WMDT 47 NEWS - In an effort to make breastfeeding easier for moms and babies, the Affordable Care Act now requires insurance providers to provide breast pumps and lactation services as part of their coverage. This is a huge win, not just for moms on a budget, but for the breastfeeding effort as a whole.
A manual breast pump can cost anywhere from 20 to 50 dollars. But if you're a working mom, or you have a baby with a medical issue, often a hand pump just won't cut it. And electric pumps can often cost hundreds of dollars, which is why pediatricians and lactation consultants are encouraged by the new Affordable Healthcare Law.
Local moms are also very excited about it. "They can be very pricey," says Lauren Hudson, "and the health benefits are so amazing when you think the lack of doctor's appointments and not having to put your child on medicine from nursing. So if it can be encouraged, encourage it!"
"Whatever can be done to promote it and help make it work, I'm all for it," agrees Michelle Trimper. "I think it's wonderful!"
"A lot of women, especially professional women, might not choose to breast feed because that they know they eventually have to return back to work." explains Michell Jordan, Nursing Professor and Midwife. "But if they have the availability of a high quality breast pump, it might definitely increase the odds of them breastfeeding, first off, but also keep them breastfeeding up to at least six months if not a year, if possible."
If you or your baby has a medical issue, chances are your insurance will agree to pay for the hospital-grade pump you need. In most other cases, though, insurance will pay for an electric pump but not always the top of the line model.
But you don't have to give up on getting the pump you want. A number of insurance plans will allow you to upgrade from their basic option to the pump of your choice if you will pay the difference.
However, if you feel like your insurance company is giving you a hard time, there are agencies out there, like The National Women's Law Center, that can help advocate for you to make sure you get this benefit. And for more about the breast pump coverage law, click here.
Join WMDT's Emily Lampa as she explores the world of pregnancy. You can read about the do's and don't's plus tips from experts on safety for expecting mothers.