breast pumps Tag

7 tips for making breast pumping easier

Breast pumps have been around for more than a century, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely intuitive. Like any technology, you’ve got to figure out how your new pump works, and you’ll also want to customize your breast pump to suit your unique needs. Try these seven tips to simplify the transition to pumping.

Start pumping before its necessary.

If you’re planning to breastfeed, lactation experts recommend that you wait four to six months to allow time for breastfeeding to be initiated and established. Mothers who plan to nurse exclusively may start pumping as soon as their milk comes in. If you have plans to work or travel outside of the home, you’ll want to begin pumping at least three weeks in advance. This gives you time to build up a stockpile of milk and get the hang of pumping in different circumstances.

Give yourself grace when you’re getting started (and the rest of the time).

If you’re new to pumping, give yourself time to get comfortable with the process. It may take some experimenting to find your maximum comfort vacuum, and it’ll take practice to get familiar with pump settings and maintenance. If you’re also recovering from delivery, you’re likely to feel tired and maybe even a little foggy-headed. Try incorporating some low pressure meditation into your pumping routine to associate the time you spend pumping with relaxation rather than stress.

Wear your breast pump for more freedom.

Sleek new wearable breast pumps like the Elvie Stride offer modern moms freedom that previous generations couldn’t begin to imagine. You can slip the Stride cup into your nursing bra and pump anywhere. It’s quiet, discreet, and completely hands free. Plus, you can connect it to the Elvie app to track your pumping sessions and breastmilk production.

Take advantage of breast pumping technology.

Not every breast pump integrates with an app; however, there are lots of free and premium breastfeeding and pumping apps available to moms. In addition to allowing you to track breastfeeding, many apps offer complementary data tracking for feeding, sleeping, crying, weight, height, and head circumference, pumping times, and self-defined events. Apps like the Android Breastfeeding Tracker also allow you to sync with your partner, nanny, or grandparents to share vital information.

Establish a routine.

A breastfeeding or pumping app can also help you establish a routine, and by the time pumping becomes routine, most of the stress will be gone. To get to that place, it helps to have processes in place for washing bottles and components, storing breast milk, and even settling into a pumping session. Pair processes with a well-stocked pumping station and you’ll be able to pump on auto-pilot.

Invest in extras for easy living.

The CDC recommends cleaning breast pump components as soon as possible after pumping sessions. Stocking up on extra sets of pump parts gives you a little extra time if you haven’t gotten around to washing components or if components are not completely dry when it’s time to pump. Extra parts also ensure you can continue pumping if a piece goes missing or gets worn out over time.

Share the labor.

If you’re making the meal, let someone else do the dishes. Sometimes moms feel as if they’re responsible for all things breastmilk-related because they’re making the breastmilk. However, everyone in the family is benefiting from your efforts. You’re providing your newest member with the healthiest food at the lowest possible cost. Let other family members pitch in by washing the pump components and bottles.

Ready to start pumping?

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we have more than two decades of experience in the medical device supply industry, with specialization in breast pumps, pumping essentials, and breast pumping accessories that anchor us as a leading breastfeeding shop based in the United States. Our company’s history is rooted in activism on behalf of nursing moms, including lobbying for insurance to cover breastfeeding equipment before the ACA required it. Our women-lead team continues to advocate for mamas and babies every day, one mother at a time. Get in touch today to see how we can help you ease into pumping.

What’s the difference between the Elvie Pump and the Elvie Stride?

The Elvie brand develops smart women’s healthcare products.

Internationally recognized women’s health expert Tania Boler launched the Elvie brand of women’s smart health products to address intimate issues that women face throughout their lives. The most popular of the Elvie brands are two sleek, smart closed-system electric breast pumps: the Pump and the Stride. Both have proven popular among breastfeeding and pumping moms, though there is frequently confusion about which does what and how they’re different. Let’s take a look at what the two pumps have in common first.

What do the Elvie Pump and the Elvie Stride have in common?

