Author: Autumn Ware

premium breast pump and insurance

Should I upgrade to a premium breast pump like Elvie or Spectra S1?

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all new moms are entitled to a breast pump. According to Healthcare.Gov:

Health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. These services may be provided before and after birth… Your health insurance plan must cover the cost of a breast pump.

However, which breast pumps your plan will cover may vary, as noted below from the same site:

It may be either a rental unit or a new one you’ll keep. Your plan may have guidelines on whether the covered pump is manual or electric, the length of the rental, and when you’ll receive it (before or after birth).

Most plans will cover the cost of a double-electric breast pump, and many breast pump manufacturers offer qualifying pumps, including Medela, Ameda, and Spectra. On the other hand, many premium pumps are not covered fully by healthcare, though you can purchase them at a fraction of the cost using your healthcare credit.

What are the benefits of premium pumps?

For many moms, a standard double-electric pump will do the job. They may not be as convenient for moms who are on the go, however. Premium pumps often offer features that make pumping easier and more comfortable, for example, wearable hubs, wireless motors, and even smart technology. Take a look at some of these premium pumps to get a better understanding of what your upgrade means in terms of added benefits.

Elvie Double Electric Breast Pump

Dubbed “the world’s first silent wearable breast pump,” the Elvie Pump eliminates cleaning tubes and charging wires. The hubs fit in your bra and are controllable by a remote, giving you complete freedom to pump and go.

Note: While the Elvie Pump is considered a premium pump, the Elvie Stride offers many of the same perks while also being covered by most health plans.

Spectra S1 Double Electric Hospital Strength Breast Pump

The silent, portable Spectra S1 Hospital Grade Double Electric Breast Pump offers 300mmHg suction, double pumping, and a massage mode to encourage speedy letdown. You can adjust both suction strength and cycle speed, and the pump even comes with a night light and timer.

BabyBuddha® Complete Kit

Another ground-breaking pump, the BabyBuddha maximizes freedom while minimizing hassle. You simply hang the compact pump around your neck using the lanyard for a totally hands-free pumping experience. It’s quiet, discreet, and comes with extra-soft cushions to prevent nipple soreness.

Your breast pump options are as unique as you.

Choosing the best breast pump for your situation ensures more successful pumping sessions. You’ll be more comfortable and more equipped to handle all of your other responsibilities if you have a pump suited to your lifestyle. In some cases, a standard double-electric pump will do. In others, investing in an upgrade can save time, money, and frustration down the line.

If you’re not sure which breast pump is right for you, get in touch with your friends at Milk N Mamas Baby for expert and compassionate guidance.

If you’re here, you probably already know the numerous benefits of breastmilk for newborns and babies. It’s the perfect nutrition for your infant, tailored precisely to their changing needs. However, not all babies take to breastfeeding. Some babies struggle with learning to latch while others, most notably pre-term babies and those with fragile health, may have difficulty sucking. One common breastfeeding challenge is called tongue-tie, which affects nearly 1 in 20 newborns. What is tongue-tie? Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, restricts the range of motion of a newborn’s tongue, causing breastfeeding difficulties. Infants use their tongue to draw in the nipple and areola while breastfeeding. Tongue-tied babies may be unable to secure a successful latch because their lingual frenulum, the band of tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is unusually short or tight. The following signs may indicate tongue-tie: • Tongue doesn’t stick out past gums • Tongue mobility is limited • Tip of the tongue may appear V-shaped or heart shaped when baby sticks it out What are the symptoms of tongue-tie? As you might expect, the chief symptom of tongue-tie is frustration. However, there are other signs that may indicate tongue-tie, including: • Chewing rather than sucking on the nipples • Inadequate weight gain • Unusually long feeding sessions • Fussiness during feeding Baby won’t be the only person suffering from tongue-tie. Moms may experience it as follows: • Painful breastfeeding • Sore or cracked nipples • Mastitis or engorged breasts What causes tongue-tie and how is it treated? Tongue-tie has been a source of medical mystery for centuries. To date, scientists are unsure exactly what causes it, but it does seem to be genetic. Furthermore, it affects male babies more frequently than females. There are two treatments for tongue-tie: frenotomy, a basic out-patient procedure in which the frenulum is clipped by a doctor, and frenuloplasty, which is necessary when the frenulum is too thick for a snip. The former rarely requires sedation, but the latter does. How does a breast pump ease the stress of tongue-tie? If your baby is tongue-tied, and you’re suffering as a result, you may be inclined to abandon breastfeeding. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on the health benefits of breastmilk. A breast pump allows you to have the best of both worlds. It prevents engorgement and mastitis while maintaining a healthy supply of breastmilk for baby. Talk with a lactation consultant and your baby’s pediatrician to get the best answers for your situation. Get in touch with Milk N Mamas Baby for the best advice on choosing a breast pump

