Michelle Obama Supports Breastfeeding, Tea Party Doesn't


michelle obama breastfeedingIn very exciting news, Michelle Obama is tackling breastfeeding on her "Let's Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity. Obama is pushing for more hospitals to strive for the "Baby Friendly" certification that shows the hospital is providing nursing support, as well as letting babies room-in with mom rather than whisking them off to the nursery for formula. The first lady was also a breastfeeder and cites the statistics that breastfed babies are less likely to be obese.

Additionally, the IRS has just made breast pumps and supplies tax-deductible. And the Affordable Care Act requires certain employers to provide a private room (not a bathroom) for new moms to pump. President Obama encouraged all employers to follow this lead.

So we've got a pro-breastfeeding White House, which recognizes not only the early days of breastfeeding, but the challenges moms face when it's time to go back to work. But the Tea Party doesn't think moms need the Obamas' help with this issue. 

Responding to Michelle Obama's pro-breastfeeding remarks, Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party leader and right-wing kook, says the first lady is encouraging a "nanny state" and probably wants to run for the Senate. Huh?

Bachmann says she breastfed all five of her children, but didn't need the government to buy her a breast pump. Well, good for you, lady! But a) the government isn't buying anyone a breast pump. If you're lucky enough to have a flexible spending account, you can get reimbursed, or if you're lucky enough to make enough money so you can even take advantage of medical expenses on your tax return, you can write it off. And b) not everyone has the resources you do, which is the whole freaking point.

I swear, if anyone named "Obama" came up with the cure for cancer, Tea Party activists would insist it was a bad thing because it's a job killer that puts funeral homes out of business.

Breastfeeding support is a public health issue, crazy lady. If you can't get behind healthy children, what do you support?

What do you think about Michelle Obama embracing breastfeeding?

Image via Mark Wilson/Getty

baby health, breastfeeding, back-to-work


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nonmember avatar Lyea

The government isn't buying anyone a breast pump? Do you fact check much? Call any local WIC office. They offer pumps to many new moms.

Heart... HeartCharmMama

Good for her that she breastfed her babies but ultimately, it is the mother that makes the choice as to what's best for her and baby.

And your insults about Congresswoman Bachmann are very juvenile.


Good for her!

Ashley Strine

The idea that someone would be against breastfeeding is the epitome of crazy to me. Breastfeeding is better than formula. It isn't a debate it's a fact. We should go out of our way to make breastfeeding as easy and accessible as possible because breastfeeding creates a healthier society. It looks like the republicans and now Tea Party members are once again proving they are the parties of no. And it seems extremely irresponsible and juvenile for congresswoman Bachmann to speak out against support of breastfeeding in this manner. As the OP said, it is clearly only because the right refuses to get behind anything the Obama whitehouse is for. It is so sad that the right is trying to make breastfeeding a political issue when it should have non-partisan support.

Ashley Strine

Lyea - They have breastpumps that they loan to low income women. The women are not given the breastpump they return it when they are finished with it. Besides the OP was specifically referring to the tax reduction (as was Congresswoman Bachmann) not programs aimed at improving the health of impoverished families.

nonmember avatar Anon

I'm getting used to the inflammatory and misleading headlines used here - hooray for me. Conservatives LOVE the idea of breastfeeding. It usually is a lot cheaper as well as healthier than formula, when it works out. We really hate the idea that welfare moms who could breastfeed are able to pick our pockets to pay for free formula - when we ourselves have often breastfed (and worked) with no government involvement. I personally don't have a problem with breast pumps being included in flex spending plans or provided via WIC. I know no woman, conservative or liberal, who is against the idea of breastfeeding (though I know plenty - including welfare moms - who chose formula-feeding for the convenience). So I'm not sure exactly what Ms. Bachmann was speaking against. Maybe Ms. O is recommending some additional spending spree which our country can't afford, that won't change much anyway, like her attempts to subsidize broccoli in the ghetto.

starr... starrsitter

How does supporting nursing mothers equal radical socialist conspiracy?? Unless, of course, you are supremely unbalanced.

Gigan... GigantaursMommy

Lyea you're right WIC does offer pumps to nursing mothers who are struggling to nurse but you rent them and the only thing you keep are the attachments which cost in total like fifteen dollars. So Wic gives nursing mothers 15$ worth of breastpump but in turn gets to save $900 or more on a years worth of formula. But maybe you didn't think about it that way. 

Madel... MadelynMc

I really can't take much more of our country's political craziness. Everything that Liberals/Democrats do, Conservatives/Republicans twist into something irresponsible, and everything Conservatives/Republicans do, Liberals/Democrats twist into something heartless. Aren't we all tired of being played for votes? Come on.

Jennifer Riley

@MadelynMC, right there with you. 

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