The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently made recommendations that would help aim medical professionals in the right direction, by urging cost-free lactation assistance in hospital and other healthcare settings, as well making lactation aids like pump rentals cost-free, even free of co-pays, through insurance companies.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has now adopted the IOM’s recommendations IN FULL.
This is an expansion of the Affordable Care Act, which has many amazing and life-saving new regulations, including better well-woman visit coverage. For breastfeeding moms specifically this means that with each pregnancy and birth you are entitled to “Comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment.”
Health plans are required to provide these services — with no cost-sharing of any kind (meaning FREE to you!) — as of August 1st, 2012, so don’t rush out to rent a pump right away, but it’s coming, it’s coming! What a fantastic thing to happen to close our World Breastfeeding Week.
While it may seem to some like a minor step, each step is more encouragement for breastfeeding moms, and means less Booby Traps for Babes to encounter. Lactation assistance in the past has often been hard to come by (especially quality assistance), and sometimes quite cost-prohibitive. The idea that now any mom who wants to breastfeed will be able to, cost-free, have counseling and support in person with a trained professional, AND have access to pumps just makes us smile. After all, the biggest goal we have is to make sure that moms who WANT to breastfeed are able to, and that all moms can meet their goals, whether it’s two days, two weeks, two years or beyond. It’s rare that we get to report good news, so this is a big YAY!
Did you have issues being able to afford a pump or lactation help? Will you take advantage of the new provisions next year?
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Image credit: Nikki LaShea
Christie Haskell is a coffee and tea-addicted wife to Kyle and mother of two wee beasties — Rowan (7) and Aurora the Destroyer (2) and one fur baby, Isis. She’s a true geek at heart and spends too much time playing video games and reading fantasy novels when she’s not typing her fingers off for CafeMom’s The Stir or her personal blog-love, DailyMomtra.