Amedsupplies.com is a leading provider of breast pumps covered by insurance to new and expecting mothers. More than that, we are dedicated to providing excellent customer service, products from the brands you know and trust, and solutions to improve a mother’s quality of life during pregnancy and after their new little one arrives.
We get it. On the internet, you are probably bombarded with free this and free that all the time. While a free breast pump might sound too good to be true, it isn’t. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, breastfeeding supplies and support are covered under preventative care by most insurance providers. This means whether you are looking for breast pumps covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield or free breast pumps with Aetna, you are entitled to those supplies under your normal insurance coverage in most cases. (Unsure if you are covered? We can verify your insurance for you when you order your breast pump through Amedsupplies.com.) Unfortunately, many moms are unaware that they already have coverage for an electric breast pump and buy one out of pocket. We work directly with your insurance company in order to get you your pump as quickly as possible so you and your new baby can get off to a great start.
We want to be a resource to new moms who are navigating the complicated world of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has been shown to have numerous health benefits, but many new moms struggle with it or think they shouldn’t breastfeed if they are going to have to go back to work soon. Our goal is provide breastfeeding advice and education to these mothers in order to make life as easy as possible during a hectic time. At the end of the day, breastfeeding for a little while is better than not at all, and thanks to the ability of many moms to receive free breast pumps through insurance, continuing to provide your baby with breast milk is possible, even for working moms.
Today, we’re going to discuss some ways mothers can use their breast pump to provide milk for their baby, even when they are working or having trouble nursing. We’ll also offer a few tips on how to best take care of your insured breast pump. Keep reading to learn more!
Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that babies should be exclusively fed breast milk for the first six months of life, only about 80 percent of newborns are ever breastfed. By six months, only half of babies are still breastfed at all, and only 18 percent are exclusively breastfed like experts recommend.
So why are only one in five mothers heeding the AAP’s advice and exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months? There is no one reason. Sometimes mothers experience too much pain and discomfort and must switch to formula for their own health reasons. However, it often boils down to the fact that many mothers return to work within the first few months of a baby’s life.
America is known for having relatively poor maternity leave policies compared to other developed countries. Ireland, for example, offers 42 weeks of partially paid maternity leave, Poland offers 26 weeks of fully-paid leave, Sweden offers 480 days of parental leave at 80 percent of a parent’s normal pay that can be split between mother and father, and Finland offers seven weeks of paid pre-birth maternity leave and 16 weeks of paid leave after birth.
The lack of protected maternity leave laws in America means many new moms are forced to either return to work after a few weeks or risk losing their jobs — both situations are not good for the mother or the baby, especially if the mother wishes to breastfeed her baby.
Having a high-quality electric breast pump to express milk between nursing sessions can help working mothers maintain their milk supply after returning to work. But how are new moms supposed to find the time to pump at work? Keep reading to learn more about your rights to use a breast pump to express milk in the workplace.
In order to continue to provide your baby with breast milk, you must either nurse or pump frequently. Essentially, every time your baby would need to eat, whether you are physically nursing your baby or not, milk must be expressed. Thankfully, employers not exempt from Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must allow nursing mothers a private location, which cannot be a bathroom, to express milk. The law, called Break Time For Nursing Mothers Act, states that mothers who work for businesses covered by FLSA can take as many breaks as they need, and new moms should feel confident requesting a private location via their human resources representative or supervisor.
While most hourly and salaried employees will be protected by the Break Time For Nursing Mothers Act, some will not. If you are not protected by this act, check your local and state laws, as many states have enacted their own protection for nursing mothers. However, even if there are no laws protecting you, this doesn’t mean you cannot talk to your supervisor, employer, or HR representative about taking breaks at work to pump.
Here are a few points to bring up to reluctant employers who are not willing to give you adequate pumping breaks at work:
Explain to your employer what you need and why. Your employer should be sympathetic to your desire to continue breastfeeding. It is possible that employers who have not experienced breastfeeding first hand do not realize that a mother must express milk either by nursing or pumping throughout the day or otherwise risk her supply depleting. Explain this to your employer and let them know that this arrangement is only temporary and that it is incredibly important to you to provide your baby with breast milk.
Offer solutions. Under the Break Time For Nursing Mothers Act, pumping breaks do not have to be paid. While this may not be great news for moms, it is often better to take unpaid breaks than to have to choose between your baby’s health and your job. Additionally, offer ideas on how to arrange coverage for your position while you are pumping if applicable.
Tell your employer how breastfeeding can benefit you, your baby, and the company. Breast milk is proven to have health benefits for babies and moms alike. The healthier you and your baby are, the fewer days of work you will have to miss to stay home.
Remember that there is power in numbers. Finding other new or expecting mothers at work who would also benefit from pumping breaks can go a long way in convincing an employer to accommodate your needs.
While being able to get a free breast pump covered by insurance is beneficial for moms who have to spend long hours away from their babies, all mothers can benefit from a quality breast pump. Keep reading to learn a few ways that all moms can find value in their pumps.
Breast pumps are ideal for babies who cannot latch well onto their mother’s nipples but the mother is still able to produce enough milk to feed the baby. Mothers in this situation can pump and store breastmilk to give to their little one with a bottle.
