When choosing a breast pump, many moms feel overwhelmed with the options of manual pumps, electric pumps, and hospital grade pumps. While most expectant mothers qualify for manual or electric breast pumps, some moms-to-be may require a hospital grade breast pump. But what exactly does hospital grade mean?
The FDA does not regulate the use of the term “hospital-grade”. The term “hospital-grade breast pump” is actually not even recognized by the FDA and there is no consistent definition for the term; individual companies can mean different things when they label their pumps as “hospital grade”.
Most mothers use hospital grade breast pumps while their child is in the NICU, because the majority of hospital grade pumps (as far as insurance companies are concerned) are “closed system pumps”, which means they are sanitary and safe for use by multiple mothers. A closed system infers that there is a barrier which will prevent milk or milk particles from entering the pump tubing or motor, which eliminates the need for pump tube washing or replacement.
Most companies market their pumps with the strongest suction and most durable components as hospital grade. A lot of moms will seek a hospital grade pump for use at home if they are having issues with feeding. The Symphony from Medela, in particular, is marketed to help establish an initial milk supply, and can also help build and then maintain milk supply. This is convenient for mothers who plan to feed long-term and are either constantly away from baby or having issues feeding directly.
There are a few newer pumps that are more compact which are marketed as hospital grade, for example the Spectra S1 or S2. These are marketed as hospital grade, specifically because they are a closed system.
If you are returning to work or school, on-the-go, having difficulty with breastfeeding, or just looking for the amenity of a pump, you are probably overwhelmed by different choices. The FDA now oversees the safety and effectiveness of these medical devices, and a lot of them are now covered by health insurance companies per the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act stipulates that pumps be covered as a preventative benefit (not all plans are currently compliant). Aeroflow Breastpumps offers a wide variety of pumps and accessories and can help you qualify for your free breast pump through insurance. Simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and one of our Breastpump Specialists will work directly with your insurance company, verify your network status and benefit, and contact you within 3-5 business days.
If you have questions about hospital grade breast pumps, getting your pump through insurance, or what type of pump will best fit your needs, give our specially trained Breastpump Specialists a call today at 844-867-9890.