Whether you’re going back to work, hoping for a date night, or just need a break from those middle of the night feedings, having a breast pump on hand is important. Even if you’re planning on being a stay-at-home mom, you’ll be thankful you have a pump should the need arise. Breast pumps can help you increase your milk supply, build a freezer stash in case of emergency, or help with painful clogged ducts. A pump is a must. Unfortunately, breast pumps can be ridiculously expensive. But did you know that you can probably score a free breast pump through your health insurance provider?
How to Score a Free Breast Pump
Here’s how to get a free breast pump in order to take a small break from your infant and give your body a chance to relax. You’ve earned it.
Research Potential Breast Pumps
Look into what type of breast pump you’d like to purchase. Different brands will have different benefits. If you’ll be traveling to work, you may want a smaller pump that easily fits into your purse. Also, if you’ll be pumping often, you may want a pump with fewer parts that need to be washed. If you’ll only be pumping when you’re planning a date night, a larger pump with more power might do the trick. Look into brands and come up with one or two pumps you’d be happy with before contacting your insurance to make sure they’re covered.
Check on the Specifics of Your Free Breast Pump Plan
First things first—contact your insurance. Although the Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to provide breast pumps through their plans, there are some limitations. Companies may only cover certain parts of your pump, or a pump from a certain store. They also may have an upper-level price limit, depending on what brand of pump you’re looking to purchase. Make sure to get the lowdown before you start shopping. If your insurance only covers the physical pump, don’t worry—most pumping parts are available for pretty cheap.
Where to Get Your Free Breast Pump
Once you’ve made sure your insurance will cover a particular kind of pump, find out where you can get yours from. Some companies will allow you to go to a retail store like Target or Walmart and simply submit a receipt. But others will require you to go to a medical supply company, for which they’ll supply you a link. Some of the more popular companies include Byram Healthcare, Lucina, or Aeroflow Breastpumps.
When to Get Your Free Breast Pump
What about a timeframe? Once again, different insurance plans will have different requirements. If you can get your pump before your baby is born, do it—it’s just one less thing to worry about during those stressful newborn times. Plus, on day 3 when your breasts are engorged and painful, it’s nice to at least know you have the option of pumping. But some plans will only allow you to purchase one within 60 or 30 days of your due date.
Questions to Ask Regarding Your Free Breast Pump
When you are talking to your insurance company here are some handy questions to have ready so that you get all the information you need to get your free breast pump.
- What’s the usual process you recommend for purchasing a pump?
- Which brands of pumps are covered?
- Which suppliers or retail locations are covered under my insurance?
- Is there a specific model or package I need to purchase for it to be fully covered?
- Can I purchase an out-of-network pump for a reimbursement?
- Do I need to wait for a prescription or pre-approval?
- When can I buy my pump? Can I do it today, or do I need to wait until my baby is born? Is there a time limit after my baby arrives as to when I need to purchase my pump?
- If you require me to go to a medical supplier, can you call them and see if they offer the type of pump I’m looking for?
If you have a hard time figuring out how to use your pump and can’t quite get the hang of things, consult a certified lactation consultant. Being able to pump can feel like a Godsend after you’ve been up four times a night with a newborn and are desperate to hand off one of those nighttime feedings.
Accessories you will need for your Breast Pump:
To go along with your free breast pump, don’t forget to purchase, thrift, or borrow:
- Milk storage bags: Grab packages of milk storage bags to freeze your milk and build up a supply.
- A tote bag: If you’ll be going to work and your pump doesn’t fit in your typical workbag, a stylish tote bag makes for easy transportation
- Bottle cleaners: Washing bottles and pumping parts can be tricky due to all the nooks and crannies, but it’s important to get them as sanitized as possible. Tools specific to baby bottle cleaning can be helpful.
Don’t forget—just like breastfeeding, pumping in public is legal in all 50 states. And with your free breast pump, it just became easier than ever. Happy pumping!
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PIN FOR LATER: HOW TO SCORE A FREE BREAST PUMP