Around the Green Parenting Web: IRS Says NO Tax Breaks for Breast Pumps and Australian Cross Nursing
Posted Nov 04 2010 12:00am
It seems that the IRS doesn’t consider breastfeeding to be a medical expense. The decision was made not to include breast pumps and other breastfeeding necessities as part of medical flexible spending accounts under the new health care laws…
To be more specific, the new health care overhaul allowed rules for flexible spending accounts that will go into effect in January. The goal for this part of the program was to allow Americans to use part of their pretax earnings to pay for medical expenses that aren’t reimbursed. Given these facts, the IRS decision would be less relevant if one of the goals of the health care overhaul wasn’t to control medical costs by putting money towards encouraging preventive procedures.
According to the IRS, breastfeeding doesn’t fall into that category.
What does? Denture adhesive, contact lenses, support hose, and pimple cream…
However, the IRS has declared that breastfeeding doesn’t hold enough health benefits to qualify for tax-sheltered health care accounts as a form of medical care.
Spearheading a campaign to elevate the quality of children’s care and nutrition in Saudi Arabia, a group of elite pediatricians in the Kingdom has launched “Club 26″ whose primary objective is to keep fellow pediatricians abreast and well-informed about the latest scientific findings and approaches in their sublime profession.The Club is founded and sponsored by Pfizer Inc, a leading international pharmaceutical firm.
Consistent with the pharmaceutical firms responsibility as the worlds leading biopharmaceutical company, it collaborates with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world.
But Pfizer Nutrition’s main business is not public health: It’s selling formula, at the expense of breastfeeding. Pfizer’s record shows that any attempt to regulate safety of baby milk or promote breastfeeding, is a cynical attempt to influence the medical community and the general public.
According to neonatologist Dr. Saad Abdullah Al Saedi, “pediatricians who attend the lectures will accumulate credit hours that can be used in renewing their license in the Kingdom as the government mandates that pediatricians are required to have earned 30 credit hours before they can renew their professional license.” Letting a formula company teach nutrition to pediatricians is like letting cigarette manufacturers give continuing education in cancer prevention.
I am about one week away from having my baby, and one of things I’m already preparing myself for is the breastfeeding bullies I will face after I give birth. I will first face one kind of bully in the hospital, and then as I move on to the park, I will face a whole different breed. I’m not planning to breastfeed my baby. I didn’t breastfeed with my first child, so this is familiar territory.
As with many elements of motherhood, the issue of whether or not to breastfeed gets people really heated. While I love a healthy debate, I do think the bitter tone of women towards women on this subject is upsetting. Many feel that it’s their right to tell other women what choice they should make, although they aren’t walking in their shoes. And, they typically convey their opinions in either a condescending or hostile fashion. They band in a clique and harass those whose disagree.
I wrote a post a few months ago about how I’m excited to not breastfeed . I was so happy with the decision I made to NOT breastfeed my first child, I’m looking forward to making the same one again. People accused me of being uneducated. They called me selfish. They told me I should be ashamed. As I read the comments I wondered why the tone of this debate is so hostile. As women, shouldn’t we respect each other’s right to do what we want with our bodies and our children? Shouldn’t we be over the whole mean girl thing already?
There are similar reactions from women who tell me that it’s disgusting that I plan to induce early . I understand that they don’t want to make that decision for them. I just don’t get why they think they can make that decision for me. Tell me your opinion. I love it. Just don’t tell me I’m a terrible mother. It’s really an absurd reaction.
Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence…
Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident. In a response, Juliet’s lawyer, James P. Tyrie, argued that the girl was not “engaged in an adult activity” at the time of the accident “She was riding her bicycle with training wheels under the supervision of her mother” and was too young to be held liable for negligence…
Mr. Tyrie “correctly notes that infants under the age of 4 are conclusively presumed incapable of negligence,” Justice Wooten wrote in his decision, referring to the 1928 case. “Juliet Breitman, however, was over the age of 4 at the time of the subject incident. For infants above the age of 4, there is no bright-line rule.”
Mothers in Australia have been supporting one another by breastfeeding each other’s babies, but some have disagreed with the practice and are not very keen with its revival.
An eastern suburbs mothers’ group recently split when some mothers wanted to share both babysitting and breastfeeding.
Frankston mother Sarah Langford, 27, whose daughter, Harriet, is 2 and a half, said she and a close friend were accused of child abuse for breastfeeding each other’s children.
“One woman threatened to call the authorities and have our children taken away from us,” the Herald Sun quoted her as saying.
“But when I am not able to be with her, my daughter still has the comfort of a breast and the important health components of breastmilk. It gives me joy to be able to lend a breast to a friend in need,” she revealed…
The Australian Breastfeeding Association says it supports cross feeding if all parties are aware of possible risks and informed consent is given.