CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For every infant who breastfeeds, $400 in health-care costs are saved, according to the president of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.
Sen. Dan Foster, D-Kanawha, said breastfeeding not only improves the health of young children but also has an "extraordinary economic benefit," he said at a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday.
The physician and state senator joined other members of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care to release the group's new report, "The Affordable Care Act: What Health Reform Means for Women and Families."
Under the federal health care act, women can get breastfeeding support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding supplies for pregnant and nursing women, according to the report.
Women were told for decades that bottle-feeding a child is better than breastfeeding, said Nancy Tolliver, director of the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership. But now they know the benefits of breastfeeding and have support from the ACA, she said.
"Breastfeeding offers many benefits for babies and the ACA calls for promotion of breastfeeding," Tolliver said Thursday. "West Virginia women and babies will have advantages they didn't have before."
Other advantages of the health-care act for most women, as outlined in the report, are preventive measures that must be provided with no deductible, co-payment or coinsurance when a new plan year begins after Aug. 1 (for most women that will be Jan. 1, 2013):