Did you know that most states charge sales tax for breast pumps and supplies? While baby formula is rightfully exempt from this tax in Washington, breast pumps are not.
The benefits are significant, and well documented, but breastfeeding is not always easy. Access to a breast pump is a crucial part of the journey for moms who choose to breastfeed. Some moms want to continue to provide breast milk after maternity leave. Some women don’t have maternity leave benefits at all, or their benefits are minimal. Some women, or their babies, have health challenges that make feeding at the breast difficult.
The list of potential challenges moms must overcome to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months as recommended by the AAP is a long one. Access to breast pumps shouldn’t be one of those challenges.
Insurance coverage of breast pumps is essential, but it addresses only part of the problem. The breast pump tax burden still falls to moms, whether they are covered by insurance or not. This tax makes it more expensive for companies to get pumps to moms who need them, and puts breastfeeding out of reach for many moms across the state.
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Moms shouldn’t have to pay a premium to pump breast milk for their babies. Period. Your help is needed to urge Washington lawmakers to fully exempt breast pumps and supplies from sales tax. In just a few easy steps, you can ask your elected representatives to improve access to breast pumps for all women in Washington, regardless of socioeconomic status.