You can use both the Pump and the Stride as double or single pumps, and you can connect both with your smartphone via the Elvie app to track and log pumping sessions. Both pumps slip discreetly and comfortably into your bra, so you can pump anywhere, making both ideal for travel and for moms working outside the home. Both were designed with few parts and accessories to keep up with, which means there’s not much clean up either. In addition, both the original Elvie Pump and the Stride come standard with:

  • 2 to 2.5 hours of battery life when fully charged
  • 2-year warranty on pump motor
  • 2-phase pumping (stimulation and expression modes)
  • Two (2) 5 oz collection cups

What are the main differences between the Elvie Pump and the Elvie Stride?

Suction strength

With a suction strength of up to 270 mmHg, the Elvie Stride is a hospital grade pump. The original Elvie suction strength only goes up to 220 mmHg.

Collection cups, motors, and tubing

The two Elvie Stride collection cups share a single motor connected via discreet tubes. The Elvie Pump is completely wireless and tubeless. Each collection cup has its own independent motor.

Customizability

The Elvie Stride has ten intensity levels with both stimulation and expression modes, which gives pumping moms up to twenty options. The Elvie Pump has fourteen combinations.

Insurance coverage

Most insurance companies do not cover the pricey Elvie Pump, or at least not in full, thought you can use money from an FSA or HSA to purchase the Pump. The Elvie Stride is covered by most insurance companies, including Aetna, Geisinger, and Tricare.

The Elvie Stride is a favorite among Milk N Mamas Baby customers.

The arrival of the Elvie Stride thrilled pumping moms who wanted a breast pump as sleek and comfortable as the Elvie Pump but without the steep price tag. You can purchase yours today through Milk N Mamas Baby. If you’re not sure whether your healthcare plan will cover your favorite Elvie pump, don’t worry! As a DME company, we work with a wide range of insurance companies. We can quickly and easily verify you breast pump benefit on your behalf. We can also request a prescription from your doctor on our side once you’re ready to place your order.

Need help? Give us a call at 1-844-Milk-Mom or email us at milknmamasbaby@gmail.com.

Caring African American Mother Giving Water Bottle To Her Adorable Infant Son In Kitchen, Thirsty Cute Toddler Baby Wearing Jumpsuit Sitting On Table And Enjoying Healthy Drink, Free Space

What breast pumps does Tricare cover?

Mil-moms and -spouses covered by Tricare are eligible for a free breast pump.

Wherever you’re stationed, from Pennsylvania to the Philippines, Tricare offers 100% coverage for double electric breast pumps from in-network, contracted providers like Milk N Mamas Baby. However, your Tricare health plan only covers one breast pump per birth event, and it doesn’t cover every breast pump completely.

Which breast pumps does Tricare cover 100%?

Tricare covers hospital grade Spectra S1, S2, and Spectra 9 breast pumps completely.

With a suction capacity of 270 mmHg (260 mmHg for the S9), the award-winning Spectra breast pump line is popular among mothers who require hospital grade strength paired with gentle comfort. Moms who are concerned about increasing milk supply swear by the Spectra pumps, and the S1 and Spectra 9 are portable for on-the-go moms.

Read more about the Spectra S2 or the Spectra 9.

Tricare provides complete coverage of the hands-free BabyBuddha breast pump.

The popular BabyBuddha breast pump offers active moms a hands-free experience with a palm-sized pump controller that hangs around your neck on a lanyard. The pump’s extra-soft cushion prevents nipple soreness while multiple stimulate and suction modes allow you to customize your settings. Best of all, the BabyBuddha is completely covered by Tricare and Tricare Overseas.

Tricare offers 100% coverage of the wearable Elvie Stride.

If you’re looking for a pump that gives you maximum freedom, look no further than the popular Elvie Stride breast pump. While its big sister the Elvie Pump was very pricey and not covered by most insurance plans, the Stride is fully covered by most plans, including Tricare and Tricare Overseas. The Stride’s innovative design allows you to slide slim milk bottles directly into your nursing bra so that you can pump anywhere without drawing attention to yourself.

Tricare provides complete coverage of all Motif pumps.

The Motif Luna double electric breast pump comes in a rechargeable battery-powered version as well for more freedom. The Motif Duo is the brand’s wearable breast pump. All of the Motif pumps as well as many Motif Medical accessories like compression socks and postpartum recovery support garments are fully covered by Tricare insurance.

Read more about the Motif Luna Double Electric Breast Pump or the Motif Duo.