Using a breast pump to provide breastmilk to a tongue-tied baby

If you’re here, you probably already know the numerous benefits of breastmilk for newborns and babies. It’s the perfect nutrition for your infant, tailored precisely to their changing needs. However, not all babies take to breastfeeding. Some babies struggle with learning to latch while others, most notably pre-term babies and those with fragile health, may have difficulty sucking. One common breastfeeding challenge is called tongue-tie, which affects nearly 1 in 20 newborns.

What is tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, restricts the range of motion of a newborn’s tongue, causing breastfeeding difficulties. Infants use their tongue to draw in the nipple and areola while breastfeeding. Tongue-tied babies may be unable to secure a successful latch because their lingual frenulum, the band of tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is unusually short or tight. The following signs may indicate tongue-tie:

  • Tongue doesn’t stick out past gums
  • Tongue mobility is limited
  • Tip of the tongue may appear V-shaped or heart shaped when baby sticks it out

What are the symptoms of tongue-tie?

As you might expect, the chief symptom of tongue-tie is frustration. However, there are other signs that may indicate tongue-tie, including:

  • Chewing rather than sucking on the nipples
  • Inadequate weight gain
  • Unusually long feeding sessions
  • Fussiness during feeding

Baby won’t be the only person suffering from tongue-tie. Moms may experience it as follows:

  • Painful breastfeeding
  • Sore or cracked nipples
  • Mastitis or engorged breasts

What causes tongue-tie and how is it treated?

Tongue-tie has been a source of medical mystery for centuries. To date, scientists are unsure exactly what causes it, but it does seem to be genetic. Furthermore, it affects male babies more frequently than females.

There are two treatments for tongue-tie: frenotomy, a basic out-patient procedure in which the frenulum is clipped by a doctor, and frenuloplasty, which is necessary when the frenulum is too thick for a snip. The former rarely requires sedation, but the latter does.

How does a breast pump ease the stress of tongue-tie?

If your baby is tongue-tied, and you’re suffering as a result, you may be inclined to abandon breastfeeding. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on the health benefits of breastmilk. A breast pump allows you to have the best of both worlds. It prevents engorgement and mastitis while maintaining a healthy supply of breastmilk for baby.

Talk with a lactation consultant and your baby’s pediatrician to get the best answers for your situation. Get in touch with Milk N Mamas Baby for the best advice on choosing a breast pump.

a cute baby girl drinking milk from a bottle

What is flow rate and why does it matter?

Milk flow rate is the rate that milk moves from a bottle nipple into an infant’s mouth during bottle-feeding. The faster a nipple’s flow rate, the more frequently your baby has to swallow. Most healthy, full-term babies are able to adapt their sucking technique to manage milk flow. Pre-term or medically fragile babies, on the other hand, may have trouble safely coordinating sucking, swallowing, and breathing during feeding. For those babies, a slower flow rate helps prevent milk from going down the wrong pipe.

A cautionary word about flow rate labels

Nipples are often labeled with flow rate descriptions like slow, medium, or fast. They may also be described by age range: preemie or newborn, for instance. Some nipples even promise a flow rate that ends lazy feeding or prevents colic. However, several studies have found that the actual milk flow rate often varies among brands and sometimes even within a brand. In other words, what counts as slow varies, even, in some cases, among nipples in the same pack. In addition, a label does not necessarily provide an accurate description of the numeric flow rate, which is what you really need to know if your baby is more medically vulnerable.

