SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is working to give women and children health insurance coverage for human breast milk. House Bill 3509 will aid women and babies that have obstacles to natural breastfeeding by offering health insurance coverage for donated human breast milk and milk fortifiers.
“Women and their children should not be punished financially for having obstacles to breastfeeding naturally,” Stuart said. “Pediatricians recommend breastfeeding for infants, and making donated breast milk more accessible will only benefit the overall health of families.”
There are numerous medical benefits for a child that receives breast milk, but unfortunately sometimes mothers are unable to produce a sufficient supply due to medical or physical limitations. Infants that receive human breast milk develop strengthened immune systems, a healthy weight and ideal nutrition. Stuart’s House Bill 3509 requires that pasteurized, donated human breast milk be covered under health insurance and the medical assistance program under the Illinois Public Aid Code. All donated, human breast milk will be acquired from milk banks licensed by the Department of Public Health.
“The medical community already knows that ‘breast is best’ when it comes to newborns,” continued Stuart. “This bill will ensure that income won’t stop women and families from following the best medical advice for breastfeeding infants.”