New moms have an enormously important job to do. After labor and delivery is through, mothers have a whole new world of infant care to navigate. Mothers must clothe, diaper, and bathe their babies, but the most important thing a mother can do is feed her baby.
Fortunately, many health insurance companies will provide a free breast pump to new mothers. Here are four reasons to take advantage of this great perk:
1. Breast milk is best for babies.
Breast milk is the most nutritious thing mothers can feed their babies, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Babies who are fed breast milk are more likely to grow up to be strong, healthy, and smart. A breast pump can make it easier to stick to exclusive breastfeeding instead of resorting to giving your baby formula.
2. Pumping breast milk gives mothers greater autonomy.
Some mothers give up on breastfeeding because they think they're unable to commit to the time investment required. However, pumping breast milk in advance can give new mothers greater freedom and autonomy. Breast milk can be safely stored in the refrigerator, which allows women to pump breast milk ahead of time if they plan to be away from their baby for the day. Breast milk can even be stored in the freezer for months, which allows women to stockpile their breast milk when they have a surplus. Pumping breast milk allows women to go back to work if they desire while still feeding their babies.
3. Fathers can be more involved with feeding times.
Fathers need time to bond with their babies too. Some dads can feel left out of the breastfeeding relationship. Pumped breast milk gives new fathers a way to connect with their children. Some parents find that splitting feeding time 50/50 allows each parent to bond with the new baby. When fathers take care of half of the feedings, mothers can take a necessary break to recharge and focus on themselves. This can lead to greater marital satisfaction and family harmony.
4. Every dollar saved can be used on your new baby.
Starting a family can be surprisingly expensive. Even if you're not worried about money, every extra dollar helps. If you're eligible for a free breast pump through your health insurance, you should take advantage of it. The money you save can be used to buy other supplies for your baby, such as educational toys.