Flow rates based on age

It’s common for brands to label nipple levels by age range. Slower flow supports newborns as they learn to feed orally. It gives them time to get the hang of alternating between sucking, swallowing, and breathing. Faster flow rates ensure older babies who’ve got the hang of feeding (and who are way hungrier) don’t get frustrated. That being said, every baby has their own feeding style, and your baby’s style not fit the label. For example, some babies are perfectly content to use a “newborn” nipple for much longer than the label might suggest, while some little newborns pick up their pace faster than you’d expect and are ready for a faster flow sooner.

How do you know if your baby needs a faster flow rate?

Your baby will give you subtle signs when they’re ready for an upgrade on their nipple flow rate. Your baby might:

  • Become fussy, frustrated, or fidgety at mealtime
  • Fall asleep while eating
  • Take longer than usual to finish eating
  • Suck with more force than usual
  • Flatten the nipple
  • Eat less during feedings but get hungry soon after

How do you know if your baby needs a slower flow rate?

Babies also give you hints when the flow rate is too fast. Your baby might:

  • Drool or dribble milk
  • Cough, gulp, or choke
  • Push the bottle away
  • Lose eye contact
  • Look worried or stressed

Choosing a nipple flow rate for your health-compromised baby

Preterm infants and other medically fragile babies, especially those with respiratory disease and those with some kinds of congenital heart disease, are more vulnerable to aspiration. These infants have to become proficient at orally feeding before they’re released, so their first nipples will be provided by the hospital. However, it can be difficult to find these particular brands of nipples out in the real world. If your baby is medically fragile, it’s a good idea to speak to your baby’s doctor and to a lactation consultant to learn which readily available brands and styles they recommend.

Having trouble deciding on the right nipple for your baby’s bottles?

New moms have so many decisions to make these days, and even the little decisions are important to the health of your little one. At Milk N Mamas Baby, we’ve got experienced moms with lots of experience in medical equipment on hand to talk to you as you decide what’s best for your baby. Give us a call today if you’d like more information about choosing the best nipples for your baby’s bottles.

overhead view of cute baby with pacifier sleeping on bed with teddy bear

Pros and cons of using a pacifier while breastfeeding

The purpose of a pacifier is right in the name. It pacifies, or calms down, an unhappy or complaining baby. That makes this inexpensive little tool quite handy for new parents, especially those who may have a colicky baby. However, many breastfeeding moms worry that giving baby a pacifier might lead to breastfeeding challenges or other health problem. What does science say?

The Big Picture

Sucking is an instinct for newborns, but it takes time to perfect it. Babies and moms need a few weeks of practice to get the hang of best latching positions and ideal sucking techniques. Babies use a different sucking technique when using a pacifier or a bottle than when nursing at the breast, which can confuse babies as they learn the ropes. Introducing a pacifier or bottle during the early weeks of breastfeeding can cause some bad nursing habits or nursing frustrations for baby. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends waiting until baby is one month or older before introducing a pacifier to make sure baby has mastered breastfeeding.

Pacifier Pros

We don’t need a study to know that pacifiers give non-breastfeeding caregivers a tool for soothing newborns while mom takes a break. They also make travel, especially on planes and other public transportation, much more pleasant. You may be surprised to learn that there are science-backed benefits of thoughtful pacifier use, too.

  • Giving baby a pacifier at naptime and/or bedtime may reduce the risk of SIDS, according to the AAP.
  • A 2011 study of premature infants found that those who sucked a pacifier while listening to lullabies transitioned more successfully to oral feeding.
  • A 2016 study of pacifier-use after lactation is established did not shorten the duration of breastfeeding or reduce breast milk production.
  • A 2015 study found that pacifier-use can provide some relief for babies experiencing pain or discomfort related to colic, vaccinations, injury, medical procedures, or sickness.

Pacifier Cons

As with most choices we make as parents, whether to use a pacifier or not is complicated. Despite all the perks, they can be a breeding ground for germs. Weaning children from their binkies can be a huge emotional challenge if they’re very attached. Scientists have also found some potential medical problems related to pacifier use.

