By Bob Katzen
Bill (S 2717) – Would require all health insurers to cover the monthly cost of renting a hospital grade breast pump for the mother of a newborn infant who is receiving care at an intensive care or special care nursery until the infant is discharged or the mother is no longer pumping breastmilk.
Supporters said that many factors make it more difficult for mothers of premature infants to produce enough milk for their babies. They noted that hospital grade breast pumps are an excellent tool to help mothers increase their milk supply, so their babies are able to receive all the health and nutritional benefits of breastmilk.
“Improving access to hospital grade breast pumps is a health equity issue and would help ensure financial considerations do not deter mothers from providing breast milk to newborns in ICUs or special care nurseries,” said sponsor Senate Majority Leader Sen. Cindy Creem (D-Newton). “Although there are many factors that contribute to a mother’s choice whether or not to provide breast milk to her baby, finances should play no role in that decision.”