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World Breastfeeding Week: ACA Has Resources for Moms

Idaho and Utah this year became the last two states to protect breastfeeding in public. (sandra.o.m/Twenty20)
Idaho and Utah this year became the last two states to protect breastfeeding in public. (sandra.o.m/Twenty20)
August 2, 2018

BOISE, Idaho – It's World Breastfeeding Week, and one health professional is letting moms know the Affordable Care Act can provide them with resources.

Idaho ranks second in the nation for breastfeeding, and Shari Criso, a nurse midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, says it decreases the risk of infections and chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes and also reduces the risk of cancer and postpartum depression for mothers.

Criso also notes that more than 80 percent of moms don't know the ACA can help them with breastfeeding, according to a Byram Healthcare survey.

"Those benefits were the ability to get a free breast pump at no cost to them during their pregnancy and after, to use to breastfeed,” Criso points out. “They didn't know that they could get lactation consulting services from a lactation consultant for free, at no cost."

Criso adds that employers are required to give mothers a clean place to pump breast milk that isn't the bathroom.

While breastfeeding is prevalent in Idaho, the state was one of the last two states to legally protect breastfeeding in public.

The Gem State, along with Utah, both passed legislation on this earlier this year.

The Trump administration recently caused a stir when it tried to block a World Health Organization resolution encouraging breastfeeding. The U.S. delegation saw the resolution as restricting formula use.

Criso says there already is a stigma around breastfeeding and this could make it worse.

"I think any time we have any kind of negative conversation around breastfeeding, it's a problem,” she states. “I think that we need to all get on the same page to support mothers and babies. And it's here in this country but around the world."

World Breastfeeding Week runs through Tuesday. August also is National Breastfeeding Month.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID