Friday, October 4, 2013

Breast feeding services lag behind the law

1. Saint Louis, Catherine. (30 Sept 2013). Breast Feeding Services Lag Behind the Law. New York Times. D6.

2. Type of Issue: health

3. Level of Issue: national

4. About: Insurance companies continue to deny coverage for certain breast feeding procedures that are supposed to be covered under Obamacare.

5. Who this affects: Women in the future who have babies. The babies that need extra help to learn how to nurse.

6. My thoughts:

The colostrum from the first breast milk has benefits for the baby that are unmatched by formulas. There are many immune components of breast milk that give a baby exactly what it needs to protecting it from autoimmune diseases like PKU, allergies, and Celiac disease. HMOs, lymphocytes, immunoglobins- which is a specific protein produced by blood cells to fight infection and macrophages protect a baby from infection. These are only found in breast milk. Babies that exclusively breast feed have lower changes of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. The WHO recommends that women in undeveloped countries should breastfeed as long as they can because this will continue to protect the baby from infectious water. Breast feeding is not an option, it’s a necessity. Women have it hard enough as it is because breast feeding is looked at as almost taboo since there’s a little bit of exposure, often times are forced to pump their milk in bathrooms. I think that one of the reasons insurance companies do not make it easier to reimburse women for lactation specialists is because there are formula companies like Nestle that are trying to convince women that formula is better for their babies than breast milk. There are hospitals now that do not let formula companies give out free samples to new mothers but that was not always the case. Women need lactation specialists and insurance companies need to quit being so greedy.

1 comment:

  1. Every time I've visited friends or family in the hospital who had just had a baby, there has been a lactation specialist or nurse aiding them with breast feeding (if they had chosen to do breastfeed). I would assume that that was included in the hospital bill which would be payed for by insurance, but maybe it's an out of pocket expense. I guess I would be in for a rude awakening when I have children. So what's the benefit of the law if it permits insurance agencies to require that the lactation specialists are state certified if lactation consultants are not currently licensed by states? Yet more unavailing attempts...
    It's unfortunate that today people find breast feeding to be inappropriate and women have to hide behind scenes to provide their baby the proper nutrition he/she needs at that stage. Originally I was going to say that breast pumps should not be covered by insurance because they are not a necessity. But I guess that is a mindset of the past. Realistically, women these days have careers to attend to and aren't with their baby 24/7 for the entire first 6 months the baby should be breast fed. Pumps are more convenient and would prevent the social 'faux pas' of breast feeding in public as well as prevent women from turning to formula. It's also unfortunate that women feel uncomfortable breast feeding their own child and ultimately choose formula over natural breast feeding. I do agree and blame big companies like Nestle for encouraging the use of formula and instilling the misconception that it's just as good or better for the baby. I also blame hospitals for allowing those companies to influence health care of newborns.