JOLIET, Ill. – To bring attention to the benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and babies, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is highlighting National Breastfeeding Month.
“Pediatricians agree that exclusive breastfeeding is best for infants, especially during their first few months of life,” said Manley. “Feeding babies breast milk has shown to prevent certain illnesses, build stronger immune systems and drastically improves outcomes for medically fragile infants and those born prematurely. To make breast milk more accessible for women and children who face challenges to breastfeeding naturally, I passed a law requiring insurance companies to cover donated breast milk.”
To raise awareness for National Breastfeeding Week, Manley is highlighting a law she passed in 2019 that requires health insurance companies and the medical assistance program to cover the cost of pasteurized, donated human breast milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months of life. Manley’s law helps children receive the medical benefits of breast milk even if their mother is unable to produce a sufficient supply due to medical or physical limitations.
“The law I supported ensures women and children are not punished financially for having difficulty breastfeeding naturally,” continued Manley. “Making breast milk more easily accessible to families who need it will benefit the overall health of Illinoisans.”