  • According to the AAP, introducing a pacifier too early can contribute to nipple confusion and lead to difficulties in latching. These issues can, in turn, create more serious problems for mom, like mastitis, and baby, like weight loss.
  • A 2013 study revealed that pacifier use, especially after six months, may lead to Acute Otitis Media (AOM), or ear infections.
  • A 2018 scientific review found evidence that pacifier sucking, especially long-term, can lead to orthodontic problems, most notably an anterior open bite and posterior crossbite.

Use pacifiers safely and thoughtfully for maximum benefit and minimum harm.

If you choose to use a pacifier, consider waiting until you and baby have gotten comfortable with your nursing routines. Keep the pacifier sanitized to avoid thrush and other bacterial infections, and choose a one-piece pacifier that is the proper size for your child to prevent the possibility of choking.

Friends celebrating new years eve

5 doable New Year’s resolutions for new mamas

The holidays can be a stressful time even when everything goes as planned. There’s a lot of pressure on new parents – a lot of it we put on ourselves. We want the holidays to be perfect for our little ones. We want to celebrate with friends and family. We want to give the perfect gifts and prepare memorable meals. All that wanting can leave you wanting to do nothing by the time the new year rolls through. So by the time you’re preparing to make resolutions, you may be wondering: Do I have to?

Of course not. The new year is just a time to give yourself a fresh start. It doesn’t need to be a time of added stress, especially when you’re probably already overwhelmed as a new mom coming off mid-winter festivities. So try these low key resolutions that are attainable, actionable, and sure to set the right tone for a new year you can enjoy.

I will enjoy the opportunity to rest when it arises.

Look, as a new mom – maybe a working mom or even a military mom – you’ve probably got a busy schedule. Being busy can begin to seem like “normal,” which can make you feel uncomfortable when you have down time. Shouldn’t you be doing something? Nope. When you have a minute to rest, mama, do it without guilt this year. You’ve more than earned it.

I will eat something healthy every day.

Let’s not make any grandiose diet plans or aspirational resolutions to prepare four-course heart-healthy meals every day. Dieting can leave you feeling deprived, and overpromising can lead to feeling guilty and deflated. Let’s settle for something more manageable this year. Eat something healthy every day: a piece of fresh fruit, a container of yogurt, just one little thing that gives your health a little boost and opens a doorway for more and more nutritional choices every day.

I will treat my body with the same love I show my baby.

Being a mom can quickly turn into sacrificing the little daily practices that keep you well – like bathing. Honey, we all know it. We’ve been there. Baby comes first, and by the time baby is satisfied, you’re too tired to even turn the shower knob much less scrub and dry off. But an unmade bed, dirty hair, wearing the same sweats for several days aren’t just signs of exhaustion, they’re also symptoms of depression. On the other hand, even teensy tiny efforts – a quick shower, fresh clothes, a short walk, a few minutes of meditation – can stave off feelings of exhaustion and depression.

I will set realistic expectations.

Having a baby changes what you’re able to do. After a few years, you may be twice or three times as productive as you were pre-baby because you will have adapted to new demands. But during the early days, keep your expectations a little lower than usual. Not just for yourself, but also for your helpers. Everyone has to adjust to a new baby, and while they’re adjusting everyone will be happier with more forgiving expectations.

I will ask for help when I need it.

This one can  be tricky, especially for independent moms, but as military mom Katie Fish said in a 2021 interview, “Don’t be afraid to accept help from others. Having a support system is such a blessing.” If you’re isolated or in a new place, like many military families, Katie recommends building community where you are – with co-workers, neighbors, community members, and even online groups where you can benefit from support and fellowship.

Happy New Year from Milk N Mamas Baby!

Don’t forget your friends at Milk N Mamas Baby when you’re looking for knowledgeable breastfeeding support. We can help you choose a comfortable pump stress-free and answer all of your questions about pumping and breastfeeding.

Caucasian blonde baby six months old lying on cozy knitted blanket at home Kid wearing green clothes

How breastfeeding protects children from obesity

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of obese children worldwide has increased ten-fold in the last four decades. The Pennsylvania Department of Health found that nearly 2 out of every 10 elementary school-age children in the state were considered obese during the 2017─2018 school year. Obesity should concern all parents because it’s related to other chronic health problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. Fortunately, breastfeeding can significantly reduce your child’s risk of obesity, especially when paired with other prevention strategies.

