Breastfeeding is more than just a choice or lifestyle option–it’s responsible healthcare. Dr. Arthur I. Eidelman, former president of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, told Reuters, “It must be emphasized that breastfeeding should not be conceived as a lifestyle choice of the mother but rather as a basic and priority health decision that each mother must make and thus it is critical to create a supportive environment for this decision process.”
Further, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the exclusive breastfeeding of babies is highly recommended for the first six months of life their lives, and should be continued until the first year even with the introduction of other foods. That’s why it is important that you can pump so that you always have plenty of supply whether you can be there to feed your baby in person or have someone else feed him or her breast milk.
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Moms Can Now Use Breast Pumps in the Workplace
Under the Affordable Care Act, working moms are now given the support for lactation that they deserve. Specifically, the provision states that employers must provide adequate time and space in the workplace for new moms to collect milk until their babies turn a year old.
New moms should be able to pump milk in a clean and private space, separate from the bathroom. With this new provision in place, moms can provide milk for their babies even if they decide to go back to the workplace.
This issue is largely an American one, because all other industrialized countries have been in support of breastfeeding for years. In fact, they have paid maternity leaves reaching up to a year.
Overview on the Affordable Care Act for Pregnant and Lactating Mothers
Obama’s healthcare law or what is referred to as the Patient Protection or Affordable Care Act – signed into law by President Barack Obama – boasts of breastfeeding benefits for moms. It even covers breastfeeding support, equipment, and counseling for pregnant and nursing moms.
This new law covers all health insurance plans such as Health Insurance Marketplace Plans with the exception of grandfathered plans. This provides preventive health benefits made affordable and accessible to all women in the United States.
For breast pumps, the insurance coverage takes care of the purchasing costs. Otherwise, it would cost hundreds of dollars for a personal or rented one.
The health insurance plan has detailed guidelines pertaining to breast pumps. Some examples are: the specific schedule that hospitals would be able to provide breast pumps, on whether the mother will be provided with a electric or manual breast pump, and the specific time limits of rented breast pumps. Breastfeeding counseling and support is also provided during pregnancy and the postnatal period.
It is recommended for mothers to consult a physician about the breastfeeding equipment that best suits their needs. Most health insurance plans require consultation with a physician regarding breastfeeding requirements, and require a pre-authorization letter before providing medical services.
Make Breast Pumps All About You
Here are some of the specifications and features that you need to check out when looking for the healthy and perfect fit of your breast pumps:
Types of Breast Pumps
Do you prefer manual or electric breast pumps? If you are a stay-at-home mom, you can use a manual pump. However, if you are returning to work or have to be away for extended hours each day, you will most likely need the electric one.
Costs of Breast Pumps
With the Obama Affordable Care Act, costs of breast pumps are now fully covered by the provision – whether you decide to buy a new one or rent. Breast pumps are usually bought over-the-counter in medical supply stores, baby stores, and drugstores nationwide. It is also relatively safe to use rented hospital-grade breast pumps.
Cleaning and Storage
Make sure that you buy breast pumps that can easily be assembled and cleaned. Make sure you find one which is user-friendly. Look for lightweight breast pumps with insulated storage cases that you can easily carry, especially if you are a working mom.
Check if the suction levels can be easily adjusted for ease and comfort. If you are using an electric breast pump, make sure that the suction levels and speed can be adjusted.
Breast Shield Sizes
The breast shields refer to the cone cups that fit your nipples. It is important that they are comfortable to wear and accurate to your size, just like a bra. If the breast shields don’t fit, they could either fall off or pinch while pumping.
Many women prefer getting both electrical and manual breast pumps in case of power failure. You just need to look for the right breast pump that will provide you the comfort and efficiency that you need to continue breastfeeding your baby. It is always best to seek the advice and recommendation of a lactation consultant when deciding what breast pump is most appropriate for your needs.
To help you get started, check out these top 3 bestseller and most popular breast pumps featured in Amazon and other shopping websites online:
Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump+Bra
A clear favorite with working and stay-at-home moms with 4.7/5 stars on the Amazon website (and their #1 seller), the Simple Wishes hands-free breastpump+bra was invented by four sisters. As they reached motherhood, they challenged themselves to create solutions for mothers who could not breastfeed regularly, but still wanted to make sure their babies got the necessary immunities and nutrients from their mothers’ milk.
This particular breast pump is an electric double-breast pump. An eighty-three percent cotton, seventeen percent spandex velcro-adjustable bra is zipped in the front, with independent openings for each breast. When you want to draw milk, simply attach the containers to the breasts through the openings, pull the flaps up to hold the pumps in place, and begin pumping. The best part is, if you already have a breast pump but need a way to pump without having to hold it, you can purchase the bra independently.
