This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Homefront Pumps. All opinions are my own.
“But what am I supposed to do without you?”
As my mom finished packing her bag before heading to the airport, I started crying, while she hushed and comforted me. One mother holding her child– me– while I held my own infant son. I couldn’t fathom trying to take care of a baby by myself. Not yet. Overwhelmed would aptly describe my feelings in that moment.
I knew she had to leave, but my mom’s help for the weeks after giving birth to my first child had been so invaluable and welcome. She’d traveled across the country from New Mexico to Ohio after I’d had our baby and stepped right into taking over the household chores, cooking, and tackling Mt. Laundry on a daily basis, which allowed me to simply focus on getting to know my new baby and learn the ins and outs of breastfeeding. We’d been swathed in a little cocoon of glowing happiness, extended naps, and yummy food which magically appeared on a regular basis, courtesy of my mom.
But now, she needed to return home to her own job. And as the wife to an active-duty military man, I understood that I had to figure this whole new parenting thing out quickly, because I was now on my own.
Twenty-six years later, I traveled from Virginia to Alaska to visit that same son, now in the military himself, who’d just welcomed his new baby. I stayed as long as I was able and did my best to help make things easier for the new parents, for the new mama who was getting to know her precious one and learning how to breastfeed, change diapers, and figure out this new life. And like a replay of what had happened many years before, the day came when I needed to return home and let them settle into their life as a young military family.
If you’re a military mom yourself, I have a feeling you can relate! Military families are typically stationed far away from what would be our normal support system, and military mamas must learn to navigate the early days of motherhood without that help. But what if I told you that, as far as breastfeeding support goes, you don’t have to do it alone? Even if you’re far from anyone you know? There are options!
I’ve talked before on this blog about how TRICARE covers the cost of breastfeeding supplies. Many military spouses are unaware of benefits they can receive as a new mother. My own daughter-in-law was surprised to learn during her pregnancy what medical supplies are covered by TRICARE.
Let’s talk about some more support that’s readily available to you as a new mom, whether you’re active duty military or a military spouse.
New Military Mom, You’re Not Alone! Get the Latest on Breastfeeding Support, Supplies, & Pumps
First Things First: Do You Know Breastfeeding Supplies Are Covered by TRICARE?
Did you know that TRICARE covers double electric breast pumps for new moms? You’re entitled to a pump for each pregnancy, along with many other supplies, including supplies for breast milk storage and lactation sessions. And here’s the best part–it’s at no cost to you!
Take a look at Homefront Pumps, who offer top-rated breast pumps and supplies. They work with TRICARE, both Prime and Select, East or West Region. After verifying your eligibility with TRICARE and receiving a prescription from your provider, Homefront Pumps can ship everything you need once you’ve hit the 27-week mark of pregnancy. And there are no upgrade fees for the best supplies you can find. What could be easier?
Visit Homefront Pumps at any time during your pregnancy to place your no cost order for the items you want!
Homefront Pumps is staffed by lactation professionals–even their customer service reps! I was so excited to see how much they offer in the way of education and support for breastfeeding moms, including virtual support. If you’re having difficulties with nursing or just need to ask a question, they’re ready to help. You don’t even need to leave your home to get support from a lactation consultant. Homefront Pumps also hosts free webinars twice monthly (more on that in a moment!).
It’s So Easy to Order the Products You Need for Breastfeeding
If you’re returning to work or just want to have breastmilk on hand for your baby to have by bottle, you may not be sure where to start. Homefront Pumps works with military families covered by TRICARE to provide the highest quality breastfeeding products, including the popular Kiinde Twist products and others.
What’s so special about Kiinde Twist? It’s a premium breastmilk storage pouch that allows you to directly pump into the pouch, and then feed your baby from that same pouch. This means no transfers, spills, or risk of contamination. Easy peasy!
Homefront Pumps will send you everything you need to get started using the Kiinde Twist system, including the adapters for your pump, a bottle, nipple, and 100 breastmilk storage pouches, every 30 days. Learn more about Kiinde Twist here.
Take a look at the all the products Homefront Pumps offers breastfeeding military mamas:
Medela Pump in Style Advanced Starter Kit
Medela Pump in Style Advanced Backpack
Medela Pump in Style Advanced Tote
Breast Milk Storage:
Already have a pump? You can still order breastmilk storage pouches. And did you know that TRICARE covers 90 breastmilk storage pouches every 30 days, no matter which supplier you received your pump from? Visit Homefront Pumps to place your order for pouches, and they’ll get you covered!
