Breast milk is a rich source of nutrition, and it provides excellent benefits for mothers and babies. It can be challenging to establish a regular routine around breastfeeding, though.
Here are some reasons why a lot of mothers use breast pumps:
- Your baby can drink breast milk even when you're not there. Pumping can also help maintain your milk supply when you are breastfeeding. This can be especially helpful if you want to go back to work and continue breastfeeding your baby.
- Pumping can help stimulate the production of your breast milk and increase its supply.
- Pumping and storing breast milk can be useful if your baby is premature or unable to latch on.
- Pumping can provide relief from the pressure and pain of overly full breasts.
- Having milk already stored can be handy if you have to stop breastfeeding for any reason. Taking certain medicines or being away from your baby for an extended period of time can make it difficult to breastfeed regularly.
Ask your insurance provider:
- Does your policy cover a free breast pump for a breastfeeding mother?
- Do they cover new pumps, rentals, or both?
- How long will they cover a rental pump?
- Do they cover electric, manual, or both types of pumps?
- What is the maximum cost they will cover? High-tech breast pumps with lots of features can cost hundreds of dollars.
- Do you have to buy the pump from a particular company or can you purchase the pump from a retail store and submit the receipt for reimbursement?
- Which suppliers does the insurance company work with?
- Does the insurance company cover additional parts or equipment such as milk bottles, replacement tubing, storage bags for breast milk, and flanges?
- Which models/brands does the insurance company cover?
- What documents do they need from you to prove your eligibility for a free breast pump? Some insurance companies may ask you for a prescription for a breast pump from your physician. For others, the fact that you are getting maternity care is sufficient.
- When can you get the breast pump? You might be able to place the order for the pump the moment you know your due date. In some cases, you may not be able to place the order until a month before your due date. Other companies may ask you to call them after being discharged from the hospital.
While most breast pump suppliers will verify your insurance when you buy a pump, it's good to know the steps involved. Follow these steps to make the process smooth and painless:
1. Research the pump options
Research the breast pumps available and choose a model to match your lifestyle. Ask for recommendations from friends and family. You can also ask a lactation consultant.
2. Call the insurance company
The next step is to call the insurance company. Keep your insurance card with you to provide your member ID or group number so that they can verify your benefits. It can be helpful to ask the name of the customer service representative and their ID number. Take notes of your conversation so that you can refer to them later as needed.
3. Ask a lot of questions
While talking with the customer service representative, don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. They're there to help!
4. Order the breast pump that's covered by insurance
After you get the information you need, you can order your free breast pump. Depending on where you live and your insurance, you can buy the pump in the following ways:
- Order the pump online. The equipment supplier might have online forms for you to complete.
- Buy a pump from a particular brick-and-mortar medical supply store nearby.
- Buy a pump from a retail store and submit the receipt to the insurance company for reimbursement.
Different types of breast pumps have their benefits and drawbacks. Here are some things to consider:
- Noise — Consider where you'll be pumping, and pick an option that has the right noise level for your situation.
- Suction — You may need a pump with higher suction power if you want to collect more milk.
- Portability — If you want to pump on the go, you may need a portable pump with a bag to store all the parts and a rechargeable battery or car adapter.
- Hands-free — Electric pumps are usually lightweight, portable, and come with accessories that let you use them hands-free.
If you plan to breastfeed your baby, you might need a breast pump. To get a free pump from your insurance company, first research all the pump options. Next, call the insurance company and ask any questions you have. Once you get the information you need, order your pump.