Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Thanks President Obama for requiring insurance companies to cover breast pumps and lactation courses
Obamacare has gained significant media attention, both positive and negative, for the sweeping new reforms our country is instilling in our healthcare system. One less-spoken of major benefit that the Affordable Care Act has made law is the requirement of private insurance companies to cover breast pumps as well as lactation courses after the birth of a newborn. Because this law is brand new, the kinks are still being worked out and each insurance company has different rules. Rules still being worked out include: where breastfeeding mothers must purchase their breast pump, which brand, the cost, and other details. However, this inclusion this is a huge step forward for the health of new mothers and their babies.
Breastfeeding is of utmost importance to the health of our country’s newest little citizens, and all support given to mothers in order for them to successfully breastfeed their children should be commended. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first sixth months of their child’s life, and continue breastfeeding in addition to beginning solid foods up until the baby is one year old.
Breast milk has significant health benefits for both baby and mother. Babies are nourished with hormones and antibodies from their mother’s system that cannot be duplicated in store-bought formula. These important antibodies help small babies fight off disease. Breastfed babies have been proven to have fewer ear infections, diarrhea and digestive problems, rates of asthma, lower respiratory infections, diabetes, obesity and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Mothers who breastfeed also show significant health benefits, such as a lower rates of post partum depression due to stimulating hormones released during breastfeeding, lower risks of Type 2 Diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding mothers also miss less work than mothers of formula fed babies, because the babies immune systems are stronger and they get sick less often. Because insurance companies end up spending less money on sick kids, spending money on breast pumps is now beginning to be seen as a valuable investment.
The health benefits of breastfeeding are undeniable. But the problem is, in our society today, many mothers don’t have the luxury to stay home with their babies to breastfeed exclusively for six months. Women may have to return to work after 6 weeks, and the lucky ones might have up to 3 months with their newborn. However, this still doesn’t reach the sixth month recommendation to breastfeed exclusively by half. Breast pumps are extremely expensive, running from $80 for a cheap, manual one to up to $400 for a quicker, electric version.
Thanks to this new law, insurance companies will supply mothers with this important technology that will allow them to set aside milk for their baby for a caretaker to feed the child while their mother is away. In addition to having easier access to a breast pump, the access to lactation courses and assistance can significantly help a woman struggling with breastfeeding, who wants to do the right thing for her child.
Sign this petition if you support President Obama’s support of breastfeeding mothers.
Dear President Barack Obama,
I’m writing to say thank you for the impactful inclusion of breast pumps and lactation courses in the new Affordable Care Act. By requiring private insurance companies to pay for these medical necessities, new mothers will have much more support and options to make the healthiest decisions for their newborn babies. Mothers who couldn’t have afforded a breast pump and would of had to switch their infant to formula when going back to work can now continue giving their child antibody-rich breast milk through a caretaker. This will allow the child’s immune system to continue receiving the nutritional benefits only available through their mother’s milk.
Not only that, but in making these regulations law, light is drawn to the issue of breastfeeding and infant health, and it shows the nation just how important tools to support new mothers are for our society. Research shows that the U.S. could save up to $13 billion dollars per year on healthcare if 90 percent of families breastfed exclusively for the first sixth months of the infant’s life. Breastfed infants become sick less often, require fewer hospitalizations, and their mothers’ miss less work due to ill children. Breastfeeding is also good for the environment, as bottles and plastic containers from formula aren’t being added into our garbage dumps.
Thank you for supporting breastfeeding mothers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sheknows.com