Free Breast Pump for Nursing Mothers

January 29, 2013
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I was one of those lucky nursing mothers in that I had no trouble breastfeeding my two daughters. I was also lucky because I was able to nurse both of my babies until each reached her first birthday.

Even though we had a nanny helping out part time and I worked–and traveled much of the first year of my second daughter’s life, promoting my books–I was able to continue nursing thanks to my breast pump.

In my mind investing more than $100 in a breast pump was well worth the money. It allowed my daughters to “eat” for free for that first year and me to keep working and earning money.

Turns out if I were going to have more children–and trust me, that is so not in the plans now that my daughters are in high school–I wouldn’t have to pay to secure new breastfeeding supplies. That’s because breast pumps and other breastfeeding essentials are now free, thanks to the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. Here is what the provision says about free breastfeeding supplies:

Comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment.

Granted, I bought my breast pumps and this insurance coverage is for the renting of equipment. But, free is free.

My only question: for how long is this rental covered? I would hope that this legislation goes along with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ breastfeeding recommendation for at least six months of exclusive nursing.

According to this Washington Post article “The Breast Pump Industry is Booming, Thanks to Obamacare,” breast pump rentals have always been free to Medicaid recipients in 31 states, and many insurance companies choose to cover these costs for its plan members before the Affordable Care Act was put into place. Now it is available to everyone.

I know that a lot of people have issues with the women’s health coverage requirements of Obamacare. However, I would think that this freebie for breast pumps would be one that everyone could agree was a really good idea–good for baby, and good for a family’s budget.

Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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