20 June 2009

Breastfeeding Promotion Act

I found out about the Breastfeeding Promotion Act being introduced to both houses of Congress today, and immediately sent a letter to my senators and representative. Consider what these small steps could mean for mothers in the United States. Think of what this Act could mean for tomorrow's children... Click the link to send letters to your representative and senators today also!
On June 11, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (NY) and Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) introduced the Breastfeeding Promotion Act in both houses of Congress. This is the first time the bill has been introduced in the Senate.
Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands already have enacted various laws protecting breastfeeding mothers, but they are not uniform and most are not comprehensive. Ask your Representative and Senators to co-sponsor the Breastfeeding Promotion Act to provide a unified national policy to keep mothers, their children, and their communities healthy.
**TAKE ACTION**
Tell your Representative and Senators to co-sponsor the Breastfeeding Promotion Act:

We know that breastfeeding is good for mothers, babies, and society. The medical evidence shows that NOT breastfeeding increases the baby’s risk of infections, diarrhea, SIDS, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and childhood leukemia, and increases the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers and diabetes.Breastfeeding also has significant economic and environmental benefits for families, employers, and society.
Given all of these benefits, all major medical authorities (including the Department of Health and Human Services), recommend that babies get no food or drink other than breast milk for their first 6 months and continue to breastfeed for at least the first 1-2 years of life. But mothers need more support: only 12% of U.S. mothers are exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months, and only 21% are still breastfeeding at 1 year.
Interest in breastfeeding is at an all-time high: 77% of women breastfeed their infants at birth. But breastfeeding rates drop rapidly after hospital discharge. More than 50% of women with infants less than one year old are in the labor force. Employed mothers are more likely to stop breastfeeding early if they do not receive the support they need in the workplace.
Together we can change this! Tell Congress to support the Breastfeeding Promotion Act to provide the support mothers need!
WRITE TO CONGRESS:


The Breastfeeding Promotion Act (H.R. 2819, S. 1244) includes five provisions:
  1. Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect breastfeeding women from being fired or discriminated against in the workplace.
  2. Provides tax incentives for businesses that establish private lactation areas in the workplace, or provide breastfeeding equipment or consultation services to their employees.
  3. Provides for a performance standard to ensure breast pumps are safe and effective.
  4. Allows breastfeeding equipment and consultation services to be tax deductible for families (amends Internal Revenue Code definition of "medical care").
  5. Protects the privacy of breastfeeding mothers by ensuring they have break time and a private place to pump (applies to employers with 50 or more employees, see text of legislation for details).
You've been making great strides at the state level, and we know we can do it at the national level too! With a few clicks of the mouse today, you can help build critical support for a groundbreaking bill to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in the United States.
We look forward to continuing our important work together to improve the health of mothers and babies, and thank you in advance for your support!


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