new findings and reports, we worked with new partners and champions, we grew our team – we even added two new babies to our 1,000 Days family!

Here are a few of our highlights from the last year:

  • In January we hand-delivered over 230,000+ petition signatures in support of paid family leave to members of Congress.
  • In April – at an event featuring Bill Gates – we launched a groundbreaking study providing a roadmap for how the world can accelerate progress against malnutrition.
  • Also in April, we sent a letter to President Obama – signed by over 100 athletes – in support of all children receiving a fair start to life with good nutrition.
  • In August we launched our Babies Unite video series in support of ending malnutrition worldwide (which has received over 400,000 views and counting!)
  • In September we released a first-of-its-kind report on nutritional health of America’s mothers, infants and toddlers.
  • In November we urged the presidential candidates to prioritize paid family leave and encouraged the FDA to regulate misleading infant formula marketing.
  • In December we presented findings from qualitative research we conducted to better understand the realities of the first 1,000 days among low-income families in the U.S.

This work would not have been possible without the incredible support of our partners and supporters. You help power our work at 1,000 Days, whether we’re pushing for a national paid family leave policy, fighting for greater investment in programs that save lives of children around the world, or supporting and promoting every woman’s right to breastfeed.

We’ve come a long way this past year, laying the groundwork in our fight for healthy moms and babies. But, there is still more to be done. We look forward to continuing to help build a healthier and more prosperous future for children and their families in the year to come, for there is no better investment we can make than in the health and well-being of our children.

The Health of Moms and Babies Should Not Be Left To Luck

Through my work at 1,000 Days, I have had the opportunity to listen to countless stories from new moms across the country struggling with little or no paid time off.

Women like Samantha whose son was born three months premature and – after spending what maternity leave she did have at the NICU – was forced to make the horrible decision between caring for her son and returning to work. She decided to quit – a choice no new mother in this country should be forced to make.

I heard Stephanie’s story – a single working mom working at a high-end hotel restaurant, which offers no paid leave for new parents, yet offers healthcare for employees’ pets.

I even had the opportunity to share some of these stories with Members of Congress in Washington, DC. Earlier this year we teamed up with our colleagues at the National Partnership for Women and Families to deliver more than 230,000 signatures from men and women around the country calling on Congress to support paid family leave.

Six months ago my work became personal when I gave birth to my baby girl. And just like that I had something in common with all the women whose stories I had heard.

But here’s where my story differs – I had paid leave through my employer 1,000 Days. I was not forced to choose between my job and caring for my daughter. I am that lucky.

During my leave I was very aware of my luck.

In the sleep-deprived haze of those first few weeks of my daughter’s life, in which I was recovering from surgery and learning to breastfeed, I can distinctly remember thinking that I could not imagine going back to work after just two weeks. Yet so many new moms in America are forced to – 1 in 4 according to data from the Department of Labor.

I was incredibly lucky to have had the time I needed to care for myself and my daughter. But the health of America’s moms and babies should never be left to luck.

Parents need time to bond with their newborns. Moms need time to recover from childbirth. And mom and baby need time to establish breastfeeding, which is proven to have significant health benefits for both women and children.

While 80% of women initiate breastfeeding, only 50% of women meet their breastfeeding goals.

Right now we have a patchwork of policies, where some lucky Americans (just 12%) have access to paid leave through their employers. Some people live in states like California and Rhode Island with paid leave policies, and the rest are just…out of luck.

American families deserve better.

All workers in America should have access to paid leave – it’s in the best interest of all of us, as individuals and as a society.

Adrianna Logalbo
Managing Director
1,000 Days