Breastfeeding Promotion Legislation
The AAP has endorsed the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act (H.R. 2530), a bill introduced by Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) that would require all large and medium hub U.S. airports to provide a private space in each terminal for mothers to express breastmilk. Airports would have two years to provide spaces that meet the following requirements:
- Have a door and lock;
- Have a place to sit and a table or other flat surface;
- Have an electrical outlet;
- Are not located in a bathroom;
- Are located after the security checkpoint; and,
- Are readily accessible and useable by individuals with disabilities.
The AAP will continue to support this legislation as it advances through Congress.
Rep. Herrera Beutler (R-WA) has introduced legislation urging the Transportation Security Administration to accommodate breastfeeding mothers. Although TSA already permits parents traveling with infants to carry breast milk and formula on planes, many parents encounter barriers when traveling with these liquids. The Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act (H.R. 5065), was passed unanimously by the House in September 2016. The legislation directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide ongoing training so that its agents better support air passengers traveling with breast milk, formula and infant feeding equipment. The AAP has been supportive of the goals of the bill and has engaged with TSA to improve their policies toward passengers traveling with breast milk. Rep. Beutler noted the support of AAP on the House floor and entered a letter from AAP President Benard P. Dreyer, MD, FAAP into the congressional record. In September, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
Breastfeeding promotion legislation originally introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), was passed in both the House and Senate in late 2014. The legislation would require TRICARE-health insurance provided to members of the military and their families-to cover breastfeeding equipment, like breast pumps, along with support and counseling. These provisions, included in S. 2410 and H.R. 4435, both the House and Senate's versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY15, ensure that military mothers have the same access to breastfeeding equipment and support that most other health insurance plans are required to provide under the ACA.
AAP has endorsed the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, reintroduced to Congress in Spring of 2015 by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), which would which would create a social insurance system enabling workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for themselves or their families. In the United States, just 13 percent of private sector employees have access to paid family leave. Yet, research demonstrates that when parents have paid family leave following the birth of a child, mothers breastfeed longer and parents are more likely to take children for immunizations and well-child care.
AAP letter thanking Rep. Herrera Beutler for her work with the TSA
AAP letter endorsing the TRICARE Moms Improvement Act of 2014
AAP Breastfeeding Initiatives Website
AAP Policy Statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk
AAP fact sheet on federal support for breastfeding
AAP press release supporting the FAMILY Act
AAP endorsement letter for The Friendly Airports for Mothers Act of 2015
- H.R. 2530, The Friendly Airports for Mothers Act of 2015
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
In early 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a proposed rule with new science-based nutritional standards for meals provided through the USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). CACFP provides millions of meals and snacks to children in day care, residing in emergency shelters and participating in afterschool programs as well as participants in adult day care programs. This update to the food pattern, the first since 1968, proposes a greater variety of vegetables and fruits, as well as more whole grains and less sugar and fat. These changes are based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, scientific recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, and stakeholder input, including AAP clinical guidance.
The proposed rule includes provisions that support and promote breastfeeding and improve access to healthy beverages, including water and low-fat and fat-free milk. The proposed rule would revise the infant meal patterns to allow service of only breast milk and/or infant formula to infants through 5 months of age and allow the introduction of additional meal components at 6 months of age. In addition, as an incentive for encouraging breastfeeding, this proposed rule would allow reimbursement for meals served to infants under six months of age when the mother directly breastfeeds her child at the child care facility. Meals containing breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula supplied by the parent or the facility are already eligible for CACFP reimbursement.
The AAP has submitted comments on the proposed rule, and will be working with members of Congress to strengthen the CACFP program during child nutrition reauthorization.
Through the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), low-income and nutritionally vulnerable pregnant and breastfeeding moms, and children up to 5 years of age receive essential nutrition through science-based supplemental food packages created to enhance the diets of women and young children, providing only foods that are inadequately consumed in their diets. Currently in its 41st year, WIC serves 53% of all infants born in the US. WIC supports breastfeeding mothers through education and peer counseling and by connecting families to medical homes and improving access to prenatal care, immunization rates, and routine health maintenance.
In his FY16 Budget Proposal, President Obama requested $6.623 billion for WIC, including $60 million for the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program, which is level funding from FY15. This funding level is expected to maintain projected caseload of 8.5 million participants per month. As we look ahead to FY16, the budget outlook for WIC is bleak, however, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), a major champion of breastfeeding promotion, is now the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which controls funding for WIC. In her testimony to the Senate Agriculture Committee in May 2015, AAP President Sandra G. Hassink, MD, FAAP, spoke of the importance of the WIC breastfeeding peer counseling program and recommended that the committee increase the authorization of funding for the breastfeeding peer counseling program within WIC to $180 million.
- Web page outlining AAP's WIC federal advocacy priorities
- USDA's WIC website
- USDA report on the WIC program with recent data and program trends. A summary can be found here.
- Resources from the National WIC Association
- Testimony from AAP President Sandra G. Hassink, MD, FAAP, on the importance of federal child nutrition programs
- Sign-on letter requesting adequate funding for the WIC program, including funding for breastfeeding peer counselors
- USDA blog post from Joan Meek, MD, FAAP, Chair of the AAP Section on Breastfeeding on the importance of WIC in promoting breastfeeding