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Victory for nursing moms: IRS now says breastfeeding is a medical expense

blue breastfeeding sign.jpg

Yippee! That may sound less-than-professional (and forgive me if it does), but that's the first word that came to mind when I heard the big news from the IRS today. In a reversal, the agency is now saying that breastfeeding supplies are eligible for reimbursement through flexible health spending accounts.

As readers may remember, the IRS once ruled that breastfeeding lacked the "health benefits to quality as a form of medical care" - a notion that angered and confused medical professionals (link to .pdf), lawmakers, parenting organizations, and this writer. (Countless studies have shown the health benefits of breastfeeding - for both mothers and babies.) A group of Congresspeople are quoted on the Washington Wire blog as saying, "Today’s decision is a huge victory for nursing mothers everywhere," and I couldn't agree more.

Previously: Petitioning the IRS to consider breastfeeding a medical expense, Lawmakers ask IRS to recognize breastfeeding as a medical expense and Really, IRS? Agency doesn't recognize breastfeeding as form of preventive medicine
Photo by Topinambour

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