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No Tax Break For You, Nursing Moms

Tara Sgroi

So, breastfeeding doesn't have enough health benefits to qualify as a form of medical care -- according to the I.R.S., anyway. And that means that nursing moms won't be able to use their tax-sheltered health care accounts to pay for breast pumps, lactation consultants, and other nursing supplies.

But people with acne who buy pimple creams will. And so will people with dentures. 

This is after the American Academy of Pediatrics requested to reclassify breastfeeding costs as a medical care expense. Their request was denied by the I.R.S., who says they consider breast milk, as The New York Times reports, "a food that can promote good health, the same way that eating citrus fruit can prevent scurvy." Apparently the I.R.S. draws the line between preventative care and nutrition, but what about the research out there that says breast milk provides the best nutrition for babies and can help prevent future health problems?

Pair this with the fact that breastfeeding can be painful at first, and moms who nurse in public are often shunned, and it's easy to see why people quit doing it. 

Do you think breastfeeding moms should get a tax break?