Monday, July 6, 2015

Milk Monday - Quick Breast Pump Guide

Milky Monday 7/6/15

Breast pumps. If you plan to breastfeed and return to work after your baby is born you will need one. The current selection of pumps on the market is rather broad and vast compared to what our mothers had to pick from. There are still manual pumps out there, pumps with matching bottle systems and even hands free pumping! I’m very excited to hear and be able towrite that insurance coverage on pumps is in full swing!

There are other reasons it doesn’t hurt to own a pump, like when you are ready and comfortable to start date night again.  You can pump milk to leave with the sitter without having to hurry your date for the next feeding.  In case of an emergency where you will have to be separated from your baby it’s handy to have at least a little bit of stash in the freezer. Over time I’ve heard an array of things happen to new moms where. they suddenly had to be separated, such as, emergency surgeries, urgent dental extractions, needing to start a medication that is not breastfeeding compatible (which can go along with emergency surgery).

Life happens and it just doesn’t hurt to have a little put aside in the freezer.

For the occasional date night and purposes of building your milk stash you will likely be ok with a single manual pump. Even a Medela, one of the best brands out there, cost around $50 for a single manual. Even a single electric can range from $50 - $80 depending on brand. Pumping during an eight hour work day will usually require a bit more efficient pump, what you will need out of a pump will depend on the factors of your work place. Do you have a thirty minute or hour lunch? Do you have your own office you can lock or will you need to borrow someone’s office which will put you on a time crunch? Like many products out there, there are the cheap options, better options and best options. Find out from your manager what pumping in the work place will look like before you make your pump selection.  

You have the right to express breast milk in the workplace! Employers cannot refuse you and they must provide a place to pump other than a bathroom. Anything outside of that will depend on your states individual laws. Take time to Google the laws in your state.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, there are new healthcare mandates that now cover breastfeeding support and pumps! This was not in effect yet when Calvin was born in 2012 so this is new and exciting territory for me!  I have a friend who recently had a sweet little boy and tells me that she didn’t even have to lift a finger to get her pump! She received a very sweet Medela too that was covered at 100%.  The amount of help with filing an insurance claim for a pump seems to be endless. Hospital Lactation Consultants are handing claims, Retailers like Babies R Us are handling claims and even on the Medela web site there is a web tool that matches you with your insurancecarrier to authorized Medela dealers nearest to your zip code. I cannot stress enough how valuable having coverage for breastfeeding support would have been. It was something I desperately needed and sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the hospital to meet with an LC more than once.

Happy milkies!

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