Grove Introduces Legislation to Promote Infant Nutrition and Healthier Mothers

HARRISBURG – Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) has introduced legislation to promote infant nutrition and healthier mothers by exempting from the Sales and Use Tax equipment and accessories used for breastfeeding, such as breast pumps.

“Studies have shown the long-term health benefits, both for mother and child, of breastfeeding,” said Grove.  “We already know it is in the public interest to promote healthy lifestyles.  With the overwhelming evidence of the health advantages of breastfeeding, this is commonsense legislation.   My goal is to make the option of breastfeeding more affordable to families.”

A recent study by Harvard Medical School showed that if 90 percent of mothers followed the standard medical advice of feeding infants only breast milk for the first six months, the United States could save $13 billion a year in health care costs and prevent the premature deaths of 900 infants from respiratory illness and other infections. Breastfeeding is also beneficial to nursing mothers by helping reduce the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and postpartum depression.

Grove noted that for working mothers, the breast pump is the only way to continue to provide nutritious breast milk to an infant after returning to work. The pumps also are used to assist mothers who may have anatomical issues that make breastfeeding difficult or to increase milk production.

A double electric breast pump can cost a new mother several hundred dollars.  The cost to the state for exempting these items from the sales tax is minimal.

“In 2011, the IRS changed its tax policy on breast pumps and supplies, labeling them deductible medical expenses,” said Grove.  “In Pennsylvania, we already exempt from the sales tax most items that are medically necessary, such as prescription drugs, canes and even pet medicines.  I believe it is appropriate to also exempt lactation supplies.”

Grove noted that in 2011, the Surgeon General of the United States also released a “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding” to encourage the creation of a network throughout society to support breastfeeding mothers.

Grove’s House Bill 778 has received bipartisan support and is awaiting consideration by the House Finance Committee.

More information about Grove and his legislative priorities is available at and

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
717.783.8063 /
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