Friday, July 26, 2013

Free Breastpump! How to Get your Breastpump Covered by Insurance

     When the Affordable Care Act was enacted, insurance companies were required to cover breast pumps for new moms at 100%.  There are a few grandfathered policies that are exceptions, but this is a very small percentage so it would benefit any new mom to use this information to pay for her breast pump. 
     This coverage is under preventative care so you should not need a prescription from your doctor.  There may be some stipulations mandated by your particular insurance company so you will want to get that information from them.  For example, some insurance companies are stipulating that only one breast pump will be covered every three years.  In that case, you will want to purchase a pump like the Hygeia EnJoye Breast Pump that has a three year warranty over a Medela Pump In Style that only has a one year warranty.

Use these steps to get started:
1.  Call your insurance company and ask the following questions:
     A.  Is a breast pump covered under my policy?  What type?  Is there a three year limit?
     B.  Do I have to buy from an "in network provider"?  If so, where do I get the list?
     C.  If not, can I buy from a DME and then submit my receipt for reimbursement?  If so, how soon will I see reimbursement?

2.  If you must go through a network provider, call the ones on the list and ask for the breast pump of your choice.  If they do not have the breast pump in stock or the time frame to receive one is too long, call the insurance company back and ask them about GAP coverage.  GAP coverage allows you to buy out of network and then file for reimbursement if the providers do not have what you need.

3.  If the insurance company allows you to buy out of network, give us a call at 800-216-8151.  We will provide you with our DME information and the breast pump insurance codes needed.  Giving this info to your insurance company before they receive your receipt for reimbursement speeds up the reimbursement process.  Once the insurance company has this information, you can buy your pump directly from us on the phone or online at  Your package will arrive within 3-10 days.  Once you receive your package, you will use the enclosed receipt to file for reimbursement.  The receipt will contain the insurance codes needed for reimbursement of a breast pump and breastfeeding supplies such as additional parts, storage bottles and bags, etc.

For more information of the Affordable Care Act and Breast Pump Insurance Coverage, follow this link:

If you need advice on which breast pump is right for you, please give us a call at 800-216-8151.

Happy Pumping!
Tanya Roberts, Owner
Lactation Connection

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Supplementing the Breastfed Baby: Lactation Aid Feeding Tubes vs Supplemental Nursing System & Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer

     In my practice as a board certified lactation consultant, there were times when it was medically necessary to supplement.  Whether it was due to a poor suck or mismanaged milk supply, we need options when recovering from these issues and getting back to breastfeeding.  Many times, I would recommend finger-feeding with a syringe to keep moms from using a bottle nipple.  I would have rather recommended a Supplemental Nursing System which has a container with tubes that runs to the breast; but I didn't want to see mom spending the extra money when her budget was so tight.  At that time, the only options were the Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) by Medela and the Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer.   These cost mom $50 or more and had small tubes to be cleaned which were cumbersome.   Now, with more options available, Moms can use a short-term feeding tube which accomplishes the same thing and can be cleaned for a few days before disposing of it.  It is a small investment in comparison to the commercial systems.  While moms who are adopting babies and inducing lactation, rather than just building milk supply may still want a commercial unit; the Lactation Aid Feeding Tubes are the best course for the short term situation.  Thanks to IBCLC, physician and lactivist, Dr Jack Newman videos and instructions are available for using these feeding tubes.  You simply cut a slightly larger hole into a bottle nipple.  Insert the adapter end into the bottle and feed the tube into the babies mouth while he is latched on.  You may also use medical tape if you prefer to have the tube in place prior to latch.  These can be purchased from the International Breastfeeding Center in Canada, but due to the long ship time of up to three weeks, we have added them to our selections at Lactation Connection.  Sold in a two pack for under $10, these will last up to two weeks while mom is re-establishing milk supply or training a baby with a weak suck.  Each tube is in an individual sterile pack ready to use.  Instructions are included with the feeding tubes when purchased here:
     Dr. Jack Newman also has a helpful instructional video on YouTube.  I encourage you to view it and encourage lactation consultants and breastfeeding counselors to recommend and use these feeding tubes for short term situations of supplementation.
     It is also important to recognize the appropriate amount of supplementation.  Always assess milk supply first, then only give the difference of what mom is producing and the actual need of the baby.  This is to say that you supplement not how much the baby will drink, but the need of a baby of that weight.  Here is a link to a chart for appropriate milk intake to show how much to feed per pound of body weight:  For example, a 7lb baby who is older than 6 days needs 2.25oz eight times per day.  If mom is making 1.25, then the appropriate amount of supplementation is 1 oz. per feeding.  Contact you local lactation consultant for further instructions on supplementation or give us a call at 254-728-3627 9-5 M-F CST. 

Lactation Aid Images: