For US readers: Did your health insurance cover enough breastfeeding support and supplies?
The United States Breastfeeding Commitee (USBC) is seeking to improve access to breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling. They are looking for stories to show that insurance plan coverage for breastfeeding has wide gaps.This is a chance to remind them that babies with clefts need even more support than non-cleft affected babies.
If you live in the US and have a baby born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, Pierre Robin Sequence, or cleft lip and palate (or other craniofacial cleft that affects breastfeeding) you have the chance to make the lack of breastfeeding support for cleft affected babies visible!
Breastfeeding a baby with an oral cleft is hard and requires loads of support – much more support than babies born without a cleft (or other breastfeeding impediments).Some insurance plans cover up to six visits with a professional lactation consultant (IBCLC) and the purchase of an electric breast pump – some not even that. This is just a drop in the ocean compared to the kind of support and supplies that a baby with a cleft palate or cleft lip and palate might need.
Why is USBC collecting stories?
Submissions will become part of a bank of real-life stories documenting why additional implementation support for insurers is crucial to helping more mothers reach their personal breastfeeding goals.
The USBC website states that:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires coverage of breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling without cost-sharing. Yet a review of insurance plan documents by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) found that coverage gaps are widespread. Of the 15 states analyzed, 20 insurers in six states impose limits on coverage of breastfeeding benefits that are in violation of the ACA.
Medicaid is not required to provide breastfeeding support and supplies- this is a chance to speak out about that also!
And if you don’t live in the US, share this post widely so it reaches those who do – raising cleft awareness and visibility in one part of the world, is going to raise visibility for cleft affected babies elsewhere.
Submit your story here (and read other breastfeeding parent’s stories),