158. Make Choosing A Breastpump Easy
If you live in the United States, you likely get a free breastpump from your insurance but which should you choose? The portable one? The quiet one? The one with better suction? Let's find the right pump for you!
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Read the full transcript here:
Welcome to the Breezy Babies podcast. This is episode 158. Make choosing a breast pump easy. Could you use more confidence as a parent? Welcome to the happy place for boobs and babies, you're in good hands. Breezy babies is where we ease your transition into parenthood because it's a bumpy road, am I right? I'm your host Bri the IBCLC. And if you'd like to make life as a parent more breezy, you're in the right place. I'm here to deliver small bite sized tips and tricks so you can crush your parenting and lactation goals. I'm honored to be on this journey with you. Let's go. Hello, hello, it's Bree back with you. Again, I am solo. Today, I'm going to be talking to you about how to choose a breast pump, which is a conversation that I have frequently with my clients. And I also find that a lot of times my clients already have a breast pump that's at their house ready to go when I go to meet with them. And sometimes it's a great fit for them. And other times, it's not such a great fit for them. So well I don't believe that there's one breast pump that works perfectly for everyone. I lactation consultants, we start to notice over time, which ones are just easy pleasers, which I will share today. And we also really notice the ones that aren't so great are really hit and miss. So I'm going to talk about all of that today. If you are pregnant, and haven't chosen a breast pump yet, then you've come at the perfect time. If you already have a breast pump, and you're not loving it, then today's episode will also be helpful for you. We can talk about some different options that could be great. And depending on your lifestyle, what is going to work best for you. And breast pumps are always changing. There's always new ones coming on the market and older ones that are kind of falling off the face of the earth. So I'm not going to talk very, very specifically about name brands. But if you would like to know the right breast pump for your situation, especially if you've listened to this episode, and you're like, oh, okay, I understand this about portability and price point, what would you suggest for me, then I would love to help you find the right breast pump for you. And give you some suggestions of what I think would be best, especially if you have a list from your insurance, about what breast pumps they're going to cover. In fact, I will be taking some information from healthcare.gov, where they talk about coverage for lactation care, and breast pumps. So that part will be a little specific to my friends listening who are in the United States of America. But I also will have two other tips that are not specific to living within the United States of America. So just stick with me and keep listening. If you happen to be outside of the country, which I do new do know that I have listeners who are outside of the United States. So this is going to be a great podcast for you today. I wanted to share with you really quick that the breezy babies team is expanding. It's been kind of a work in progress. I did some interviews back in gosh, I think it was in March that I did interviews I found a really great candidate. She had taken her tests but didn't know if she had passed yet. And finally, just in the last Gosh, a week and a half, maybe we found out that she did pass her test and she is ready to get going as an IBCLC. in private practice. She's the first on my team who is not located in Utah. She actually lives in a different state. So she will be starting mostly with telehealth, she's already listened in on a consultation and I'm so excited for her to get started. I'll share more details as we get her up and rollin. Let me tell you, it's a lot of work on the back end to set up not only the business side of everything, but also just to get your mind ready and all your supplies ready to meet with clients. It's no small task to work in private practice. I remember just feeling completely overwhelmed with how to get started. But it's been really fun for me to help other consultants start that process and help them along the way because I love of working in private practice that has been a game changer for me. I always hope and pray that I never have to go back to working those 12 hour shifts in the hospital, bless all those nurses who do someone's got to do it, it is hard work to work those long hours in the hospital. So I'm super grateful that I can work these short shifts and fit in, you know, consultations when I want. And when I want and, and do it how I want as well. So more details on that. But I'm so excited to share with you today about choosing a breast pump. So let's just get started. Let's just jump into it. So my first tip for you today is get the free pump, but make it count. So like I mentioned the beginning, most of my clients end up getting a free breast pump from their insurance, I meet mostly with clients that are located in the United States. I also meet with a handful of clients who are outside of the United States as well. But definitely the majority of my clients live inside the United States. And the majority get a free breast pump from their insurance. I mean, you might as well write, if it's free, you may as well go with the free breast pump. I also want to mention here that I love when I can meet with my clients prenatally. And then we can talk about what breast pump is going to be right for them. Which again, I don't think there's a perfect breast pump. That's the right fit for every single human. But there are some that I generally avoid. Yes, there are some that are truly on my avoid list. And it's probably brands that you are very familiar with. And then there's also some that are just easy pleasers just across the board. I rarely hear that, you know, my clients do not like that breast pump or my followers don't like that breast pump. Now, I was trying to decide if I was going to mention specific name brands on this podcast. You noticed I didn't have a sponsor, I didn't want you to think that being paid would alter my honest opinion on the good pumps. But I don't think I'll specifically name the breast pumps that I don't love. Why? Well, I recently had a good IBCLC friend well known in the lactation world that mentioned a bottle brand that does not promote good feeding techniques, the shape and the flow are all wrong. And so she had suggested that it's not a brand that she would recommend as a professional, something we do often as IBCLC lactation consultants because we talk to hundreds of real families and we know what's working and serving them and what's not. Well, she was recently served with a cease and desist letter threatening legal action for talking badly about their product. That is a huge problem. First off, that's not something that should be allowed. And she's sharing details of the ways this company is stooping low by sending her this cease and desist. In fact, that exact company reached out to me to be a podcast guest here on the breezy babies podcast. I had already politely denied that request because it just wasn't a product that I believed in. And man, I'm so glad I did that after hearing what this company is doing to my lactation friend. So am I acting in fear by not mentioning specific breast pump names on my podcast maybe. But as someone who personally I have been served to cease and desist letters by a lactation company that I once considered a close friend. I just don't have room in my life for that negativity, I don't have room in my life for that stress.
