Most insurance companies are now covering virtual breastfeeding support
Due to COVID-19, healthcare providers are moving practices online but have had few customers take advantage of the opportunity as misconceptions about effectiveness, convenience, and insurance coverage persist.
According to the CDC, breastfeeding is a key strategy in improving infant and overall public health. Although breastfeeding is “natural,” that doesn’t mean it is always easy. While a majority of mothers desire to breastfeed, only 25% of U.S. babies are breastfed exclusively through the first 6 months, the timeframe recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is because moms aren’t getting the care and support they need, an aspect of motherhood that has only increased in difficulty due to the rise of the novel coronavirus.
Lactation consultants throughout the Greater Boston Area, and throughout Massachusetts as a whole, are quickly making the transition to online formats in order to provide moms and babies the knowledgeable, consistent support needed to reach their breastfeeding goals. The transition to virtual appointments offers increased convenience and safety as those involved have no need to leave their home.
“Breastfeeding complications are one of the most common issues new moms face, but hospital-based support is rarely enough,” says WellNested co-founder Stephanie Rampello. “There are so many incredible lactation consultants available in the Boston area, but finding one, scheduling a visit, and figuring out how to pay for it is just too much for new, sleep-deprived parents to bear. What they don’t know is that many insurance plans will cover in-home lactation support, and are extending that payment to virtual visits as well in response to COVID-19.