Breast Pumps Can Help Make Breastfeeding Easier

Breast Pumps Can Help Make Breastfeeding Easier

Breast Pumps Can Help Make Breastfeeding Easier

Nourishing your newborn baby is one of the most important things you’ll do as a parent. Breastfeeding is a popular option for many parents — and for good reasons. Breast milk provides ideal nutrition that supports a baby’s growth and development. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention leaving site icon (CDC) reports it lowers an infant’s risk for ear infections, asthma, Type 1 diabetes, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Anytime, Anywhere Convenience

Along with important health benefits, breastfeeding does away with the need to mix formula or prepare bottles. It not only makes on-the-go feeding easy, stored breast milk allows both parents and other family members to share feeding duties.  

Breast pumps play a vital role in this flexibility, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is pleased to cover a variety of breast pumps to members whose health care plan includes this benefit. If you have a Flexible Spending Account, you can use your FSA dollars toward any out-of-pocket costs for your breast pump. 

We’re Here to Support Parents

BCBSNM is honored to help support families as they prepare for their new baby. That’s why we offer breastfeeding support, counseling and supplies through our maternity benefits. You’ll find a lot is covered by your health insurance plan when you use an in-network providereven manual and electric breast pumps.

To get started, ask your in-network doctor or other care provider for a prescription for a breast pump. We can help you fill your prescription.

Get Expert Guidance

Call the number on your member ID card to speak with a Customer Advocate. The Customer Advocate will tell you:

  • If your plan covers a breast pump. If it does, ask if both electric and hospital-grade models are covered. Some plans cover both an electric pump and the rental of a hospital-grade pump up to a certain dollar amount. Other plans may only cover one type of pump. Be sure to ask if there will be an out-of-pocket cost and what that cost may be. Full coverage may only apply to certain models of breast pumps.
  • If your health plan requires a prescription for a breast pump.
  • Which in-network providers or durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers in your network and state offer breast pumps and how to contact them.

Before you call, you may want to do a little research to familiarize yourself with the different types of pumps.

Which Breast Pump Is Right for You?

Every pump is designed with a shield that covers the breast and a container that collects milk. There are some basic variations, though.

Manual breast pumps don’t require batteries or electricity. Instead, the pump is worked by hand so it can be used anywhere. A manual pump is best for parents who don’t need to pump a lot of milk at one time.

Electric pumps have a motor that uses electricity or batteries. They come in single- and double-pump models. Single-pump models collect milk from one breast at a time. Double-pump models can collect milk from both breasts at the same time. Many parents who attend school or work away from home choose double pumps because they work faster and are more convenient.

Hospital-grade breast pumps have a more powerful motor for better suction. They are typically used in a hospital setting. The purchase cost of these pumps isn’t usually covered by a health plan. However, they can be rented by the month for home use.

Hospital-grade breast pumps are usually only recommended for:

  • Moms who have trouble establishing their milk supply
  • Parents with premature babies, babies with health issues that may impact feeding, or those infants in NICU
  • Parents of multiple babies
Things to Keep in Mind

You may not know how often you’ll need to pump until your baby arrives, but your third trimester is a good time to consider ordering your breast pump to ensure you have it before the delivery of your baby.  

If you’re not sure what kind of pump is best for you, talk with a breastfeeding counselor trained to help parents with breastfeeding issues. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health also offers a helpful information about breastfeedingleaving site icon including the downloadable Your Guide to Breastfeedingleaving site icon 

Let Us Help You Find a Breast Pump

Call the number on your member ID card to speak with a Customer Advocate to obtain details of coverage offered by your specific plan. Our experienced service staff is truly empowered to serve as your advocates. You can also send secure messages via your Blue Access for MembersSM account.

Depending on your health plan, your benefits may include Women and Family Health. The program offers access to a nurse case manager who can help you find breast pumps and connect you with other breast feeding resources.

Sources: Breastfeeding Benefits Both Baby and Mom, leaving site icon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023; Using a Breast Pump, leaving site icon March of Dimes, 2019; What to Know When Buying or Using a Breast Pump, leaving site icon U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2023;  Breastfeeding, leaving site icon American Academy of Pediatrics, 2024