So again, if you reach out to me personally, I will 100% Tell you what breast pumps I do not like especially if you've send me a list of the approved ones from your insurance. You can send me a DM on Instagram, or just email me Bri at breezybabies.com Hum this podcast today I'm going to focus on the positive and instead tell you what pumps I found to work great over the years. And the ones that have just really proven to be the easy pleasers. So we'll get to that so stay with me. But first of all, I want to read a little bit from healthcare.gov. I will have this linked in the show notes. If you want to go and read this page yourself. It's not very long. Basically what I'm going to read for for you today is pretty much the entire page. There's some other things on healthcare.gov But this is kind of the gist of what I want to share with you today. So first of all on the healthcare.gov website they talk about breast meaning benefits. They talk about how most marketplace insurance plans must provide breastfeeding equipment, and counseling for pregnant and nursing women. They talk about how you may be able to get help with breastfeeding at no cost. I mean, it says in here, right here on healthcare.gov how health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. These services may be provided before and after birth. This applies to marketplace plans and all other health insurance plans except for grandfathered plans. So what we're really trying recently is for our self pay clients who are not approved through the lactation network is that's who does our billing is we've been working really hard to give great super bills to our clients. So they can send it in for possible range, reimbursement through their insurance because as you can see right here, it should be covered by insurance is a always, unfortunately not I guess there's just ways that insurance companies have found a way around this. But you know, if you are going you know, up against your insurance company and insisting that they cover lactation care for you, this website that I have linked in the show notes would be a great thing to show them as you are working with them to get your breastfeeding health covered by your insurance. Now the part that I really want to focus on today is coverage of breast pumps. So they say here, your health insurance plan must cover the cost of a breast pump, 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. But it's up to you and your doctor does to decide what's right for you. So this is one that I feel like insurance actually does really well with, like I said, again, most of my clients get a free breast pump through their insurance, there have been a small handful of my clients, and those that I have worked with and talked with who said that their insurance did not cover a breast pump, and they didn't have to. So those those do exist, but the majority find it very easy to get a free breast pump through their insurance. And you know, as I'm recording this, I'm remembering back to my fourth baby, I tried ordering a breast pump through my insurance. And I called the company at least four or five times. And it never got shipped to me, weirdest thing. In the end, I was just like, I'm not really planning on pumping a whole lot. I just kind of wanted the breast pump. To use like for my videos and have on hand just in case I really didn't end up using a whole lot. But it I could not get one sent to me, which is so hilarious that as a lactation consultant, I could not get a breast pump sent to me. Luckily, there's other companies who have sent me breast pumps. So I could have used that if I really needed to, but it just was a little funny. So if you are also experiencing some trouble with getting your insurance to send you a breast pump, I feel free to keep fighting, I just ended up giving up in the end because I didn't really need it. But if you're returning to work, especially if you're planning on exclusively pumping, then you're going to need a breast pump. And that's something you're going to want to fight for. So again, a little side note here, technically, your insurance should also cover breastfeeding help. So if you want to go to this website, again, as you're you're fighting to have your insurance cover this, then that would be a great idea because more consultations with a lactation consultant means better care for you the majority of my self pay clients just do one consultation with me. And if even at all, many self pay clients won't book at all, because I know that the cost can be prohibitive. But the majority will just do one consultation, we do our best to just fit everything into one. Our insurance clients. On the other hand, we meet with them at least three to four times if not five to six. I've even met with one client 13 times for a consultation for consultations from the beginning of her journey from latching all the way to the end where she was weaning her baby and everything in between with starting solids with returning to work and coming up with a pumping plan and managing her supply. So you absolutely get better care when you meet one on one with a lactation consultant. So I really hope that we're getting better with having insurance cover these and we're doing our best to even send super bills so that they can possibly reimburse you as the client. And I also want to say that clients who invest in lactation help them they listen, they show up. And they take the advice very seriously. So even if it ends up not being covered by your insurance, if you need help, I promise it will still be worth it. So in order to get this free breast pump from your insurance, if you live in the United States, you're likely going to need a prescription from your doctor. If you live outside of the United States, you don't have this option to get a free restaurant through your insurance, I don't believe but keep listening because tips two and three are going to be more helpful for you.