Exclusive breastfeeding provides the greatest protection against obesity.

The WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months to gain the greatest overall health benefits provided by breastmilk. A recent study found that exclusively breastfed infants have a 31% lower chance of developing obesity later in life. However, any breastfeeding at all will provide some protection.

How does breastfeeding prevent obesity?

Breast milk is the ideal form of nutrition for newborns, according to medical experts. Because it is created specifically for infants, it is easier to digest than formula and it provides exactly the nutrients your baby needs. In addition, breast milk is “controlled” by your baby’s appetite. Because breastfed babies are better able to regulate their food intake, they run a lower risk of obesity.

When does a newborn require solids?

Introducing solids or formula early increases the risk of childhood obesity and its associated risks later in life. It can also increase your child’s risk of developing food allergies. If you’re able to exclusively breastfeed your baby, she won’t need solids until she’s six months old.

Seek help when breastfeeding to get all the benefits your baby deserves.

The same study of Pennsylvania childhood obesity rates found that mothers who received support from profession lactation counselors were more likely to continue breastfeeding for the first six months. A lactation counselor can help you determine the best way to hold your baby and learn how to identify your baby’s feeding cues. She can also give you invaluable guidance and emotional support when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

We’re here when you need us.

For moms who have a difficult time breastfeeding or who must return to work, pumping can be a viable option to ensure that your baby gets all the nutritional and health benefits of breast milk. At Milk N Mamas Baby, our lactation experts can help you successfully navigate the early days of breastfeeding and pumping and ensure long-term success as well. We can help you choose a pump that maximizes both your comfort and your breastmilk production and offer tips to get you over the bumps. Give us a call today to learn more about the benefits of breast milk and how to incorporate pumping.

Home portrait of a newborn baby with mother on the bed. Mom holding and kissing her child. Concept breast feeding.

Natural remedies for cracked, sore nipples

If you’re a breastfeeding mom experiencing itchy, irritated, or even bleeding nipples, you’re not alone. A 2017 medical study showed that most moms experience sore nipples during their first months of breastfeeding. In a recent post, we talked about some of the common causes of nipple soreness and possible solutions.

However, there’s likely to be an adjustment period, no matter what you do, especially if this is your first time breastfeeding. A lanolin cream like the one in Medela Accessory Starter Set will soothe and rehydrate painful nipples. But if you have wool allergies, lanolin probably isn’t for you. Fortunately, there are some natural remedies for cracked, sore nipples.

Breastmilk

Your own breastmilk is full of antibodies that can prevent infection while relieving tenderness. It’s as easy as applying breastmilk to your nipple after a feeding and allowing it to dry. As wild as it may sound, one cure for sore nipples is breastmilk. Breastmilk contains antibodies that can prevent infection and soothe sore nipples. Gently apply breastmilk to your nipple and allow it to dry after each feeding.

Aloe Vera

A 2020 medical study showed that the anti-inflammatory and anti-infection herb aloe vera can improve nipple soreness considerably. It may even be more effective than breastmilk. An aloe plant is great to have in your kitchen anyway, as it can also help heal burns. Simply cut off a piece of aloe, slice the stem open, and apply the gel inside to your nipples. Allow to air dry as with breastmilk.

Olive Oil

Yes, there’s another ingredient in your kitchen that can help nipple soreness – olive oil. Actually, both olive oil and coconut oil have been shown to have positive effects on painful nipples, but olive oil appears to be slightly more effective. It’s also in more people’s cabinets, and it’s very affordable.

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, which can reduce irritated skin around the nipples. It can also prevent itching associated with inflamed and aggravated breasts.

Saline Soak

Some soreness is normal, but cracks and fissures should be minimum. If your nipples have been damaged, a saline soak of ½ teaspoon Epsom salt to 1 cup of warm water can offer some healing support. Soak nipples for five minutes twice a day for up to three days for maximum relief. Be sure to rinse and air dry after soaking.

