Michelle Obama’s promotion of breastfeeding: Another no-brainer or am I crazy?

Our First Lady wants to promote breastfeeding. Kudos to her! She wants breast pumps to be an eligible tax write-off. The problem is what exactly?

I sat on the bus reading this article from the New York Times website shaking my head the whole time. I am still trying to figure out Michele Bachmann’s point, and why there’s any support behind it. A “nanny state”? Really? Did she bother to even learn the facts? Michelle Obama was not suggesting that the government pay for breast pumps. She was merely suggesting that it can be written off for someone who will itemize her taxes. It is a medical supply that benefits the health of a child. What is wrong with that?

A democratic supporter of Bachmann’s stance on this issue states the pressure already put on working moms. I don’t see the connection here. All this would do is benefit the moms who do make that extra effort to breastfeed and pump. I am fully aware of the trials of pumping in the work place. When I first went back to work when my daughter was 8 weeks old, I pumped in a public bathroom stall. Was it wrong that I had to? Absolutely. Did I argue it? Of course. But when it came down to it, I did what I had to do because breastfeeding was important to me.

I know all of the reasons that a mother may choose not to breastfeed and all of the reasons that a mother may not be able to breastfeed. And even though I am a firm believer that breast is best, I support every mother’s personal choice. My goal is not to pressure anyone into breastfeeding, but to educate and support those who do.

Food stamps pay for formula. WIC pays for formula. Where is the problem with giving a small break for the purchase of a breast pump?


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