Despite the fact that breastfeeding was designed as the perfect way to nourish your baby, doing so with the proper tools and support still requires some planning. And as insurance providers adjust to changes in breastfeeding insurance coverage with the launch of the Affordable Care Act, advanced preparation has become even more important. Here’s your step-by-step guide for how to do so.
Your first trimester
Congratulations! You’re pregnant, and are swirling with exciting emotions and nerve-wracking questions. As you do everything from contemplate baby names to devise a new baby check list, it’s also the time to start thinking about how you’ll feed your baby. The decision is an important one, so educate yourself about the benefits of breastfeeding for both your baby and you.
Your second trimester
Now that you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby, you’ll want to start researching quality breast pump options that meet your lifestyle and needs. Click here to learn more about how to find the best breast pump for you. After deciding on the breast pump you want, the next step is to find out what types of pumps your insurance plan offers. Even if you don’t agree with their options, you have a voice! Most healthcare providers are willing to work with customers to help you get your pump of choice, though you may have to pay to upgrade if the pump is more expensive.
Also, a tip from mums who’ve been there: A breast pump is an essential tool for breastfeeding mums, and you should have the one that you feel will work best for you. So even if your insurer won’t supply the pump you want, add it to your registry anyway. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
Your third trimester
Your baby is almost here! Now that you’ve spoken with your healthcare provider to find out which pump you’re eligible for, you’re probably eager to get the pump home and into your little one’s nursery as soon as possible. Find out from your insurer whether or not you can get your pump before your baby is born. Even if you have to wait until after you’ve given birth, it’s a smart idea to start looking into where you’ll need to go to get your pump. Use Medela’s locator tool to find a list of suppliers that offer insurance-covered breast pumps, including Medela models.
Your first week postpartum
Congratulations, you’re a mum! Most likely, you’re soaking up every minute with your newborn and swimming in pure bliss. You’re also getting a crash-course in Parenting 101: How to change a diaper,how to give your baby a bath and of course, how to breastfeed. Learning things like latching on and breastfeeding pain relief might seem like a challenge at first, but don’t worry! You will get the hang of it—and if you need support, there’s plenty of it: Speak with an insurance-covered lactation consultant, or turn to tips and solutions from reputable sources. Finally, if your insurance plan doesn’t supply your breast pump until you’ve given birth, now’s also the time to finally pick up your breast pump from your designated supplier.
3 months and beyond
You’re practically a pro at feeding and caring for an infant. If you’ve recently gone back to work or are preparing to do so in the near future, you might start reaching for your breast pump much more frequently. And while balancing a job with feeding your baby can be challenging at first, it’s something you will absolutely learn to handle. Click here for more tips and advice on going back to work while breastfeeding.