Monday, February 21, 2011

Breast Pumps


Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin have a beef with boobs. Since I consider those two women boobs, I guess I do, too.

But seriously, folks, MB and SP are mad that Michelle Obama is encouraging women to pump their breast milk AND take the tax exemption a breast pump now qualifies for as a medical expense. Now, you'd think that Grizzly Mama, family values lovin, baby-havin, women would be with the First Lady on this issue. And because they aren't, you KNOW they're just grasping at straws.

Here's why MB and SP should support the First Lady:

Breastfeeding is good for the baby and the mom.

Exclusive breastfeeding for six months has many benefits for the infant and the mother. Chief among these is protection against gastro-intestinal infections which is observed not only in developing but also in industrialized countries. Early initiation of breastfeeding, within one hour of birth, protects the newborn from acquiring infections and reduces newborn mortality. The risk of mortality due to diarrhoea and other infections can increase in infants who are either partially breastfed or not breastfed at all.
Breast milk is also an important source of energy and nutrients in children 6 to 23 months of age. It can provide one half or more of a child's energy needs between 6 and 12 months of age, and one third of energy needs between 12 and 24 months. Breast milk is also a critical source of energy and nutrients during illness and reduces mortality among children who are malnourished.
Adults who were breastfed as babies often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, as well as lower rates of overweight, obesity and type-2 diabetes. Breastfeeding also contributes to the health and well-being of mothers; it reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer and helps space pregnancies -- exclusive breastfeeding of babies under six months has a hormonal effect which often induces a lack of menstruation. This is a natural (though not fail-safe) method of birth control known as the Lactation Amenorrhoea Method.

Pumped breast milk is good for the baby and the dad (hey! don't go there!)
Hooray for Hands-on- Dads! Three cheers for helpful grandparents, relatives and friends! Hats off to day care providers! With mom pumping and you giving the baby bottles of breast milk, you're giving your baby the best nutritional start and following The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that babies ideally receive breast milk for the first year of life. Not to mention being hands on with your baby and saving both time and money. Pumped breast milk is low cost compared to formula and you can't even compare the quality. Don't forget that a breast pump is a one time only investment; if you buy formula it can cost you as much as $2000.00 a year.
A breast pump helps the family by allowing the mom to go back to work sooner to help pay all those new bills that come with a baby.

Really, families who make a lot of money are the ones who can claim the deduction (since the standard deduction makes the breast pump deduction moot) and we KNOW MB and SP love rich people.

Don't Republicans always WANT tax deductions?

And hey, if there's a breast pump, there's a baby. A breast pump means the woman didn't choose an abortion. That right there should be reason enough to get on board with the First Lady's encouragement of breast feeding and buying breast pumps!

EDITOR'S NOTE:  I wanted to add a couple of things on this subject.

First, here is the new information for the dedcution:
The IRS ruling on the tax deduction savings states that the new deduction "will allow mothers to use pretax money from their flexible spending accounts to cover the cost of breast pumps and other supplies. Those without flexible spending accounts may deduct breast-feeding costs if their total unreimbursed medical expenses exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income and they itemize."
Now there will probably be debate from those who think this a frivolous deduction, or whether all breast pumps should be included. A hand breast pump goes for around $50. A electric/battery operated breast pump can cost upwards of $350 and some much higher. So is someone taking advantage of the tax deduction by purchasing the more expensive pump?

The short answer is no. While it may seem a luxury to get a double pumped electric model with leather seats as a opposed to a single shot Model-T version with roll down windows, the fact is that the time, efficiency and effort saved is well worth the money. And from experience, as you can throw your back out cranking up that old Model-T, you can actually cause carpal tunnel flareup or repetitive motion injury using a manually operated breast pump.

And let's not forget that 7.5% threshold for the deduction. They more money you make, the less likely you'll be eligible for the deduction.

Secondly, does hypocrisy know no bounds? Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, both mothers of five, should be the last people to criticize Michelle Obama's support of breastfeeding. While breastfeeding isn't for everyone, we all know the benefits of it. So did a certain governor just 3½ short years ago (emphasis mine):
WHEREAS, breastfeeding is recognized as an unequalled means of providing food for infants.
WHEREAS, throughout their lives, breastfeeding can offer children protection against serious health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Breastfeeding also saves lives by reducing the incidence of life-threatening cancers in women and preventing premature death in infants.
WHEREAS, breastfeeding forms the most basic bond between mother and baby and is a foundation for lifelong health and wellness.
WHEREAS, government and community organizations have a vested interest in protecting and promoting breastfeeding as a means of preventing infant malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality.
WHEREAS, during October, organizations throughout our state will promote the importance of breastfeeding. This year, in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week - October 1 through October 7 - the State of Alaska will support networks that encourage and promote breastfeeding in all communities.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim October 2007 as:
Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Just further proof that Palin and Bachmann are unserious goofballs who will oppose anything that arises from the Obama administration for the sake of being contrarian just to stoke their base, even disagreeing with philosophies and ideals with which they were once proponents.

- Broadway Carl

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