IRS Ruling on Breast Pumps
“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) hails the IRS ruling on February 10th that recognizes breast pumps and breastfeeding supplies as medical expenses worthy of reimbursement through Flexible Spending Accounts.
“Today’s IRS ruling providing favorable tax treatment for the purchase of breast pumps and breastfeeding equipment marks an important victory for the health of women and children across the country by making breastfeeding a more practical option for new and working mothers.
“For years, the AAP has been urging the IRS to recognize that breast milk is not just the best and most natural food for infants; it confers well-documented health benefits on both baby and mother that cannot be obtained any other way. The IRS has finally acknowledged this medical fact, and we applaud them for changing their regulations accordingly.
“Due to resounding evidence of improved child health and well-being, the AAP recommends that mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of a child’s life. As many as 45 percent to 50 percent of mothers return to work full time within six months of their infant’s birth; breast pumps allow working mothers to continue breastfeeding. Before today, steep cost burdens could prevent working mothers from purchasing breast pumps and related equipment.
“Now, more women will be able to pass on the health benefits of breastfeeding to their babies, which include protections against asthma and other respiratory illnesses, bacterial and viral infections, and obesity, among other ailments. Pre-tax dollars already cover expenses like immunizations and bandages, and thanks to today’s ruling, women who wish to breastfeed will experience these same cost savings for breastfeeding supplies.”