Tucked within the Affordable Care Act is a provision requiring insurance companies to cover breast pumps and visits to lactation consultants at no cost to the patient.

Other mandated benefits, including the requirement to pay for contraceptives, drew far more attention and controversy. But when health insurance plans began resetting Jan. 1 under the new terms, it was the breast- pump clause that took off with consumers.

Laws have consequences. And this particular consequence represents one of those rare moments when an obscure federal provision ends up being, as the National Women's Law Center put it, "advantageous for both women and babies."