Tricare covers the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow and its cute carry tote 100%.

Another popular hospital grade breast pump, the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow is a 2-phase expression pump with an intuitive four button controller and premium parts that are easy to clean and assemble. The pump comes complete with a convenient carry tote and separate cooler bag for safe storage, and it’s all 100% covered by Tricare.

Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow

Tricare offers full coverage of the hospital-strength Ameda Mya Joy portable breast pump.

The Tricare-covered Ameda Mya Joy breast pump offers hospital strength performance with two modes of pumping. It is battery-operated, lightweight, and portable – clip it right onto your purse pocket or waist band to pump on the run. Ameda’s HigieniKit offers extra protection from potential contaminants getting mixed into breast milk.

Order your Tricare-covered breast pump today!

If you’re a military mom or spouse covered by Tricare or Tricare Overseas, we can help you get your free breast pump, and our no-hassle three-step process makes it easy, even if you don’t have a prescription yet. Our friendly customer support staff can contact your physician, nurse practitioner, or midwife and make a prescription request on your behalf. Once you’ve placed your order, we’ll get your new pump to you quickly and with absolutely no cost to you. Even our shipping is free, and we service Tricare moms anywhere in the world.

How pumping is helping moms who can’t breastfeed weather the formula shortage

Not all mothers are able to breastfeed, and the formula shortage puts their kids at risk.

Milk N Mamas Baby has a history rooted in activism on behalf of nursing moms, and we’re avid proponents of breastfeeding when it’s possible. Breast milk is the healthiest food source available to infants; however, not all moms are able to breastfeed. A recent New York Times article spoke with moms whose breastfeeding plans were disrupted by difficult deliveries, illness, and other unavoidable challenges. The most vulnerable moms, those living at or below the poverty level, are often most reliant on formula due to demanding work schedules and environments that don’t support pumping on the job.

For moms who are dependent on formula to feed their newborns, the ongoing baby formula shortage caused by recalls and supply chain issues has become a nightmare. However, some nursing moms are stepping up to help fill the need by donating breastmilk to human milk banks or providing breastmilk directly to nonlactating mothers in their area via milk share programs.

What is a human milk bank?

Milk banks collect breast milk from mothers who produce more than their babies need. Banks screen, pasteurize, and test the milk to ensure it is safe for consumption, and then dispense it to nonlactating mothers. Many of the recipients of breast milk from human milk banks are preemies or medically fragile. For that reason, Lindsay Groff, Director of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, told WFTV of Orlando, Florida, “If people can donate, now would be the time, because when we have more of an inventory we can look beyond the medically fragile.”

To learn about becoming a donor, follow this link to the Find a Milk Bank page on the Human Milk Banking Association’s website.

What is a milk sharing program?

Programs like Eats on Feets and Human Milk 4 Human Babies offer parents around the world a network for sharing breastmilk. These commerce-free spaces connect parents who can offer breastmilk with parents in need of breastmilk. While breastmilk banks are regulated and more regularly used by hospitals, milk sharing programs are peer-to-peer donations, and parents must rely on their own good judgment regarding donors.

Search “Eats on Feets” or “Human Milk 4 Human Babies” on Facebook to find a program near you and to learn about each network’s guidelines.

Want to pump breastmilk to help nonlactating moms?

If you’re a lactating woman, and you have a pump, you can donate breastmilk to your local human milk bank or provide milk directly to mothers in your community who may be unable to breastfeed. If you’ve got insurance, we’ve got pumps that are 100% covered by Tricare and most other provider health plans, including:

Give us a call to learn more.

breastfeeding with flat or inverted nipples

Can you breastfeed with flat or inverted nipples?

Breastfeeding with flat nipples is possible, but it can be frustrating.

Moms often wonder if their breasts are the right size or shape for breastfeeding. I’ve got a friend with small breasts who was worried about whether she would be able to produce enough milk. Her lactation consultant reassured her that breast size does not determine milk quantity (or quality) and that she had “perfect nipples for breastfeeding.” Who knew that was a thing? Friends with larger breasts have worried that their nipples were too flat for breastfeeding, but lo and behold, babies usually figure it out given a few days of experimentation.

