Mother vs. the IRS

What did you expect Uncle Sam?  You are just an Uncle and Moms rule!  On February 10th the Internal Revenue Service announced that breast pumps and other related supplies will now be tax deductible.

This reverses a prior IRS ruling which deemed this costly equipment an unallowable medical expense.

New York Times parenting writer Lisa Belkin quotes her colleague David Kocieniewski in a January 24th column, Tax Codes and Baby Food. Kocieniewski asks why “dentures wearers and acne sufferers get tax breaks on their medically necessary supplies”, and mom doesn’t?

In a positive move which lead to the reversal an 88 page “Call to Action to Support Breast -Feeding” was issued by US surgeon general Regina Benjamin in mid-January. With an intro by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, this document highlights the common barriers to breast-feeding.

Definitely not always as simple as ye old wives tales make it out to be, it’s critical for new moms to start off the experience in a positive way. Lactation Clinics, like those at Boston’s Isis Parenting Centers can provide this help and are available in most major cities.

To minimize any Janet Jackson wardrobe dysfunction moments (and other mishaps), check out the fab mom-designed nursing tops at I saw them at Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower and would definitely want to spend some of my tax deduction gains on their website.

In related news, a provision of the health care bill passed by Congress in 2010 requires that work places with 50 or more employees must guarantee women the right to use a breast pump at work in a private setting. In her April 9, 2010 Motherlode column, Lisa Belkin addresses these changes.

Belkin highlights that this new ruling will close the gap on this issue for women who are hourly workers without private offices, and without ample time during the day to express their breast milk. Moms spend all day everyday taking care of everyone else.  It’s about time these new Federal laws begin to take care of Mom.

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