Thursday, February 17, 2011

Federal Government Backs Breastfeeding Moms Through Recent Initiatives

The IRS has added an extra incentive for those considering breastfeeding as their infant feeding option. Now, breast pumps and other lactation equipment (nursing shields, nursing bras, etc) can be deducted as a medical expense. All of this is part of a push by the Obama administration to prevent obesity earlier and earlier.

Michelle Obama has been a proponent of breastfeeding as part of her "fight against obesity"; she's reflected on her own breastfeeding experience with her youngest daughter. She has only pushed slightly for women to nurse their children since the "choice to lactate" is seen as both a feminist and anti-feminist stance. Breastfeeding rights are protected through the Affordable Care Act by requiring employers to provide a non-restroom facility for women to utilize for pumping breastmilk.
What does this mean? Should you "choose" to breastfeed your child? Well, the federal government is trying to make it easier for you to choose that option. Ultimately the decision is up to you as a mother/father/guardian/caretaker to do what you think is best for your child. I chose to breastfeed my son until he was 16 months old while working part time and going to school full time. Neither the workplace nor university had areas designated for pumping breast milk which left the onus of scheduling around feedings on my shoulders. I felt strongly enough that breastfeeding was the right start to my son's life.
For further help in making your child's feeding decision, please check out what's in baby formula and what's in breastmilk. Note, humans have breastfed infants for thousands of years; breast milk has been tailored to meet the exact needs of newborns while adapting to their needs as they become infants and toddlers.
What will your decision be?

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