Breastfeeding recommendations are well established and supported by research, citing duration minimizes infant mortality and optimizes lifelong infant and maternal health. But breastfeeding is a learned process and can be hard to get started with many compounding factors, including limited access to professional level care, paid leave and community support. It is no wonder that continuing can be a challenge, with 60% of women reporting inability to achieve intended goals, and even lower rates of initiation and duration across racial and socioeconomic divides. While organizations ranging from the CDC, AAP, to ACOG have comprehensive information supporting breastfeeding, most healthcare professional degree programs lack education about breastfeeding. It is time sensitive and time intensive care best provided by someone who specializes in it and best valued for its long-term cost effectiveness. Through this advocacy page, we hope to improve awareness of lactation care team members, lactation care insurance coverage rights, and how to speak up for more adequate paid leave. In the end, all of the professional support in the world is only as good as the true community support we are designed to thrive on…Pass It On!
Health Insurance Coverage Facts
- The Affordable Care Act as of 2013 requires health plans to fully cover prenatal and postnatal professional breastfeeding support and supplies without co-payments, deductibles, or co-insurance, for the duration of breastfeeding
- Coverage for professional breastfeeding support and supplies has been limited
Paid Leave Facts
- Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life for optimal health outcomes, yet 1 in 4 new mothers returns to work within 10 days of giving birth which sharply limits breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity and duration ability
- Paid family leave can double the median duration of breastfeeding and can be economically sustainable
Work Place Law Facts
- A 2010 amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to support breastfeeding mothers with time and space to express milk
- The time should be reasonable, and the space should be functional
Childcare Center Facts
- The United States Breastfeeding Committee is working to ensure that childcare providers accommodate the needs of breastfeeding families
- The Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance is working on methods to recognize childcare providers as supportive of breastfeeding families providing breastmilk for infants and children in licensed childcare settings
What can you do?
- Empower others with knowledge of their right to healthcare coverage for professional breastfeeding care, and workplace accommodations for breastfeeding needs; and utilize this Lactation Care Advocacy Letter template to write to your federal Representative and Senators as well as state legislators
- Share your experiences with local advocacy organizations working to improve paid leave policy, and get updates on issues that impact breastfeeding
- Learn about National and Ohio General Assembly paid leave bill proposals and feel free to utilize our Paid Leave Advocacy Letter template to write to your federal Representative and Senators as well as state legislators
Take Action for yourself and for others. The world will be a better place for generations to come because of you!