The number of mothers who breastfeed their babies has been on the rise in Michigan, but there are fears the trend won't continue if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. The ACA contains many women's preventive-care requirements, including insurance coverage of lactation consultants and breast pumps for nursing mothers. Repealing the law would also put the "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" provision at risk, which requires employers to provide reasonable time and space for workers who are nursing. Jane Whitacre with the Michigan Breastfeeding Network says it's an investment that benefits everyone.
"In giving them accommodations for this really important piece of their lives, happier, more satisfied employees are going to make for a more successful, profitable business."
She adds that breastfeeding has been shown to offer short and long-term health benefits to both babies and mothers, so parents of breastfed infants are less likely to miss work due to illness. According to the U-S Department of Health and Human Services, women with children are currently the fastest-growing segment of the workforce.