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Nursing mamas, rejoice -- and pregnant mamas, take note: The IRS has reversed its longstanding position that breastfeeding supplies aren't tax deductible. According to a Reuters report, "The new ruling means that families can use pre-tax funds from their flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts for these supplies. Breast pumps typically cost more than $200 and, along with supplies, can run as high as $1,000 in the first year of a baby's life." And according to an article in the New York Times, the new ruling "will affect expenses incurred starting in 2010."
Breastfeeding supplies for my first child -- including a Medela Pump In Style breast pump, extra storage bottles, extra breast shields, an extra set of tubing, a steam bag for cleaning, extra valves and replacement membranes (because I always lost those things!), and freezer storage bags -- cost us about $600. Thankfully, a few friends and family were willing to get us these very practical items as baby gifts. But it seemed we were always out shopping for more freezer storage bags so I could keep up with pumping and saving milk for my daughter.
While I was happy with my decision to breastfeed my daughter, the cost of nursing can definitely add up over time. So news like this comes as a welcome relief. And besides the tax break, there's another benefit to using FSA/HSA dollars to cover the cost of breastfeeding supplies: not feeling the pinch of the supplies' price tag -- so long as you get those receipts in right away for reimbursement!
How much did you spend on breastfeeding supplies? Chime in below!