Nipples come in every shape and size imaginable. It’s true that some make breastfeeding easier and others, like flat or inverted nipples, may create some special challenges for nursing moms and their babies just getting the hang of breastfeeding. However, most women can breastfeed successfully regardless of nipple shape.

Self-check your nipple protrusion.

Truly inverted nipples will flatten or retract into your breast when stimulated. You can check your nipple protrusion (or retraction) by squeezing gently on the edges of your areola with your thumb and forefinger. If your nipple stiffens and protrudes, your baby should be able to nurse successfully. If your nipple retracts, it may take a little extra time and effort to help baby latch onto your breasts, but it’s still doable in most cases.

Share your concerns with a lactation consultant.

Stress is an even bigger obstacle to successful breastfeeding than nipple shape, and worrying about your nipple shape is just another stressor. Most health insurance plans, including TRICARE, provide new mothers with at least some access to a lactation consultant. Take advantage of this resource. An expert will be able to put your mind at ease and reassure you that your baby is getting sufficient breast milk. If your nipples are flat or inverted, a lactation consultant will be able to give you specific advice tailored to your unique breastfeeding circumstances.

Hand express before breastfeeding.

When your breast is engorged with milk, it may become hard, and your nipple may flatten as a result. Hand-expressing or massaging your breast before nursing sessions softens your breast. This makes it easier for baby to latch on.

Try the Hoffman exercise to stimulate a flat or inverted nipple.

The Hoffman exercise is a technique created specifically to help women with breast abnormalities such as long, short, flat, inverted, and cracked nipples breastfeed. A 2020 study found that the method was a successful intervention for mothers who were struggling with nursing as a result of breast abnormalities. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Place the thumbs of both hands opposite to each other at the base of the nipple.
  2. Pull the thumbs away from each other gently but firmly, both up and down and sideways.
  3. Repeat up to five times a day.

The Hoffman exercise can be done during pregnancy to prepare the nipples, and it can be used throughout breastfeeding, offering mothers a safe, simple and painless treatment for flat or inverted nipples.

Use a breast pump to help draw out a flat or inverted nipple.

If hand expressing and the Hoffman exercise are not quite enough to draw out your flat or inverted nipples, the suction from a breast pump may do the trick. Use your breast pump for a minute or two before breastfeeding to prime your nipple and draw it out for baby.

Breast pumps are covered by most health insurance plans.

A breast pump can be a lifesaver for a mom with flat or inverted nipples. It can help to draw out your nipple, and if you decide that breastfeeding is not for you, you can still give your baby most of the health advantages by pumping. Not sure which breast pump would give you the greatest advantage? At Milk N Mamas Baby, we’ve all experienced the challenges and the joys of breastfeeding and pumping. We’re experts at the benefits provided by each of our breast pumps. Feel free to reach out to us with your concerns if you’d like advice on choosing a breast pump that will help with flat or inverted nipples.

Which breast pump helps busy moms pump faster from anywhere?

We asked one of the busiest moms we know which breast pump she preferred.

Rosina Sigloch is a work-at-home mom with six kids ranging in age from three-months old up. With four girls and two boys, Rosina has seen it all when it comes to raising kids. She’s also had years of pumping experience, though she had been relying on manual pumps with her earlier children as breast pumps, at the time, were not covered by most insurance providers.

“I hadn’t used a breast pump in forever before my daughter. In the past, I always just had the hand pumps. When I found out I was pregnant this time, my sister-in-law told me that insurance companies cover pumps now. I have so much extra milk, I decided to go for it,” Rosina said in a recent interview.

Rosina’s mom Donna is a lead IBCLC/Nurse Practitioner who also has extensive knowledge of breast pumps. She sent Rosina all the pumps her insurance would cover.

“I’d seen an ad for the Willow,” Rosina said. “I thought, ‘That looks so cool! I can wear it without having the bottle!’ But it was really expensive, and I didn’t want to spend too much.”

When Rosina found the Elvie Stride, she was thrilled she could have the same benefits as the Willow but in a breast pump covered by her insurance.  “I love the fact that you can just put it on and go,” she said. “You don’t have to sit and wait to finish. I can just stick the cups in my nursing bra and go about my business!”

The Elvie Stride is a wearable bra covered by many insurance plans.