Take care of you

Getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and eating healthy meals are all important to keeping your immune response in peak condition. That’s half the battle. Preventative measures like wearing absorbent breast pads and comfortable nursing bras are also important. Need to talk to someone about nipple pain caused by breastfeeding? We’re here for you. Give us a call.

Young mom with cute baby boy, mother breast feeds baby on bed, natural tones

Must-have accessories for breastfeeding moms

We’re hoping you’re spoiling the new mom in your life with dinners that she doesn’t have to cook and cozy pajamas that she’ll have plenty of time to sleep in. While you’re spoiling her, make sure her necessities are stocked up. If she’s planning to breastfeed, we recommend these must-have accessories to make her life easier and more comfortable.

Nursing Bras and Pumping Bustiers

A comfortable nursing bra is a must for nursing mothers. They provide support for tender breasts as well as easy, discreet access for breastfeeding babies. They also offer coverage and prevent leakage when nipples leak. If you’re pumping, you should also invest in a hands-free pumping bra like the Medela Easy Expression Bustier or the Simple Wishes Pumping Bra.

Tip: Wait until later in your third trimester to purchase a nursing bra or bustier. Your breast size will peak at around eight months and remain at that cup size for several months postpartum.

Nursing Pads

Nursing pads absorb leaks between feedings, keeping your bra and your nipples drier. This prevents irritation and promotes air flow to tender skin. Pads also provide a soft barrier to prevent your bra from rubbing sore, bruised nipples.

Tip: Medela Washable Nursing Pads can be tossed in with the laundry, saving on the cost of constantly replacing pads.

Nipple Cream

During the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for nipples to become more sensitive. Nursing can cause the tender skin to dry out, to become cracked and itchy, and sometimes to bleed. Over time, your body gets used to the new conditions, and your nipples will heal. During those first few weeks, though, a good nipple cream can ease your pain and speed up recovery.

Tip: You can get a 12 oz. tube of Medela Tender Care Lanolin for Tender Breasts PLUS disposable nursing bra pads, breastmilk bags, and more in the Medela Accessory Starter Set.

Totes

In some cultures, mothers stay in bed with their newborn for the first month or more to give both time to get to know one another and adjust to their new life together. That’s not the way here, though. Moms are up and at ‘em earlier than ever, and if that’s your plan, plan to be carrying a tote or two along with your new bundle of joy.

Tip: You can pick up stylish cooler bags, breast pump bags, and even bundles of bags in a variety of colors and patterns from Milk N Mamas Baby when you purchase your breast pump.

Portable Pump

If you’re going to be an on-the-go kind of mom, a portable pump is a must-have accessory. We love the hands-free Elvie Stride if you’re planning to pump while traveling, but it’s also great for pumping around the house, at work, or running errands. We’ve even seen women wearing the Stride on ski slopes!

Tip: If you’ve got an FSA/HSA card, you can use your funds to purchase a portable pump like the Stride or the lightweight BabyBuddha®  to compliment your normal use pump.

Pick up everything a breastfeeding mom needs at Milk N Mamas Baby

From pumps to accessories, at Milk N Mamas Baby, we’ve got everything you need for a comfortable breastfeeding and pumping experience. Give us a call to get started.

young mother in winter clothing holding baby

Nursing-friendly winter fashion tips for new moms

Going out into the world in the winter can be an undertaking under the best of circumstances. When you’re venturing out with a baby or a pump (or both), it’s especially tricky. We’ve got a few tips to help you weather the winter fashionably.

1. Dress in layers that make nursing easier.

This is true for anyone come wintertime. If you’re out and about when the temperatures drop, you’re also likely to be in and out of heated spaces. You’ll want to peel a layer or two off when you come inside to avoid overheating, especially if you’re prone to hot flashes. Yes, it happens. Nursing affects your hormones, and some breastfeeding moms run hot, even in winter.

In addition to being able to tailor your personal temperature, warm outer layers can make it easier and more comfortable to nurse or pump if you’re on a schedule. Lots of winter classics like cardigans and ranch coats allow you to swaddle your little one while you nurse, keeping you both warm and protected from the elements.

bundled up mom and baby at a Christmas tree farm2. Start with nursing specific clothes at the base layer.

While outer layers like sweaters and jackets lend themselves to easy breastfeeding, the layers closest to your body should be nursing specific items. Start with a comfortable nursing bra or, if your day will include more pumping than nursing, a hands-free bustier instead.

Then add a soft, versatile top like the Josephina tank by Ailana J in California. I love this flowing tank because the handkerchief hem makes it a natural for layering, the buttery French terry is super soft. Plus, Ailana J was founded by mama and milspouse Jeannine Brady, who also came up with the beautiful designs.

Josephina tank by Ailana J

Josephina tank by Ailana J

3. Accessorize for an extra layer of warmth and style.

Trendy blanket wraps and Pashmina shawls bring color and a little extra coziness to mom’s going out style. Plus, they make great cover for nursing sessions if you prefer a little privacy. Don’t forget a colorful cooler if you’re going to need to carry breastmilk storage bags or bottles. Even if it’s cold outside, breastmilk doesn’t hold up well to fluctuating temperatures, so it’s best to keep it on ice, so to speak, until you get back home.

Woman in warm woolen green check scarf or blanket and blue jeans with Autumn fallen leaves in her hands. Fall cosy mood lifestyle concept4. Moisturize!

Winter can be rough on anyone’s skin, but especially nursing women. Breastmilk is mostly water, and guess where that comes from? Since nursing makes you more susceptible to dehydration, your skin is also more likely to be dry. Add winter cold, and you could have some seriously dry skin. Remember to take especially good care of the skin of your breast and nipple to prevent irritation.

Can I use my FSA/HSA card to purchase a breast pump?

Can I use my FSA/HSA card to purchase a breast pump?

Many moms who call us about purchasing a breast pump have a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) or Healthcare Savings Account (HSA). They want to know if they can use their FSA or HSA cards to cover expenses related to nursing and breast pumps. Good news! Milk N Mamas Baby does take FSA and HSA cards, and you can use them for a lot more than you might imagine.

Backup Breast Pumps

Breast pumps are 100% covered by health insurance in the United States thanks to the ACA. However, in most cases, only one pump is covered per birth. Fortunately, pumps are also FSA/HSA eligible. That means you could use some of your funds to invest in a second pump to use at work, so you don’t have to haul your primary pump back and forth. You could pick up a sleek, portable pump like the Elvie Stride or a manual pump as a backup for road trips and other times when a breast pump malfunction might leave you swollen and desperate to pump.

Upgraded Breast Pumps

While most breast pumps are 100% covered, some premiums pumps like the Elvie Pump or the Spectra S1 are not. With your FSA/HSA card, you can upgrade to a premium pump that isn’t 100% covered by insurance.

Extra Pump Parts

It never hurts to have spare parts for your pump in case one finds its way down the drain during a wash or no longer works optimally. Replacing parts like tubing, valves, membranes, and nipple shields can extend the life of your pump and ensure comfortable pumping, and breast pump parts are covered by FSA/HSA.

Extra Bottles and Breast Milk Storage Bags

Bottles get lost in the backseat. Breast milk storage bags are single use. But you can secure a stash of collection bottles and bags through FSA/HSA to ensure you never get caught without one.

Breast Milk Coolers

Breast milk coolers make pumping on the go a breeze, and they also allow you to bring along extra bottles when you’re out on the town for the day. Pick up a beautiful Sarah Wells cooler and ice pack and put it on your FSA/HSA card, and you’re ready to roll.

Hands Free Nursing Bra

This is another must have accessory for on-the-go moms, and you can pick up a high quality, comfortable nursing bustier with your FSA/HSA card.

Lactation Massager

Having trouble with plugged ducts and engorgement? A milk expression tool like the LaVie Lactation Massager can improve milk flow and relieve the pain associated with engorgement. And you can purchase one right here with your FSA/HSA card!

We’re here to help

That’s a lot, but it’s not all! Your FSA/HSA card has the power to transform your breastfeeding and pumping experience by equipping you with the very best tools. And we’re here to help you find the tools that suit your needs best. Give us a call or email today for more information or guidance on making pumping more comfortable, productive, and hassle-free using your FSA/HSA account.