What We’re Working On: Our Advocacy Agenda for Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days

Source: United States Breastfeeding Committee

This National Nutrition Month, 1,000 Days is spotlighting the connection between nutrition and COVID-19 through our annual #March4Nutrition campaign. Over the last few weeks, we have explored the importance of nutrition for building immunity and resilience as well as the impact of COVID-19 on women and young children in the U.S. and around the world.

This week is all about solutions. We are featuring the advocacy actions 1,000 Days is pursuing to support women and children in their 1,000-day window during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Programs and policies that prioritize the health and nutrition of moms and babies can significantly improve outcomes for young children and their families. Providing moms and babies with the right supports – including access to healthy foods, family and workplace supports to reach their breastfeeding goals, and health services – sets them up for success for the rest of their lives.

For the nutrition and health of moms and babies everywhere, we urge the United States Government to support an immediate rollout of the Power 4, a targeted set of preventative and curative nutrition interventions that can save lives now:

  1. Supplying all pregnant women with prenatal vitamins;
  2. Supporting breastfeeding mothers;
  3. Continuing large-scale vitamin A supplementation; and
  4. Providing lifesaving therapeutic foods to wasted children.

The U.S. Government must also address malnutrition as a central pillar of our global COVID-19 response strategy.

To ensure the health and well-being of families here in the United States, we call for continued, robust investment in the policies and programs that moms and babies rely on to access nutrition, care, and support during the first 1,000 Days:

  • Increased funding and flexibility for federal nutrition programs, including WIC, SNAP and CACFP
  • Guaranteed access to paid sick days and paid family and medical leave
  • Access to quality, comprehensive, and affordable healthcare before, during, and after pregnancy and for all infants and toddlers

Throughout all of these efforts, we must maintain a particular aim to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes and food security.

This #March4Nutrition, as our nation and our world build back from the pandemic and look toward the future, now is our opportunity to invest in the world we all want to see: a world where moms, babies, and their families are healthy and thriving during the first 1,000 days and beyond. Here at 1,000 Days, this is what we fight for every day.