The Elvie Stride is 100% covered by Tricare for active duty military moms and mil-spouses and for civilian moms by many other insurance companies. In other words, you can apply your insurance breast pump benefit to the Stride and enjoy the benefits of a premium wearable pump without the premium price tag. However, this pump is only sold through select durable medical equipment (DME) companies, like Milk N Mamas Baby.

How does the Stride stack up in terms of other breast pump benefits, according to Rosina and other moms who have used it?

The Stride has great suction, and it pumps quickly.

“I wondered at first if this pump could actually have enough suction to work the right way,” Rosina mentioned. “It definitely did, even more so! I could have six ounces of breastmilk in less than ten minute. That’s super-efficient. The suction was really good and so quick!”

The Stride is easy to use and clean.

In addition to being easy to use, The Stride cleans up easily. It’s even dishwasher safe. Rosina noted, “I can just pop the cups off, and they’re so easy to clean!”

This super modern breast pump is also ultra-quiet, smart, and customizable.

Elvie designed the Stride with noise reduction technology so that doesn’t draw attention when you’re out and about. The hands-free pump connects with the free “Pump with Elvie” app, which allows you to control your pump remotely while tracking your milk production. You can choose from ten intensity settings in both Stimulation and Expression modes for optimal comfort and efficiency.

“I’m really happy with my purchase and working with Krisi at Milk N Mamas Baby was great!” Rosina said.

It’s great to work with busy moms like Rosina, too!

Milk N Mamas Baby is owned and operated by women who have experienced the challenges and joys of balancing breastfeeding with work and family. We were lobbying for insurance to cover breastfeeding equipment before the ACA required it, and our women-lead team continues to advocate for mamas like Rosina and their babies every day, one mother at a time. We’re here for you, too! Get in touch today for help picking out the right breast pump for you.

mother and baby exercising on a beach

5 tips for losing baby fat in time for summer

Hint: Don’t diet. It won’t help with baby weight.

Let’s start this by saying that you shouldn’t feel compelled to lose one doggone pound if you’re not up for it. You just brought a whole other human being into the world. Don’t feel like you’ve got to impress anybody with a swimmer’s physique this year. However, if your baby weight is making you feel uncomfortable now, the heat of summer definitely won’t make it better. In that case, try these five tips for losing baby weight without losing your mind dieting.

1. Set reasonable expectations and goals for post-partum weight loss.

Start by talking with your doctor about reasonable expectations and goals. Your body is in recovery, so adding the stress of intense dieting and exercise will only slow your recovery. Be compassionate with yourself. Set modest, attainable goals and back it up with a plan that you’re likely to stick to.

2. Breastfeed and/or pump regularly.

If you want to give post-partum weight loss a boost, breastfeed and/or pump. The old saying “I’m eating for two” continues to hold true for as long as you choose to breastfeed your newborn. Your body uses the fat cells stored up during pregnancy as well as caloric intake from your daily meals to produce breastmilk. Studies show that women who breastfeed exclusively for six months lose post-partum weight more quickly. They’re also more likely to attain their original, pre-pregnancy weight than women who don’t breastfeed or who nursed their newborn for fewer than six months.

3. Eat five to six smaller meals with healthy ingredients.

Diets that call for fasting and caloric restrictions often cause your body to convert more energy into fat stores. From your body’s perspective, you must’ve fallen on hard times, so it’s going to try to conserve your energy the best way it knows how. Instead of skipping meals, eat smaller, healthier meals more frequently. This is especially important if you are nursing. The more nutrients and vitamins you consume in your diet, the healthier your newborn will be.

4. Get some light exercise daily.

Spring is in the air, so you’ve got a few good months of perfect walking weather. Put that newborn in a stroller and take them out to see the world. Getting fresh air and light exercise will increase the flow of oxygen through your body and help you digest food more effectively, which helps with weight loss. You’ll also get more of that happy hormone serotonin, which will boost your energy so you can get another walk in later in the day. Little jaunts out into the world are good for you and baby, and a daily walk or two can get you to your weight loss goals one step at a time.

5. Avoid sugars and processed foods.

While skipping meals is a no no for new moms, skipping sugars and processed foods is a big HECK YES. Sugary and processed foods and beverages are full of empty calories, and they wreak havoc on your blood sugar level, which plays a critical role in your body’s fat storage. In addition, the human body is naturally disposed to crave sugars, and sugars trigger hunger, which can create a vicious cycle when you’re trying to lose weight.

Get the latest tips on breastfeeding and motherhood delivered to your inbox.

Milk N Mamas baby is owned and operated by women who have experienced the challenges and joys of balancing breastfeeding with work and family. Our company’s history is rooted in activism on behalf of nursing moms, including lobbying for insurance to cover breastfeeding equipment before the ACA required it, and our women-lead team continues to advocate for mamas and babies every day, one mother at a time. To get the latest tips and news from our team, subscribe to our blog below.

 

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Give an Elvie Stride or other lightweight, wearable breast pump a try for times when you’re on vacation or headed to the office.

Should I reuse my old breast pump for my second baby?

Most breast pumps can be used for multiple pregnancies.

It can take some time to get used to a breast pump, and it’s not uncommon for moms to get attached to the one they’ve already got. Fortunately, most modern breast pumps are built to be durable, and they’re usually tough enough to be used for multiple pregnancies if you’re cleaning, maintaining, and storing them properly. The same goes for hard plastic pump accessories like bottles and breast shields that are still in good working order. However, you should replace all silicone and soft plastic parts as they’re more difficult to clean and sanitize.

Open system breast pumps are not suitable for long-term use.

Closed system pumps are designed to prevent breastmilk from seeping into the pump motor. In open system breast pump, there’s no barrier, which means moisture, condensation, and breast milk can get into the interior of the pump. Because these interior components can’t be easily accessed and sanitized, they have the potential to breed mold and bacteria. As such, it’s best not to reuse open system breast pumps.

Most insurance providers do cover a new breast pump for each new child.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans are required to cover the cost of one new double electric breast pump for every pregnancy. However, policies may vary. Some provide new breast pumps each year or every other year. We can verify your insurance company’s breast pump policy easily if you’re not sure. Regardless, if you’ve paid for the insurance, you should definitely collect on the breast pump benefits. Even if you’re completely in love with your old reliable pump, there are good reasons to purchase a new one with your insurance credit.

Have a backup breast pump in case the old one quits performing.

Like all electronics, even the best breast pumps will deteriorate over time. That’s why most breast pump warranties only cover specific problems with the pump or the motor and only for one to two years after your purchase. If you love your pump, get a backup model for the day your old one begins to show signs of wear and tear.

Have a stay-at-home breast pump and a wearable breast pump for traveling.

You could also use your breast pump benefit to mix it up a little. Is your favorite pump the Medela Pump In Style that you use in the comfort of your own home? Give an Elvie Stride or other lightweight, wearable breast pump a try for times when you’re on vacation or headed to the office.

Order your new breast pump today!

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we have more than two decades of experience in the medical device supply industry, with specialization in breast pumps, pumping essentials, and breast pumping accessories. Our company’s history is rooted in activism on behalf of nursing moms, including lobbying for insurance to cover breastfeeding equipment before the ACA required it. We’re here to help you whether this is your first or your fifth baby. Give us a call for guidance on breast pump insurance coverage.

mom calling insurance company about breast pump reimbursement

How to get a breast pump reimbursement from your insurance company

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance providers must cover breast pumps. While this is certainly a better deal than moms once had, it’s still not always ideal. Not all policies provide the same coverage, and different policies may have different guidelines on the types of breast pump covered. In some cases, the insurance company pays outright, whereas in other cases, they reimburse you after you make the purchase. With so many factors in play, figuring out your provider’s specific benefits and processes can be confusing and frustrating.

What does the Affordable Care Act entitle mothers to in terms of breastfeeding?

Moms are eligible to receive breastfeeding equipment, supplies, and even lactation support under the ACA. Exactly what breastfeeding equipment is covered depends on your doctor’s recommendation, but in general, it includes a double-electric breast pump per birth experience, pump parts, and breast milk storage supplies, like bottles and bags.

Here’s where breast pump coverage gets confusing.

