Wednesday, January 4, 2017

BABES Act has passed the Senate...on its way to President

The Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening (BABES Act) passed the Senate with unanimous support, as the 114th Congressional session came to a close. Since the Senate passed the same version previously passed by the House, that means it is now heading to the President's desk to be signed into law!

This is not only a critical development for traveling families, but also an historic day for breastfeeding advocates. The BABES Act is the first breastfeeding-specific bill to go to the floor of either house of Congress as a standalone measure.

The BABES Act will require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide ongoing training to ensure its officers consistently enforce TSA Special Procedures related to breast milk, formula, and infant feeding equipment across all airport security checkpoints. Although travelers are explicitly permitted to bring "formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers" that exceed the TSA's 3-1-1 Liquids Rule for carry-on baggage, many have reported experiencing inconsistent implementation of these procedures during airport security screening.

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of individuals, organizations, and policymakers from both sides of the aisle, there will soon be a federal law requiring training to ensure that TSA agents support traveling breastfeeding families, and ensuring that this training is sustained over time.

Jefferson County Public Health offers free breastfeeding classes are offered at the Lakewood, Arvada, and Edgewater WIC clinics. Spanish-speaking breastfeeding information can be provided on an individual basis. Classes are held monthly and last from one to two hours. Visit the JCPH Breast Feeding Program webpage to find out when the next class is.

Jefferson County Public Health and the Mother’s Milk Bank also partner to provide a mom’s group for breastfeeding women.  The group meets every third Wednesday of the month from 10am-12pm at the Mother’s Milk Bank at 5394 Marshall St. in Arvada.

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