In fact, let's move on to tip number two right now. Tip number two is consider your lifestyle Do you need a portable pump? Okay? When it comes to choosing a breast pump, you want to consider suction power, this is huge. There is a huge range of suction with different pumps. And honestly, there are some pumps, that clients have reported too much suction power that's uncomfortable for them. So if you're sensitive to that, there are certain pumps that I would not recommend for you. You also want to consider size and weight, there are some pumps that are very bulky to move, and others that can literally fit in the palm of your hand, you're gonna want to consider price more money doesn't always equal the best breast pump. In fact, there are some breast pumps that are around $500 That I do not love. Because about half of my clients don't do well with them. And don't you think $500 is a high price to pay for about a 5050 chance? I sure think so. So let me also mention here that there are hospital grade pumps that generally you have to rent or usable at the hospital. And then there are consumer pumps. And I've noticed a trend that many consumer pumps claim to be hospital grade. Are they really well, I think that's debatable. It's not a term or a title that's enforced or regulated. So I'll just leave that little bit of information there. But the takeaway is, don't be fooled by the term hospital grade. But also most often, consumer pumps can be great. Okay, these are the free ones that you can get through your insurance. Not everyone needs to rent a hospital grade pump. Mostly the free one from your insurance is going to work just great. Another thing you want to consider is noise. Some pumps are so quiet and others are quite loud. I was with a friend years and years ago in a movie theater. This particular movie was very quiet for much of the movie. She actually pumped during the movie and I didn't hear a thing. In fact, I had no idea that she had pumped until she told me after the movie was over. Another thing to consider when choosing a breast pump is having a manual option. That means a manual option means that it has no batteries no power at all. hand pumps can be a great option that come in clutch for certain situations. Even something like a haka falls under this category. There are some extra bells and whistles to consider such as Do you want a nightlight on your breast pump? Do you want different sections section patterns like a letdown mode? How well is it going to store what's the look of it what's the aesthetics of the pump. The last thing I want to mention about choosing a breast pump is that I don't suggest a used breast pump as your primary go to pump motors lose power over time less suction means less milk removed which means lower milk supply. If I have a client whose supply is suffering and they have a used breast pump on hand that was especially if it was used quite a bit by the previous owner and and they're using that as their primary pump and then they also have a brand new pump on hand. I will almost always have them use the new one, not the old one because the motor can wear out over time. The majority of my clients mostly feed at the breast and they just pump here and there or just when they go back to work. I do have exclusive pumping clients even currently, a client I met with just this week is an exclusive pumper and I was out for our fifth visit together over secure video. For her a portable pump is key she also works she likes to pump while she works in the office. She would not have made it as far in her lactation journey without having the flexibility and portability of her breast pump. But before you exit this podcast and go buy yourself a portable pump let me tell you this I don't think a portable pump is the right fit for everyone. For the most part portable pumps have come so far I would have given honestly anything to have a portable pump with my first Baby, I was working 12 hour shifts, I was a busy busy brand new nurse, I didn't even hardly get a lunch break in my 12 hour shift. And my supplies suffered big time after returning to work, I didn't have a quality pump. This was before you got a free one through your insurance. And the cheap one I chose that Walmart just was not cutting it, the suction was awful. I don't even think they make this pump anymore. And I couldn't even tell you what the name of it is. Since brakes were so hard for me to take having the option to pump on the go or while charting out at the nurse's station would have been a game changer for me 100%. In the same breath, I want to say that portable pumps, they don't always have quite the suction power that a good base pump. A primary pump with a bigger motor has, that's why I call portable pumps, secondary pumps, they fill in the gaps and have their place but you probably still want a good primary pump with a bigger motor, maybe one that plugs into the wall to be your bookends for the day. That means you start and end your day with your good primary pump. And you use your portable secondary pump to fill in the gaps throughout the date. This can be a great fit for an exclusive pumper or for a situation such as work or travel or you have to be away from your baby all day. On the other hand, if you mostly nurse at the breast and don't plan to pump much then that will be a huge factor and what breast pump I would recommend for you. A pro tip right here is make pumping convenient pump while you're driving or while you're working. Get the Good Hands Free pumping bra that will hold your flanges in place. Get the good cups that can fit comfortably inside your bra. Which leads me to tip number three. Invest in tweaking your pump to fit you. Here you go. Breast foam breast pumps are adaptable. When you order a new breast pump chances are it will come with a standard 24 or 25 millimeter flange, probably a 28 millimeter flange to maybe a 21 if you're lucky to get even remotely close to