Policies and Advocacy

Public Health Policies:

  • Healthy People 2020-Maternal, Infant and Child Health-Recommends increasing the “proportion of infants who are breastfed (MCH -21)  and improving support for breastfeeding in the workplaces (MCH-22) as well as reducing formula supplementation (MCH-23) and increasing births at facilities that provide recommended breastfeeding support (MCH-24).
  • The Institute of Medicine’s Consensus Report Clinical Preventive Services for Women:Closing the Gaps recommended third party coverage of, “Comprehensive lactation sup­port and counseling and costs of renting breastfeeding equipment.”
  • The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President: recommended that hospitals, health care providers and insurance companies should educate new mothers about breastfeeding and provide support for breastfeeding.
  • US Department of Health & Human Services National Prevention Strategy: recommends support policies and programs in order to increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding including workplace breastfeeding support and access to lactation services.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes the Breastfeeding Report Card: to provide state-by-state data so that health professionals, legislators, employers, business owners, community advocates and family members can work together to identify states’ needs, develop solutions, and work together within their community to better protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. This report includes data from the Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care Survey which assesses lactation support services in maternal/child care facilities.
  • The US Department of Agriculture WIC:food packages were adjusted in 2009 to provide greater incentives for continued breastfeeding.
  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF):Section 2713 “Coverage of Preventive Health Services” recommendations for breastfeeding include: pre and postnatal breastfeeding education, formal breastfeeding evaluations undertaken by trained caregivers in the hospital and out-patient care settings, followed by interventions to correct problems as needed.
  • The Internal Revenue Service:ruled that breast pumps and other nursing supplies could qualify for tax breaks.

Workplace Policies

  • The US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, created the “Business Case for Breastfeeding,” a program whose goal is to provide the materials needed to make workplaces more breastfeeding friendly.
  • The Office on Women’s Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services knows that nursing moms often have many questions about how to continue breastfeeding when they return to work. Nursing Moms: Breastfeeding at Work offers resources that can help.
  • Section 4207 of the Affordable Care Act included: “Reasonable Break Time for Mothers” stating, “Employers are required to provide unpaid, reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child and provide a private place, other than a bathroom, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”

Healthcare Policies:


Legislation

National Conference of State Legislature: Current legislative rulings and topics for breastfeeding in America.

Staying Abreast

United States Breastfeeding Committee e-Newsletter The Weekly Wednesday Wire (past issues are archived)