To help new mothers store all the breast milk they need to feed their little ones, your plan may cover the purchase of a standard manual or electric breast pump with a doctor’s prescription.
Why use a breast pump?
The biggest perk to pumping is the greater flexibility you get when you’ve stocked up on milk, because instead of having to feed your baby every few hours like clockwork, you can pass bottle duties on to a partner or family. You can also feed your baby breast milk in public without worrying about finding a comfortable space or privacy.
Pumping also helps to maintain your milk supply, relieve uncomfortable pressure in engorged breasts (but be careful; over-pumping can make things worse), and help out your baby if he or she can’t quite latch on yet. Just remember that most pediatricians recommend waiting two to three weeks after birth to introduce a bottle if you plan on breastfeeding, as it can interfere with successful nursing.
How to get a breast pump
Follow these steps to get your pump.
- Get a prescription: You’ll need a prescription from your provider to order a pump.
- Contact a participating vendor: Find out which vendors are covered within your network, and decide which type works best for you and your family. Coverage of breastfeeding equipment requires prior authorization.
- Order your pump: When you find one that your plan covers and that works for you, you can take the (well-informed) leap and order a pump by phone or online from a participating durable medical equipment vendor. Some vendors will mail the pump directly to your home.
To review the specifics of your health plan, find a doctor or pharmacy, download a digital ID card, and much more, log into your secure account. You can also call Member Services at the number on the back of your health plan ID card (TTY: 711).