Don’t believe how awesome it is? Just listen to these reviews:
“Being able to use both my hands while pumping is wonderful. I am able to hold my baby girl as well and for me since I also work full time being able to hold my baby and pump when I get home and in turn it saves time.” – Rebecca K., on the Simple Wishes website
“I look forward to continuing to be able to feed my baby [breast] milk for many more months with the help of this bra and being able to pump in comfort while at work.” – Arlene O., on the Simple Wishes website
“I pump three times a day Monday-Friday while I’m at work. It allows me to use the double pump and is really hands free.” – R. Harpole on Amazon
“I consider this item in my CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT category. I don’t understand why this bra is not sold in every baby store, right next to the pump.” – user musicandy6909 on Amazon
The Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breastpump
With 4.5/5 stars on Amazon, the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breastpump follows closely on the heels of the Simple Wishes kit. Designed by a Swiss company of the Larsson family devoted to the promotion of natural approaches to medicine and other health-related concerns, Medela was the first to create a program that allowed lactating mothers to pump milk in the workplace for their newborns.
The Medela Pump in Style breastpump is an electric double-breast pump. It is beautifully portable, with three kit options that resemble simple shoulder-bags, hand-bags, or backpacks. It’s designed for easy daily use, even if the mother uses it several times a day. It only needs 8 AA batteries to work, and has an ice pack and space for four milk bottles. This makes it ideal for the working mother.
But why believe us? Let’s ask the reviews.
“I am a mother of 4 month old twins. It can be challenging breastfeeding twins. I wouldn’t be able to do it without my pump.” – April Wesselman, on the Medela website
“While I was on maternity leave, my pump allowed me to stock pile milk to help me with my transition back to work. Now that I’m back to work full time, my freestyle pump allows me to express milk quickly and efficiently so I know my daughter can get the best thing for her.” – Erin, on the Medela website
“This is one powerful little machine! I would definitely recommend this. Going back to work full time, I knew I needed a good pump–this is perfect!” – Hope, on Amazon
“Excellent pump! This thing is a lifesaver. I use it everyday multiple times a day and it doesn’t give up. I’ve had it for a month now and love it. Its also easy to clean and store.” – Ashley, on Amazon
The Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump
Rating 4.6/5 on Amazon, the Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump is third most popular on that site. Also founded by a Swiss Company, engineer Einar Egnell committed to setting standards for breast pumps, so that mothers would get quality care no matter what they bought.
The Ameda Breast Pump is an electric, double-breast pump. One advantage that this breast pump has is flexibility: not only can it be plugged in, but it can run on batteries or be hooked up to the car if needed. It is also custom-designed to feel as natural as possible while the mother is pumping her milk. However, it does not have the no-hands feature of the Simple Wishes breast pump, or the easy-to-carry kit of the Medela pump.
Let’s see what the reviewers have to say.
“First try, WOW! it was very comfortable and I couldn’t wait to tell my husband how much I like it already! No regret buying this machine at all.” – Y.Y. Chang, on Amazon
“This is great for Mom to use while at work. Just roll into the car and pump away. Works out super for the professional Mom who can’t pump in the office and has to use the car.” – user A. Gift For You on Amazon
“I love having this on hand in my car. As a working mom it’s not always 100% guarantee that I will be going straight home after work or just when I’m running around doing errands I can just take a few minutes to pull over and make sure I don’t go too long without pumping.” – Lyzeth Gomez, on Amazon
Choosing the Best Electric Breast Pump For You
Before you get an electric breast pump, study which one would be ideal for your needs. If you are a stay-at-home or a work-at-home mom, the Simply Wishes breast pump might be ideal because it leaves your hands free to hold your baby, wash the dishes, or even just rest with a good magazine. This is also ideal because it only has a power cord, cannot be used in the car, and it might be difficult to use in the work place.
If you are a working mother based outside your home, it might be better to get the Medela breast pump. Easy to carry, and packaged so well that it does not look like a breast pump from the outside, it’s a good choice for a working mother sitting in one office all day, and only taking breaks to pump milk. The ice pack and milk bottle storage function is perfect for bringing milk home to your baby. It can also be battery-run at a pinch.
If you are a mother who is always on the move, in marketing or real estate or any related job, the Ameda has an additional function that will help you: the provision for a car adapter. If you are often on the road, moving from one place to another several times a day (or if your car trips are relatively long), use the Ameda to make sure that even on the go, your breastmilk will reach your baby.
Getting the right breast pump is a good investment for you and your baby’s health. You cannot take a risk or go cheap with your baby’s nourishment needs. The Obama Affordable Care Act on providing breast pumps for lactating moms is definitely a huge boost of support for moms who are well aware of the benefits of breastfeeding, and are willing to go the extra mile to provide the best nourishment for their infants. This Act has provided the essential and supportive platform that moms need to encourage breastfeeding for generations to come.
There is a breast pump for every type of mother – whether you are working in the corporate world, running a business, or a multitasking stay-at-home mom. There should be no excuses for not being able to breastfeed your baby. No mom is too busy to breastfeed. Even in a busy, competitive, and chaotic world – babies are every mom’s top priority.