The expression “breast is best” is one that we have supported for years. Yesterday’s enactment of the Affordable Care Act provisions will make breastfeeding easier and less expensive for mothers who work and still want to breastfeed. When fully implemented, insurers will be required to reimburse for comprehensive lactation support and counseling for new moms without adding co-pays. They also will have to cover the expense of renting breast pumps and other lactation equipment that would allow moms to express their milk.
Gone are the days when nursing women had no choice but to pump in the bathroom. The healthcare reform law also requires employers to provide breastfeeding women a private place other than a bathroom for expressing milk in the year following the birth. Providing new moms with enough time to do this a few times each day is also part of the law.
The number of breastfeeding moms in the U.S. is on the rise. Almost half of all women who begin breastfeeding are still breastfeeding at six months. As with the March of Dimes, a primary goal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is improving the health of mothers and their children. “Protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, with its many known benefits for infants, children, and mothers, is a key strategy toward this goal.” You can learn more about breastfeeding progress in the US by reading the CDC’s Breastfeeding Report Card.
For more information about breastfeeding, including how to, how long to, a breastfeeding guide and more, visit our website.