The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center is backing House Bill 156 that mandates insurance coverage of donor breast milk at New Born Intensive Care Units or NICUs in New Mexico.
Every year more than 350 at-risk babies weighing less than three-and-a-half pounds are born in New Mexico, according to the New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce.
"It's a life saving therapy that needs to be available to everybody in the state regardless of sex, race or income," says Beatrice Stefanescu, MD, neonatologist at UNM School of Medicine.
Every dollar spent on donor human milk could save between 11 and 37 dollars, Stefanescu says, adding, at least one-and-a-half million dollars could be saved in a year in the state.
"The less complications we have in the hospital, the less tax payers will pay for insurance and medical coverage," says Stefanescu.
The bill, sponsored by Representative Deborah Armstrong, is also supported by New Mexico Pediatric Society and New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce.