Breastfeeding bills to look for in the 118th Congress

Breastfeeding bills to look for in the 118th Congress

Success in breastfeeding is everyone’s responsibility. In anticipation of the 118th Congress (2023), we’ve pulled together a short list highlighting the breastfeeding-related bills we support, because we know increased breastfeeding support is multifaceted and multisectoral. It envelops a wide range of environments from birthing spaces to places of work and even the halls of Congress. We believe these bills will improve policies and increase investments to enable more people to reach their breastfeeding goals.

Federal Nutrition Programs
The Wise Investment in Children (WIC) Act
This bill would extend eligibility for postpartum women to receive benefits under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to two years postpartum, extend the program certification window to two years to reduce attrition, and allow children to receive WIC benefits through their sixth birthday.

Access to Donor Milk
The Access to Donor Milk Act (ADMA)
This bill would help increase life-saving access to donor milk, particularly important in light of the 2022 formula recall and shortage, and as part of a robust infrastructure for infant nutrition security.

 Access to Quality, Comprehensive Health Care
Improving Coverage and Care for Mothers Act
This bill would expand eligibility for Medicaid to all who are pregnant or within one year postpartum. It would also authorize Medicaid to extend coverage of services provided to include lactation consultants. As the bill highlights, a lactation consultant is a health professional trained to focus on the needs and concerns of a breastfeeding mother and baby, and to prevent, recognize and solve breastfeeding difficulties.

The Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness (MOMMA’s) Act
This bill would expand eligibility for Medicaid up to one year postpartum, and for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) up to two years postpartum.

Health Equity
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act
This bill would comprehensively address every dimension of the Black maternal health crisis in America by making critical investments in social determinants that influence health outcomes and confront issues of systemic racism in the medical system. It would also establish grant programs to increase the number of perinatal health workers – including lactation consultants and dietitians – who offer culturally congruent support.

Paid Family and Medical Leave
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act
This bill would provide comprehensive paid family and medical leave of up to 12 weeks to all workers in the United States. Categorically recognizing paid leave as a public health imperative, this bill has the potential to transform the lives of families. As research shows, paid leave supports breastfeeding initiation and duration in a number of ways. For example, a person is more than twice as likely to stop breastfeeding in the month the person returns to work compared to someone who has not yet returned to work.