Image: planet_oleary under CC 3.0
Good health begins early: what happens to babies shortly after they’re born will affect them for the rest of their lives. Many studies have found that breastfeeding provides many health benefits over bottles of formula. Unfortunately, doing so can be inconvenient and expensive. For the majority of working mothers, it is impossible to bring their children with them to work every day. Therefore, supplies such as breast pumps are required, in order to expel the milk throughout the day so that the baby can be fed. They also need a private location in which to do it.
Healthcare reform brings good news and bad news. On the bright side, one provision requires businesses to allow female employees unpaid breaks to use the pumps (because 10 or 15 minutes does not tend to be sufficient). However, the IRS has recently decided that health insurance plans are not required to allow people to purchase said breast pumps tax-free through their flexible spending accounts. Currently, some policies do offer that coverage, but due to all of the other mandates they will be subject to they may choose to drop it in order to save money.
Both of these developments will have the greatest impact on women in low-income jobs.