Breast pumps also give moms who want to exclusively provide breast milk to their baby the ability to just get away for a bit. When milk is pumped and stored, dads, grandparents, babysitters, and any other caretaker can feed the baby while you sneak off for some well-deserved alone time. New moms are often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of time a newborn spends feeding. It can make it hard to find time to even shower, let alone relax for a moment. At the same time, many moms who choose to breastfeed feel the need to provide their baby with the best possible diet. Thankfully, with free breast pumps through insurance, they can have the best of both worlds without spending a fortune.
Almost every state has laws specifically protecting a mother’s right to nurse her baby in public, and many of those states exclude nursing moms from public indecency laws as extra protection. However, some moms still feel uncomfortable nursing their little ones in view of others. Having access to a high-quality electric breast pump can allow moms to take bottled breast milk on the go with them if a bottle is their preferred way to feed their infants in public.
When using a breast pump, it is important to remember that your baby’s immune system is still developing and that extra care should be taken to keep the parts clean and sanitary. Bacteria and germs can easily grow in unclean pump parts, which can then get in the breast milk the next time you pump. In cases when a baby is born prematurely or has other health risks, you will want to speak with your doctor about recommendations for keeping your breast pump clean and your milk safe. However, for most healthy babies, the following steps can be taken to ensure your breast pump is clean. Keep in mind, when you receive your insurance-covered breast pump, it will come with its own cleaning and instruction manual for that make and model which should be followed.
Have a separate washing tub used only for baby feeding equipment. This can be as simple as a big Tupperware. Throwing bottles or breast pump pieces into the sink can expose them to more dangerous germs and bacteria like salmonella.
Rinse removable parts that come in contact with the breast or milk under warm water and place them in the dedicated washtub.
Fill the tub with hot water and soap. Use a brush that is only used for breastfeeding equipment to scrub the pieces.
Rinse the items by running them under water or dunking them in another tub of clean water.
Allow all pieces to air dry in a sanitary area. You can place them on a clean paper towel or on a drying rack that is only used for this purpose.
Some electric breast pumps will come with dishwasher-safe pieces. Be sure to read all instructions that come with your new breast pump to ensure you are cleaning it in the best way.
Additionally, the tubing of your electric breast pump should not come into contact with milk. If there is condensation inside the tubing, allow the pump to run for a few minutes not connected to the breast and this should dry it up. If it does not dry or if there is mildew or milk residue in the tubing, throw the tubing away and replace it with a spare breast pump tube, as the tubing is nearly impossible to sanitize at home.
Throughout Amedsupplies.com, you will find the use of the term “pump and store.” This refers to expressing breast milk with a pump and storing it for use later. Just like with cleaning your breast pump pieces, extra precaution should be taken for premature babies or babies who have health conditions when it comes to pumping and storing milk. Talk to your doctor about the best way to store milk for your baby. However, in general, most experts agree with the following storage suggestions:
Freshly pumped breast milk can be stored at room temperature for up to four hours.
Breast milk can be refrigerated for up to three days
Breast milk can be frozen for up to six months
Thaw breast milk for no more than 2 hours at room temperature, and no more than 24 hours in a refrigerator
Do not thaw breast milk in the microwave
For quick thawing, place the bottle in a cup of warm water (be sure to check the temperature before feeding your baby)
Store breast milk in small amounts. This will thaw more quickly and reduce wasted milk
Do not refreeze milk after thawing it.
In order to provide the best nursing experience for new moms, we offer a variety of breast milk storage bags and other nursing accessories that fit your specific breast pump. However, even with proper storage, there are a few things that new moms experience regarding breast milk that has them asking, “Is this normal?” While the best source to ask is your doctor, there are a few common situations we can ease your mind about.
The first is to remember that it is normal for breast milk to become “separated” in the fridge. This does not mean it has gone bad, but simply means that the lighter parts of the milk have floated to the top while the denser elements stay on the bottom. Simply swirl it around before giving it to your baby.
Another common and somewhat alarming situation for new moms is that breast milk can occasionally smell like soap. This “soapy” smell is often reported after unfreezing breast milk. Some mothers produce a high amount of an enzyme called lipase in their milk. This fat-digesting enzyme can make thawed milk smell soapy, but don’t fret. This milk is still safe to give to your infant, though they might refuse to drink it if they have strong taste preferences. You can prevent this enzyme from creating this soap-like smell by scalding your breast milk before you store it. This involves heating it up on the stove to about 180-degrees or until a few bubbles start to form around the edges. Then, let it cool and store it as normal. In general, spoiled breast milk will smell similar to any other spoiled milk. As long as you are following guidelines and your refrigerator is working properly, you should be fine.
We want your nursing experience to be a pleasant one. Though breastfeeding does come with its challenges, being prepared can help mitigate some of these. While an insurance-covered breast pump is a great place to start, there are even more amazing accessories out there ranging from nursing pillows and nursing bras to lanolin nipple cream and more. We are proud to partner with Medela and offer models ranging from the Medela Pump In Style to the Medela Freestyle Breast Pump and much more. We also offer pumps from other top-name breast pump brands like Spectra and Ardo. Get started today by filling out an order form for your free breast pump covered by insurance, and we’ll handle the rest!