The money you spend on breast pumps and other things you need to lactate while working can now be paid for with pre-tax money or deducted on your income tax along with other medical necessities. New moms at work can now use their Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts to buy pumps and supplies.
In a turnaround by the fed, the IRS recognized lactation-supporting products as necessary, like medication and tools for other health- related conditions like glucose meters.
While we know, breastfeeding is good for our babies, it has taken a long time to fully get the support of all. Mother’s advocacy groups and women in Congress put pressure on the IRS to reconsider when it was obvious the pumps were left out of earlier code. The bland statement by the IRS does not discuss the benefits of breastfeeding, of course, it just states pumps should be considered a medical expense “because, like obstetric care, they (pumps) are for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body of the lactating woman.”
“The March of Dimes urges all new mothers to breastfeed if they are able,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes proponetns of healthy babies as all stages of live. “ We are very pleased that breast pumps and medical supplies that assist lactation will now be regarded as a medical expense. This new IRS ruling will benefit all moms, especially those in the workplace.”
With the cost of good quality pumps running in the hundreds of dollars, this is a welcome decision, and follows the 2010 health care bill that supports lactation at work.
For the IRS statement, click here.