It seems like it should be the most natural thing in the world, but there’s a learning curve when it comes to breastfeeding — for both babies and moms.

Babies don’t always latch correctly, causing pain for mom and frustration for baby. And it's not always the sweet moment we see in the movies: Breasts can get engorged. Milk ducts can get clogged. Plus, learning to pump can be a challenge. And cracked nipples? Totally a thing.

I was extremely fortunate to have my mom — who also happened to be a professional lactation consultant — stay with me for two weeks after each of my babies was born. Her expertise and encouragement was crucial to my positive breastfeeding experience.


Not all women have that kind of support though. Many don’t have anything close to it.

Photo by Raul Arboleda/Getty Images.

But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more moms now have access to professional lactation support services and equipment — and it’s making a big difference.  

Indiana University released the results of a study analyzing breastfeeding rates from 2009-2014 to see how the ACA’s 2012 policy change regarding lactation service coverage affected them. After Aug. 1, 2012, most insurance plans were required to cover breastfeeding services and supplies. The mandate also required large employers to provide time and space for breastfeeding mothers to pump.

The result? About 47,000 more babies were breastfed in one year after the policy change took effect. In addition, babies were breastfed for a few weeks longer on average. Average breastfeeding duration increased by 10%, and duration of exclusive breastfeeding increased by 21%.

Researcher Lindsey Bullinger of IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs says those outcomes are encouraging. "The Affordable Care Act has had a significant, positive effect on breastfeeding,” she said, “and our findings show that many more mothers and many more children will likely lead healthier lives as a result."

It's no secret that President Obama was a fan of the ACA — and of babies. I'm sure he's pretty happy to hear about the results of this study.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza.

According to the study, the ACA lactation support appears to have especially benefited black moms, single moms, and moms with less education.

That's good news, as black moms have historically faced obstacles to breastfeeding and single moms are usually working moms.

Breastfeeding supplies can be expensive, and working moms need the support of employers in order to pump breastmilk at work. Having insurance companies cover supplies and lactation help, in addition to ensuring that women have time and space to pump at work, can help moms who want to breastfeed do so successfully for longer.

"Many of the economic burdens, such as the costs of buying a breast pump, may be greater for less educated or unmarried mothers," said Bullinger. "These are groups that historically have had lower breastfeeding rates, so the increases we found are especially welcome."

Supplies and support make a difference, especially for working moms. Ask any mom who's ever used a good breast pump. (Also, ask Ijeoma Oluo, who shared the best pumping-at-work story ever on Twitter.)

Not all moms breastfeed, of course — and that's their choice. But those interested in breastfeeding should be given all the support they need.

The ACA has been controversial from the start, and some may feel that mandating insurance companies to cover breastfeeding supplies and services is overstepping. But considering the health benefits breastfeeding offers mothers and babies, anything that removes obstacles and helps make breastfeeding easier for those who want to do it should be welcomed with open arms.

Photo by Johan Ordonez/Getty Images.

Trevor Noah's talked about Elon Musk's Twitter purchase in a Between the Scenes segment.

In the era of the mega-billionaire, much has been made of how such gargantuan wealth is built and what kind of taxes on wealth are fair and unfair.

The intricacies of economics can make such questions a bit tricky both practically and ethically, but there's no question that billionaires get enormous tax breaks through loopholes in our tax system and through straight-up tax legislation favoring the wealthy.

For the average American who will never see so much as one percent of a billion dollars in our entire lifetime, wrapping our minds around the financial workings of extreme wealth is like trying to learn another language. The whole "here's how much money I earn, here's what I can write off, here's what I pay in taxes" thing is pretty straightforward, but not how the uber-rich life works. Wealth doesn't equal money in uber-rich-land—except when it does.

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Photo by Freddy Kearney on Unsplash

When your grandpa's a BAMF.

It can be eye-opening to listen to stories told by our grandparents. For many of us, that might be the only connection we have to them.

Even the smallest glimpse into their former lives gives us insight–not only into their own personal history, but into the soul of a different era entirely. Of course, whether that inspires nostalgia or disgust depends on the story.

I, for instance, know next-to-nothing about my maternal grandfather, other than he used his job at a candy factory to cover the fact that he was in cahoots with an Asian mob. An odd thing to know about your grandfather, and I’ll never look at M&M’s the same way again.

stories from grandparents Giphy

A Reddit user named LorieEve recently asked people to share stories from their own grandparents that they’d “never forget.” Some answers are short and simple. Others read like a sprawling novel. Some are hilarious; others heartbreaking. All offer a meaningful look into the past.

Here are 10 of the best responses:

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via Pexels

A couple enjoying a glass of wine.

In the 1988 Disney classic “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” the titular character is in an unlikely relationship with his voluptuous wife Jessica. Roger is a frantic, anxious rabbit with a penchant for mischief, while Jessica is a quintessential ’40s bombshell who stands about a foot and a half taller and isn’t “bad,” just “drawn that way.”

When private investigator Eddie Valiant asked Jessica what she sees in “that guy?” she replies, “He makes me laugh.”

This type of couple may seem like something we only see in the movies, but don’t underestimate the power of humor when it comes to attractiveness. A new study published in Evolutionary Psychology found that being humorous is the most effective way to flirt for both men and women.

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