Members of the Breastfeeding and Infant Development Support Alliance (BFIDSA) recently met with Chairman Hoehn-Saric’s staff and Commissioner Feldman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in hopes of better understanding the risk that the agency will take action that limits the availability of nursing support products, particularly those lovingly referred to as nursing pillows by parents, caregivers and healthcare professionals.
During meetings with Commissioners and their staff, our concern about the threat to nursing support products was validated. The CPSC is examining a potential ban on infant pillows as part of its 2023 agenda, and nursing pillows are understood to be part of the infant pillow category in CPSC’s crosshairs.
BFIDSA was established in response to this threat by the CPSC. Despite progress in developing an ASTM safety standard for these important products, the CPSC released its 2023 Performance Budget Request to Congress with a line item on page 29 to Expand Scope of Infant Pillow Ban. The published and confirmed intention to revisit this ban demonstrates the CPSC’s possible willingness to preemptively take regulatory or enforcement action against safe, important products.
Throughout the conversations, members of BFIDSA reviewed the benefits of nursing support products in increasing breastfeeding rates, which in turn correlates with numerous health benefits. We also detailed unintended consequences of eliminating these important products, such as the fact parents and caregivers will likely turn to more dangerous alternatives – including adult pillows and blankets.
BFIDSA offered to explore opportunities to partner with CPSC on National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, safe sleep initiatives, or other programs that protect babies and promote infant development.
We will continue to engage with Chairman Hoehn-Saric, Commissioner Feldman, and their staffs, as well as others in the CPSC and Members of Congress. If you are supportive of our efforts, we invite you join us to protect the future of infant feeding support products.