Being a new mom is full of choices. If you’ve made the choice to breastfeed your new baby rest assured that that is one of the most important decisions you will make as a new mother. It’s hard to refute the benefits of breastfeeding and nowadays there are a lot of resources out there to help you along on this new journey such as how to find a certified lactation consultants, workplace accommodations for breastfeeding moms in the new health care law and health insurance plans that may cover breastfeeding related expenses.
The past few years has seen resurgence in the popularity of breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers feed their babies only breast milk for the first six months. Breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of many issues including ear and respiratory infections, diabetes and sudden infant death syndrome for babies and a lower risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer for mothers. More recent is the study published in the journal Pediatrics, which states that if most new moms would breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year.
If you are a new mom returning to work who does breastfeed then you probably are already thinking about what to do. The need for a reliable, efficient and easy to use breast pump is almost essential to keep up with breastfeeding at work. A good breast pump is also a necessity for moms of premature infants who may initially be unable to breastfeed and need to express their milk. A high quality breast pump can be an additional expense for families that they might not have counted on. At this point you may want to contact your health insurance company to find out if they offer any assistance/programs for new moms; surprisingly many of them do. And be sure to look into using your health-care flexible spending account (FSA) for breastfeeding related expenses too – many will cover breast pumps with a doctor’s note.
You may also want to consider having a visit from a certified lactation consultant either prior to returning to work for tips on pumping or at any point after baby has come home. A lactation consultant is a health care professional who is knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced in lactation (breastfeeding). The lactation consultant’s primary focus is to provide education, assistance and support to breastfeeding women, including how to help and support those new moms returning to work. Services and visits from a lactation consultant may also be covered by your insurance.
One really good source of breastfeeding information on whether or not health insurance will cover a breast pump or a visit from a certified lactation consultant recently became available on Medela’s website. While Medela is best known for its breast pumps and accessories, they are also very invested in helping moms succeed in breastfeeding. This online resource will help new moms with their questions about whether or not their health insurance will cover certain breastfeeding-related expenses, including for example, lactation consultant services, breast pump rental/purchase and other costs.
Image via Wikipedia