Here at 1,000 Days, we understand that success in breastfeeding is everyone’s responsibility. In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month and this year’s theme, Many Voices United, 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 women to reach their breastfeeding goals.
Federal Nutrition Programs
- This bill would increase the age of eligibility for children to receive benefits under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to two-years postpartum when the infant is still breastfeeding.
Access to Quality, Comprehensive Health Care
S. 3443, the Improving Coverage and Care for Mothers Act
- This bill would 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 prevent, recognize and solve breastfeeding difficulties.
Pregnant and Postpartum Women in the Workforce
- This bill would expand access to breastfeeding accommodations in the workplace. Amending the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, in the case of an employee who is compensated on an hourly basis (wage workers), the employer will be made to compensate the employee for a reasonable break time, if the employee is not entirely relieved from duty during the break.
- This bill would fill gaps in existing legislation to comprehensively address every dimension of the Black maternal health crisis in America by making critical investments in social determinants that influence health outcomes. It would also establish grant programs to increase the number of perinatal health workers – including lactation consultants and nutritionists – who offer culturally congruent support.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
- This bill would provide comprehensive paid family and medical leave 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 moms and babies. As research shows, paid leave supports breastfeeding initiation and duration in a number of ways. For example, a mother is more than twice as likely to stop breastfeeding in the month she returns to work compared to a mother who has not yet returned to work.
Of Special Note
S.Res. 683: A resolution recognizing World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month to support policies and funding to ensure that all mothers can access a full range of appropriate support from child care and health care institutions, health care insurers, employers, researchers and government entities, in order to reach her breastfeeding goals.