your correct size. I won't talk about sizing in this episode. But chances are you're using the wrong size the wrong flange size. I do have a free nipple ruler on my breezy babies website. I get downloads on that every single day. Also listen back to episode number 125 For flange fitting specific advice. So all of this this is say what incent standard with your breast pump is probably not the right fit flange for you, you will have to invest a bit even though you've got this nice pump for probably free, you're going to need to get the right sized flange for sure that's almost a guarantee that I found. But you also may want to invest in something like a cup option that fits inside your bra or a portable battery, or a lanyard to hold your pump in place while you move about. You want to make pumping as convenient as possible. It's important. It's the only way to pump long term. I believe many of the things I mentioned above are between 10 and $20. Some cups that fit inside your bra could be a little bit more expensive than that but still often under $100 total for all that. It's worth it because if pumping is a pain, you won't do it and your milk supply will absolutely suffer. Also, I want to mention that just because your pump is a certain brand, that doesn't mean that you have to buy parts that are specific to that brand. There's probably a dozen Generic brands that work just fine with your breast pump. You don't always have to buy name brand for example when buying the correct flange size. In fact, many name brands don't even offer the size that you need for your flange. They don't even go that small, but there's almost always a hack you can do to adjust your pump to work for your needs. You can swap out the duct bills and tubing for others too. So don't feel stuck with what you were sent in your box. Okay, so let's get down to the nitty gritty here. What breast pumps are my easy pleasers I found the spectra is an easy pleaser for a primary pump and I've also found that the pump bubbles is an easy pleaser for a portable secondary pump. So there you have it. Are these the only two good pumps out there? No there are so many other good ones. This is just something to help get you started and again please reach out to me specifically if you want to know what breast pumps I do not recommend because there are some that honestly just do an awful job and your milk supply will very likely suffer which is very serious to me. It's not okay we're talking about your baby's food source here. them receiving breast milk you achieving your lactation goals is so important to me. So there you have it, do you feel more confident and choosing out a breast pump now, here are those top three tips again number one is get the free breast pump from your insurance but make it count. Tip number two was consider your lifestyle
Do you need a portable pump and tip number three was invest in tweaking your breast pump to fit you. If you are looking for an IBCLC in your life, myself and my team we would love to help you reach your goals, especially when it comes to choosing out the right breast pump for you. You can check us out at breezy babies on Instagram or at breezy babies.com. And I hope that you have a great rest of your day. I'll be back next week for more great tips and tricks for you. If you have any topics that you would love to hear on this podcast, please send me a DM on Instagram or email me Bri at breezy babies.com I would love to hear from you. Of course I'm going to leave you with you are strong, you're smart, you're beautiful, you're a good friend to buy. If you would like more help check us out at breezy babies.com Is the happy place for boobs and babies where you can take an online workshop on topics from breastfeeding to baby gas. Learn baby massage, get a pumping plan before returning to work and even get one on one lactation help from our IBCLC we meet with families both in home and also all over the world via secure video and guess what? These lactation consultations might even be covered by your insurance. Click the link in the show notes or visit breezy babies.com to see if you qualify. Also connect with us at breezy babies on Instagram and YouTube. And last if you love what we do, please leave us a review on Google or Apple podcasts bye!
How to choose the right breast pump? 0:00
- Welcome to the breezy babies podcast.
How to choose the right breast pump? 1:20
- Lactation consultants notice which breast pumps are easy-pleasers and which are hit-and-miss.
Breezy Babies expanding the team. 3:32
- The breezy babies team is expanding.
- Working in private practice has been a game changer.
- Get the free breast pump, but make it count.
- Meet with clients prenatally.
Why I’ve been served a cease-and-desist letter. 7:25
- Cease and desist letter from IBCLC lactation consultant.
- Lactation friend threatened with legal action.
Bri’s thoughts on breast pumps and insurance. 9:03
- How to get more information about breast pumps.
- Breastfeeding benefits on healthcare.gov
- How to get a free breast pump through insurance.
- How insurance covers breastpumps.
The importance of having insurance. 13:19
- Returning to work with a breast pump.
- Your insurance should also cover breastfeeding help.
Tips for choosing a breast pump. 15:12
- Consider your lifestyle.
- Consider suction power, size and weight when choosing a breast pump.
How to choose the right breast pump? 17:33
- Consider having a manual option when choosing a breast pump.
- Don't have a used breast pump on hand.
- Portable pumps are key to a successful lactation journey.
- The pros and cons of portable pumps.
Tip 3: Make pumping convenient. 21:30
- Make pumping convenient.
- Invest in tweaking your pump to fit you.
How to choose the right breast pump? 24:03
- What breast pumps are good for you.
- Top three tips for choosing a breast pump.
- Check out Breezy babies on Instagram or at breezybabies.com.
- Leave a review on Google or Apple.