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Breastfeeding and Breast Pumps

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:

  • Good for severe engorgement
  • Provides relief between or after feeds
  • Small and lightweight

Cons:

  • 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:

  • 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  

Cons:

  • 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 free 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

  • A prescription from a healthcare provider
  • 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

Brand and model eligibility may vary by health plan.

Ameda

Personal Manual Breast Pump

Ameda Personal Manual Breast Pump

Purely Yours Dual Electric Personal Breast Pump

Ameda Purely Yours Electric Breast Pump

  • Compact manual pump allows multi-phase pumping
  • Swivel grip helps to reduce muscle fatigue
  • Capable of pumping directly into any standard milk storage bottle or freezer bag         
  • Portable double electric pump with power cord employs closed system to prevent milk or moisture from entering pump tubing
  • Custom control speed and suction dials
  • Includes two milk bottles, standard flanges and AC adapter
Medela

Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump Starter Set

 

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Starter Set

Pump In Style Advanced Tote or Backpack

Medela Advanced Pump In Style Tote Backpack

Freestyle Breast Pump

 

 

Medela Freestyle Breast Pump

  • 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 Lithium ion battery and A/C adaptor/charger

How to order your free breast pump through McKesson

When ordering your breast pump, McKesson Patient Care Solutions Product Specialists 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 Product Specialists 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
  • Obtain the necessary paperwork (including prescriptions) and bill your insurance carrier on your behalf*
  • Arrange delivery of the pump to you with free standard shipping**

breast pump, order breast pump, free breast pump from insurance

*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/    
    

Be advised that information contained herein is intended to serve as a useful reference for informational purposes only and is not complete clinical information. This information is intended for use only by competent healthcare professionals exercising judgment in providing care. McKesson Medical-Surgical cannot be held responsible for the continued currency of or for any errors or omissions in the information. If any condition noted in these informational guidelines persists or worsens, reassess condition and determine whether further or different treatment is required.

The product information contained in this document, including the product images and additional product materials, was collected from various supplier sources. All product claims and specifications are those of the product suppliers, not McKesson Medical-Surgical or its affiliates ("McKesson") and have not been independently verified by McKesson. McKesson is not responsible for errors or omissions in the product information.

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Due to product changes, information listed in this document is subject to change without notice. This information is placed solely for your convenience in ordering and McKesson disclaims all responsibility for its completeness and accuracy, whether or not the inaccuracy or incompleteness is due to fault or error by McKesson.

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