SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bobbie, the only female-founded and mom-led infant formula company in the U.S., joined forces with The Breasties Organization to launch an awareness campaign and public petition for moms who physically can’t breastfeed after a mastectomy to receive insurance coverage for a viable way to feed their babies. Mothers who have undergone a mastectomy - either preventatively or as treatment for breast cancer - deserve insurance equality and inclusion in the policies that support infant feeding in the US. Bobbie believes that formula or donor milk for anyone who's had a mastectomy should be covered under the Affordable Care Act as is the case for breast pumps.
The petition focuses on closing the current policy gap surrounding insurance coverage for infant formula or donor milk. Right now, new moms in the U.S. can get a free breast pump but no coverage for formula or donor milk. Insurance coverage is tied solely to the health of the baby, not the physical capabilities of a mother to be able breastfeed. Coverage for formula or donor milk is only considered if the baby has a diagnosed medical condition. But in cases where the mom physically cannot breastfeed due to breast cancer or a mastectomy, the medical necessity for formula or donor milk still exists-- yet a policy to support them does not.
According to BreastCancer.org, there are more than 3.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. (this includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment, and in 2018 over 260,000 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, which can require surgical breast removal.
“Women who physically cannot feed their babies because they prioritized their health and often, their lives, over the potential to breastfeed deserve the same support from our public policies and should have the option to source donor breast milk or formula under insurance coverage,” said Laura Modi, the CEO of Bobbie and mother of three. “Offering a free breast pump to a mom who had her breasts removed highlights the insulting gap in the policies surrounding feeding support for this group of moms in the US. We can and we should do better by these women.”
During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Bobbie has partnered with The Breasties, a nonprofit organization creating a community for survivors, previvors, thrivers, and carevivors impacted by breast and gynecological cancers. Bobbie will be donating $25,000 to The Breasties to support their community building and research initiatives and will launch a sponsorship program to support 25 mastectomy moms in the U.S. with a year of free Bobbie formula. To be considered for this opportunity, please visit Bobbie Breasties. Bobbie will also be offering 25% off every box of Bobbie to new moms who have undergone a mastectomy with a baby under one and who qualify for the year long discount.
“We see more and more young survivors and previvors who are new moms joining the Breastie community. This is not coincidental. There are more people than ever getting genetic testing and opting for preventative mastectomies before they settle down and start a family- all of which is encouraged and typically covered by insurance companies,” said Allie Brumel, co-founder of The Breasties, breast cancer survivor and new mom. “At the same time we’re also seeing more women of child bearing age get diagnosed with breast cancer and undergo mastectomies as life saving treatment, myself being one of them. By joining forces with the community of activists behind Bobbie, we are hopeful that we can bring awareness to this group of women left out of the current public policies and societal conversation on how we feed our babies.”
To be a part of Bobbie’s advocacy campaign, you can nominate a mom who has undergone a mastectomy for a free year of Bobbie, donate directly to the Breasties, or take action by signing the Change.org petition to close the feeding policy gap for breast cancer survivors and previvors.
As a purpose-driven company, Bobbie started with community, not commerce. They first launched Milk-Drunk, a content site providing a place for parents at the crossroads of feeding to get straightforward answers, support, and information. Recently, they introduced The Feeding Confessionals, a safe space for parents to unite, learn, and grow as every kind of feeding journey is normalized. Lastly, to put their money where their milk is, Bobbie introduced The MotherLode, a groundbreaking initiative allowing Bobbie customers to become investors.
Bobbie is an Organic Infant Formula company that exists to build a parenting culture of confidence, not comparison, where every parent is supported in the feeding choice that is right for them and their baby. Bobbie will be initially selling direct-to-consumer and offering a subscription service to parents across the US. Bobbie is mom-founded and led and supported by a 20 person “Motherboard” of advisors and a Medical Advisors made up of doctors, lactation consultants, doulas, pediatricians, and professionals who contribute their expertise to building a next-generation formula company. Bobbie was founded in 2018, is based in San Francisco, and is venture backed. For more information on Bobbie, visit www.hibobbie.com, and follow Bobbie on Instagram @bobbie.