UNMH Highlights Expanded Breastfeeding Coverage

Beginning August 1, 2012, health insurers must begin covering most breast feeding services such as breast pumps as mandated under the Affordable Health Care Act.

With the new coverage, plans must provide - without a copay or deductible - a variety of preventive health services for women, including: “Comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment.”

Some 27,000 babies are born in New Mexico each year and can benefit in a number of ways from breast feeding, said Emilie Sebesta, M.D, Associate Professor, UNM School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, General Division.

“Increasingly, research is showing a wide number of health benefits to children who are breastfed exclusively during the first months of their lives,” said Dr. Sebesta. “Guidelines now are for six months of exclusive breastfeeding by mothers and at least a year in total.”

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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