With the Affordable Healthcare Act reimbursing the cost or rental of breast pumps and this item being a popular must-have product for baby’s registry we figured it would be wise to find out from the experts at Sante Mama what you should know before buying a breast pump via Q & A. We also wanted to share their thoughts about changes in the breast pump industry overall and important items to consider before your big purchase.
Additionally, this article is very timely as Sante Mama just launched a beautiful new website and to celebrate we’re giving away a breastpump package filled with lots of goodies from Medela, Earth Mama Angel Baby and DrGreene.com! The giveaway starts on Monday, 6/24 and ends on Sunday, 6/30 at midnight. See our Rafflecopter post below for details.
Q & A
1. What’s new or on the horizon for breast pump manufacturers?
Breast pumps have become a great tool for breastfeeding moms. Manufactures have taken in consideration how to make breast pumps easy to use, convenient, and models that fit the needs of all breastfeeding moms. From hand pumps to double electric pumps and even pumps that have programmable settings and rechargeable batteries.
2. As a Breast Pump Expert which would you recommend Manual vs. Battery vs. Electric? And what are the key points a mom should consider so she chooses the right pump?
If a mom came into Santé Mama for a breast pump we would ask if she has had challenges with breast feeding in the past, if this is her first baby, or if she will be returning to work. Choosing a manual vs electric pump all depends on the need for milk. A stay at home mom may only need a hand pump while a mom going back to work would need an electric. Also where a mom will be pumping is a factor, will she have electricity or will she need to have a pump that she can use on the go. Which pump the mom chooses may not be the same as what the insurance company will cover.
3. Should parents buy a pump before baby arrives or after?
The need for a breast pump usually comes once the breastfeeding relationship is established, unless mom is returning to work really soon after baby is born, so you really don’t need a pump in the first few weeks. Waiting will allow you to know what your needs will be if there are extra or unexpected challenges.
It really is a personal choice on when to get your pump, if a mom can’t rest until all of her list is taken care of, having a pump can ease her mind.
One thing to keep in mind is to absolutely look into insurance coverage before the baby arrives. There are so many ins and outs to insurance coverage and some insurance companies do not cover until after the baby is born.
4. How has the Affordable Healthcare Act changed the industry? Because insurance companies may reimburse the cost of buying or renting a pump, are more moms doing so? And, if so, has it been an easy process to navigate, in your experience?
The Affordable Healthcare act has brought more awareness to breastfeeding. It has provided access to a tool that may allow a mom who is struggling with breastfeeding a higher success. With more and more families taking advantage of their insurance coverage, we are also seeing the breast pump companies are struggling to keep up with the higher demand.
Being a Durable Medical Equipment company Santé Mama works with insurance companies every day checking on coverage for our customers. The act has brought confusion as every insurance company has its own version of what the act means. There are many insurance plans that are not covering, or flat out excluding coverage, which can make it hard to navigate. At Santé Mama we are on the phone checking on coverage and it is getting easier to find the right questions to ask. Even with our daily pursuit of the right answers we have to remind our clients that even if you hear that a pump is fully covered it still might be denied at the time of billing.
5. What advice do you give moms before they purchase a pump; do you recommend a specific manufacturer?
We would recommend moms to do some research on breast pumps and what pump will fill the needs they have for pumping milk. At Santé Mama we find that Medela pumps meet the needs of a stay at home mom, a mom who is returning to work, or a mom on the go.
6. What are your moms’ biggest complaints or anxieties about pumps or pumping, in general?
I think the biggest complaint or anxiety is the amount she pumps at a session. When we introduce a pump we are changing how the system works, we are now able to “see” an amount the baby might take. We talk a lot about expectations and support trust in the supply and demand system.
Time management is a factor when pumping, when caring for your baby and family your time is valuable, so finding tools that can help such as a hands free pumping bra can be helpful.
Another anxiety produced by bringing a pump into the mix is how to feed the baby the pumped milk and when to start offering a different delivery system, aka a bottle.
7. What are the biggest advantages to a manual pump? To a battery one? And, electric? (if you don’t differentiate between battery and electric, that’s fine)
A manual pump provides truly “on the go” pumping. No need for a wall plug and a lot less pieces.
Some moms find they can release more milk with a manual pump gives because of the bio-feedback of doing the suction themselves. They can do any rhythm they see works for them, rather than using a machine that makes noises.
An electric or battery operated does the work for you and can allow you to do other things while pumping. Some moms like the continuous steady rhythm and like to not pay attention to their pump and respond even better.
8. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
No matter what breast pump you choose having support around you is a key to a successful breastfeeding relationship with your baby. At Santé Mama we are here to help you make that experience all that it can be. Whether mother chooses to breastfeed, bottle feed or a combination, it is our mission to support mothers and their babies through all stages of feeding by offering support around your breast pump, lactation services, and free lactation support groups.