Support for Your New Mom Journey
As a military mom, you may not have your auntie or mom down the street or across town to guide you through the first days with your new baby in real life, but you can still find help! An IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is a health care professional specializing in the clinical management of breastfeeding, and Homefront Pumps utilizes these professionals during their free webinars.
Webinars are hosted twice a month by an IBCLC who will guide you through all the questions that may come up with nursing your baby. View helpful webinars from the comfort of home, and ask questions in a private setting. What a gift to new mamas! You don’t have to figure this out alone.
Webinars cover various topics about breastfeeding, and they’ll answer any questions you may have. Topics vary, but include:
Breast Pump 101
Breastmilk Storage Tips & Tricks
Returning to Work
Away from Baby
These FREE 30-minute webinars are offered twice a month on Tuesday, at 8 pm EST. You must register ahead of time to receive an access code. Click here to register for a Homefront Pumps webinar. And if you can’t attend, feel free to email their IBCLC at LC@HomefrontPumps.com, and she will help you with your specific question.
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Breastfeeding Help When You Need It Most
You may be thinking that breastfeeding sounds like a great idea, but aren’t sure you could make it work. You have a lot of questions, and may not have someone to turn to answer those questions. Or maybe you’re wondering if a breastfeeding webinar would actually be helpful to you? Homefront Pumps’ mission is to support you in every step of your breastfeeding journey.
Take a look at this information provided by Homefront Pumps’ own Dominique Gallo, IBCLC, RLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), who kindly answered several questions that new moms frequently have.
1) When should I start pumping? When can I give the baby a bottle?
“Since the U.S has no guaranteed maternity leave for mothers, some have to return to work very soon after delivery. I suggest for mothers that have a shorter maternity leave to try to direct breastfeed for at least 2 weeks: work on the breastfeeding before adding something else to your day.
After the first 2 weeks, start to pump 1-2x/day for about 15-20 minutes to store and save up for going back to work. Somewhere between 2-4 weeks postpartum, have someone introduce a bottle with a slow flow nipple via paced bottle feeding at least 1x/week. If you are not returning to work, there really is no need to pump this frequently or give bottles this frequently.
You can give bottles and pump as you need to before you leave. Most lactation consultants think this is way too soon to do any of this; however, I have spent most of my career working with low income families and families with little to no maternity leave. This plan has helped them to be successful with breastfeeding once returning to work, and these parents were able to breastfeed for their intended goals.”
2) How do I know if the baby is getting enough breastmilk?
“Counting diapers and listening for swallows is a good way to know if the baby is getting enough milk. Looking for good sucking patterns at the breast and active nursing is a good way to tell if the infant is getting enough milk at the breast. Look for relaxation after feeds. If you suspect that the infant is not getting enough milk at the breast, please reach out to a lactation consultant to make sure the infant is doing well at the breast and gaining well.”
3) If I am having feelings of sadness or if I do not feel like myself, who do I call? Is this feeling normal?
“Feeling sad or ‘blue’ after having a baby is very normal, and it may be worse now that we are having to live in isolation for most of the day because of COVID-19. There are several resources if you are feeling sad, and please reach out as soon as you are feeling this way.
Call your OB’s office and let them know that you are not feeling like yourself, and they should be able to give you some local assistance or even a prescription if they feel it is necessary.
Postpartum Support International is a wonderful support network that can help you to identify your feelings and provide you with resources that can be helpful. Their website is a wealth of information as well: www.postpartum.net or 1-800-944-4773.”
Learn more about postpartum depression and resources from a military spouse who’s been there. And see below for TRICARE contact info:
As a new breastfeeding mother, you’re likely attempting to figure out latching, a feeding schedule, what’s normal/what’s not when breastfeeding your baby, all while feeling sleep deprived yourself. You may have also recently moved or have a spouse away on training or deployment. Please don’t go it alone! Make the most of the resources available to you. I hope you’ll take advantage of all the free support from Homefront Pumps. If you do, I’d love to hear about your experience.
I wish you all the best with your new little one!
Connect with Homefront Pumps:
Lactation Consultant: LC@HomefrontPumps.com