Reimbursement for Lactation Services

By law an insurance company is required to help a family out financially with lactation assistance. The ugly truth is that it happens less often then reimbursement does. Here is a website and contact information to assist a family looking for reimbursement or checking preemptively.

National Women’s Law Center



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Breastfeeding and birth control

I feel led to post this about hormonal birth control while a mother is breastfeeding. Hormonal birth control containing ESTROGEN will most probably decrease a mothers milk supply. It doesn’t happen overnight but it would surely affect a milk supply within a week or two.

The literature all over the internet states that PROGESTERONE only birth control will be safe for the mother and the baby and it should NOT affect a mothers milk supply.

In my 9 years of running Lowcountry Lactation Station I have seen more then a few mother’s milk supply decrease most certainly related to progesterone only birth control. I know this for fact because when the mother stops the birth control and starts to pump and use mothers teas or lactation cookies her milk supply comes back. This is not a guarantee though!

Because birth control is not started until 6 weeks postpartum a reduction in a milk supply can be attributed to a multitude of reasons.

Keep in mind that you can get pregnant while breastfeeding and you can ovulate before you menstruate so you can’t count on your period to let you know you that you are fertile.

Breastfeeding affords you 98% of birth control when you provide 100% of your infants nutrition. If you do get pregnant while you are breastfeeding your breast milk changes back to colostrum when you are 20 weeks pregnant. This can be devastating if you wanted to continue to breast feed your breastfeeding infant longer. You would have to supplement with food or formula to ensure adequate nutrition.

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A baby weigh scale

In light of the Corona virus I would recommend for all new parents to buy yourself a weigh scale off of Amazon for 40-50 dollars. Assessing how much your baby gets at each breastfeeding session can be a difficult thing. This 40-50 dollar weigh scale will not tell you that information but you can track your baby’s weight gain regularly. This way you can weigh your baby just in a diaper every other morning and ensure that they are gaining weight. The first three months of their life they should be gaining half an ounce to one ounce per day. The second three months the gain is a little less than one half of a pound per week. Your baby’s weight should double their birth weight at six months and triple their birth weight at one year. One thing you can be sure of is the scale does not lie!!

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Pumping your breasts in the beginning is not be a bad idea!

All the literature states that a mother should not pump her breasts until the baby is 1 month of age. This is almost criminal advice in my opinion! Prolactin is the hormone responsible for making the breast milk. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for letting the milk let down and come out of the nipple.  When the placenta comes out of the mother’s body this is the catalyst that gets the milk making components in line for making milk for the baby. Prolactin is highest in a woman’s blood right after she has her baby. This level falls a little after the first week of life only to surge up when the infant nurses or the nipples are stimulated. This level of prolactin continues to decrease over the first month and again surges highest when the nipples are stimulated as when the baby is nursing or the mother is pumping.

The prolactin surges in the beginning and during the first few weeks of life are very important! A newborn baby or a premature baby may not be the best at breastfeeding or stimulating the nipples during the first week or two of life. Many times babies are sleepy and if they are not gaining weight or their bilirubin levels are rising then it becomes a vicious cycle. My best tag line is that if your baby is sleepy or not feeding well something needs to be stimulating your nipples so that you can take advantage of this early time period to set the bar high for a healthy milk supply. When both breasts are stimulated at the same time this too causes a prolactin surge!


reference:  K. Wambach, B. Spencer,, Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, Sixth Edition, 2021, Jones and Bartlett Learning, LLC

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