Breastfeeding–more than just providing food Your breastfed baby enjoys the comfort of your breast and being close to you. Breastfeeding helps the two of you bond. That’s why it’s best to feed your baby directly at your breast.
When it’s not possible Sometimes it’s not possible to feed your baby directly at your breast. But you can still provide your valuable milk to your precious baby. A breast pump will help you.
Breastmilk as a supplement You can use a breast pump to pump your valuable milk from your breast. Then you can put your breastmilk in bottles, or use a syringe or even use a soft cup.
Pumps for working mothers and students When mothers return to work or school, their own milk continues to be the best food for their babies. WIC mothers who work full time or attend school for long hours may be eligible for a free electric breast pump.
Dads and grandparents Sometimes moms need help feeding the baby. They may be students or have a job. They may be very tired. Moms can pump their breastmilk ahead of time, and place the milk in bottles for the dad, or grandparents, another family member or a caregiver to use.
Pumps for medical reasons Premature and sick babies need their mother’s milk. It’s like medicine. Often they don’t have enough strength to suck well. It’s easier for a weak baby to drink his mother’s breastmilk from a syringe, a soft cup, or a bottle.
Which way is best? Your lactation consultant, nurse or doctor can help you decide which way is best for you and your baby.
Medi-Cal and other insurance plans Medi-Cal and other medical insurance plans may provide a breast pump when a mother can’t feed her baby at her breast. A doctor’s referral may be necessary.
Hospital grade electric breast pump Sometimes when a mother asks Medi-Cal or another insurance company for a breast pump, there’s a short wait. We will offer a hospital grade electric breast pump to a WIC mother who needs a pump for her premature baby, or for other medical reasons, if there is a waiting period. This is a loan until she receives the pump through her insurance.
For a mother with no insurance, we offer the pump as a loan for as long as she needs it to feed her milk to the baby.
Extra Support Mothers of a premature or sick baby need extra support. We refer these mothers to one of our WIC lactation specialists for ongoing support.
Yes you can! If you are a working mother or a student, yes you can continue to breastfeed and provide only your own milk to your baby.