Breastfeeding and Breast Pumps

 

When welcoming a new baby, one of the most natural things to consider is feeding. Should I breastfeed or bottle feed? If I breastfeed, how will I get milk to my baby when I go back to work? Which breast pump should I use? Can I get a breast pump through my insurance?

These are just some of the questions you may find yourself asking. In this article, we address some of these basic questions to help you prepare for this new chapter in your life.

 

Why breastfeed?

There are many benefits associated with breastfeeding beyond the natural closeness it provides between a mother and child. Several of these benefits are health-related and promote better health for both mother and baby.1 When direct feeding is not an option, pumping provides an alternative method of getting milk to your baby.

Benefits for mother:

  • Breastfeeding releases hormones that promote mothering behavior
  • Helps burn calories
  • Reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer
  • Promotes bone health

 

Benefits for baby:

  • Breast milk is easier for the baby to digest and provides all the nutrients, calories and fluids a baby needs to be healthy
  • Breast milk contains substances not found in formula that helps protect against disease and infection, including ear infections, pneumonia and other bacterial and viral infections, such as meningitis
  • Breast milk helps with growth and development of organs

 

Choosing a breast pump: Manual or electric?

There are two main types of breast pumps available on the market: manual and electric. According to Michelle Zevgolis, RN and Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, each type has its benefits, so choosing a breast pump can come down to personal preference and your needs. The below chart examines some typical pros and cons for both manual and electric breast pumps, as outlined by Michelle.

Manual Breast Pumps

Pros: Cons:
  • Good for severe engorgement
  • Provides relief between or after feed
  •  Small and lightweight 
  • Can provide erratic suction
  • Monotonous suction does not follow a baby’s natural feeding pattern
  • Can be difficult to illicit sufficient let down to fully empty the breast
  • Can become tiring

 

Electric Breast Pumps

Pros: Cons:
  • Vacuum cycling pattern produces suction that closely follows a baby’s natural feeding pattern
  • Compressive force stimulates better let down, producing more flow and increased milk supply
  • Good for the busy mom and moms going back to work, as well as NICU moms
  • Don’t require a lot of effort
  • Can be more expensive
  • Suction can be set too strong which can cause damage to nipples (education is key)
  • An incorrectly sized flange can cause nipple damage
  • Can be cumbersome and time-consuming to clean and sterilize

 

How to get a breast pump through your insurance

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, the Affordable Care Act expands coverage for women’s health to preventative services, as well as “breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling in conjunction with each birth.”2 

There are several factors an insurance company may consider and/or require before approving coverage of a breast pump, including, but not limited to: 3

  • When the pump is to be received (whether before or after birth)
  • Whether the covered pump is manual or electric
  • Whether the breast pump is purchased or rented
  • The length of a rental period

 

Breast pumps offered through McKesson

 

Medela

Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump Starter Set

 

 

Pump In Style Advanced Tote or Backpack

Freestyle Breastpump

 

  • Compact double electric pump in black microfiber bag
  • Patented 2-Phase Expression technology
  • Automatic transition from stimulation to expression phase after two minutes
  • One-touch let-down button allows for more efficient pumping
  • Adjustable speed/vacuum control
  • Capable of single and double pumping
  • Includes double pumping kit with two medium breastshields, two breastmilk  bottles, lids and power adaptor
  • Microfiber tote (# 57063) or backpack (# 57062), both with integrated double electric pump
  • Patented 2-Phase Expression technology
  • Automatic transition from stimulation to expression phase after two minutes
  • One-touch let-down button allows for more efficient pumping
  • Adjustable speed/vacuum control
  • Capable of single and double pumping
  • Includes removable cooler bag, contoured ice pack, double pumping kit with four breastmilk bottles, lids, two PersonalFit™ breastshields, battery pack and A/C adaptor
  • Microfiber tote bag with integrated double electric pump and hands-free configuration
  • Lightweight digital display with memory button, timer and backlight
  • Patented 2-Phase Expression technology
  • One-touch let-down button allows for more efficient pumping
  • Adjustable speed/vacuum control
  • Capable of single and double pumping
  • Includes removable cooler bag, contoured ice pack, double pumping kit with four breastmilk bottles, lids, two sets of PersonalFit™ breastshields, hands-free accessory kit, rechargeable

 

 

How to order your breast pump through McKesson

When ordering your breast pump, McKesson Patient Care Solutions representatives can help advise which pumps are covered by various insurance plans and even help obtain the necessary paperwork and bill your insurance carrier on your behalf. Our representatives are available to:

  • Explain our breast pump product selection and which accessories are available at an additional charge
  • Advise which breast pump your insurance plan will pay for and answer questions about your coverage
  • Arrange delivery of the pump to you with free standard shipping**

 

Be sure to check out the MPCS Breast Pump Program and breast pump brochure for additional information. 

Please call MPCS at 844.PCS.MOMS (844.727.6667) to speak to a representative about our product offering and your insurance coverage Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. or Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

 

 

Sources:

*Contingent upon the requested product being a covered benefit under the customer’s insurance plan.
**Shipping is contingent upon receiving product authorization from the insurance payer.
Sources:
1: HealthyChildren.org. Why Breastfeed. November 21, 2015. Retrieved from: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Why-Breastfeed.aspx 
2: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
3: Healthcare.gov. Health Benefits & Coverage: Breastfeeding Benefits. Retrieved from: https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/breast-feeding-benefits/
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