While ACA guidelines are pretty clear, there’s some room for interpretation, and many insurance companies take advantage of this. They might require a prescription from your doctor before the purchase or require you to submit a receipt afterwards for reimbursement. They may require you to purchase your breast pump from an in-network durable medical equipment (DME) supplier or only purchase a particular brand or model. In some cases, they may make you wait until after delivery to purchase your pump, and some providers don’t have to cover your pump at all if the plans were written before the law was passed.

What’s a mom to do if her breast pump coverage is confusing her?

Unfortunately, if you’re not sure about your plan’s requirements, guidelines, and coverages, you’ll have to call to confirm. Unless you’re purchasing through Milk N Mamas Baby. Not only are we a DME supplier, we’re in-network partners with a variety of other insurance companies, including Tricare, BlueCross BlueShield, UPMC Health Plan, and Health Partners Plans, to name a few. We’re also happy to advocate for you. We can call your insurance provider to confirm your coverage, so you have one less thing to do.

What if the pump you want isn’t covered by your plan?

While standard double-electric pumps like the Spectra S2 are commonly covered, so-called premium pumps, like the Elvie Pump, may not be fully covered. However, your insurance provider may reimburse you up to the amount your plan does cover. If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), a health savings account (HSA), or a health reimbursement account (HRA), you may be able to use that to cover a premium pump.

Submitting your claim for breast pump coverage and reimbursement

Once you’ve gotten your prescription and decided on your pump, it’s a matter of filing your claim promptly and submitting your receipt. Once again, Milk N Mamas Baby customers can leave this step to us. We’ll submit your prescription, claim, and necessary receipts to your insurance company, so you don’t have to.

If you’re an expectant mom with enough on your plate already, leave the insurance part of your breast pump buying experience to us. We’ll confirm your coverage, get your prescription, and even file your insurance claim to save you valuable time.

breast pump with tubing

What’s the difference between open and closed system breast pumps?

The first breast pumps were pretty simple devices to help mothers who were having trouble nursing for one reason or another. These early pumps looked radically different from our high-tech versions, but there’s one thing that most pumps have in common. Whether you’re looking at a 19th century manual pump or a 21st century double electric pump, you’ll find tubes on most models.

What does pump tubing have to do with open and closed systems?

At first glance, you might assume that milk travels through these tubes. However, tubing actually connects the breast pump motor with the pump’s connector and breast shield, and it plays a critical role in producing suction. If there’s a puncture or tear in the pump, it can affect suction. If moisture infiltrates tubing, it can quickly become moldy. That mold can potentially create a health hazard for your newborn if it comes in contact with breast milk.

Open system pumps create opportunity for overflow and contamination.

You may have seen the terms “open system” and “closed system” breast pumps in your search for the perfect pump. An open system breast pump doesn’t provide a barrier, or media separation, between the breast pump and your milk. There is a small chance of overflow in an open system pump and an even smaller chance that the milk can become contaminated as a result.

Closed system pumps reduce the risk of contaminated tubing.

A closed system pump provides media separation that prevents milk from overflowing into the pump mechanism. By ensuring your milk travels through the pump by the most hygienic passage, a closed system pump reduces the risk of contamination.

How do I know if my tubing needs to be cleaned?

Even closed system pumps must allow some air passage in order for the suction to work, so a completely closed system pump doesn’t exist. While milk is less likely to pass into the tubing, natural condensation can still cause moisture buildup. That means you’ve got to check the tubing of a closed system pump just like you would an open system pump. If you see water droplets building up in the tubing, you can disconnect the tubing from the pump kit and run the pump for a few minutes to encourage the tubing to dry.

Do I ever need to replace the tubing of a closed system breast pump?

Yes. If your tubing has mold or milk in it, the CDC says throw it away immediately and replace it with new tubing. Often, this may also indicate that the valves or membranes need to be replaced, too. It may also mean that the tubing has become compromised, creating an opportunity for milk infiltration. You may also need to replace tubing if you notice suction has become impaired. A loose or frayed tube takes a toll on breast pump performance.

Open or closed system is only one feature to consider when purchasing a breast pump.

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we’ve got breast pumps with dozens of features and benefits that make breast milk expression easier. We’ve got hands-free pumps for moms who want to pump discreetly at work, and we’ve got pumps without any tubing at all. If you need help choosing the best pump for you, give us a call or email us. We’re happy to provide guidance and support as you make your decision.