Obamacare makes breastfeeding easier - WFLA News Channel 8

Obamacare makes breastfeeding easier

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New mom Meteknesh Tessema and baby Zayma New mom Meteknesh Tessema and baby Zayma

Starting January 1st, a new provision of the Affordable Care Act kicked in, and it's proving to be very popular with new mothers. Insurers will now be covering the cost of breast pump rentals and consultations with lactation specialists.

It's a benefit that makes new mom, Meteknesh Tessema, feel a little more secure. She got some helpful tips about breastfeeding less than 24 hours after her daughter was born.

"She told me a couple of things I didn't know," Tessema said. "So, it's always helpful when you're ready to breastfeed, you need all the help and support."

Tampa General Hospital is in full support of the new measure. The hospital's goal is to get 80% of new moms to breast feed exclusively. Director of Women's and Children's Services at TGH, Wendi Goodson-Celerin, said it's a big help.

"It's definitely a change for the better," Goodson-Celerin said. "Insurance companies are still trying to work out the details and trying to align vendors and lactation services, and how they're going to meet those needs for new mothers."

The federal government will cover the cost of renting heavy duty, hospital-grade breast pumps. Some insurers are also covering the cost of consumer models.

"Suppliers are having a hard time keeping up with demand," said Goodson-Celerin. "Right now, demand is outweighing supply, so more to come and I think the details will be worked out as we progress."

Tessema said it was very helpful to get some advice from a professional.

"Your mom doesn't know everything! You think she does, but they forget," Tessema said with a laugh. "Professional consultants are very, very crucial."

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