What is a “Hospital-Grade” Breast Pump?
Ameda Direct is committed to educating mothers on issues that impact their breastfeeding experience. Our goal is to empower mothers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions on lactation topics such as hospital-grade breast pumps.
Many mothers’ first experience with a breast pump is in the hospital, possibly when their infant is in the NICU. Hospitals use breast pumps that are specifically designed to be safely used by many different mothers. These FDA-certificated, multi-user pumps are “closed system” pumps – meaning there’s no risk for breast milk contamination due to the special barrier which separates the milk collection system from the pump body.
It’s important to note that the FDA does not recognize the term “hospital-grade.”
Because the FDA does not regulate the use of this phrase, this means that any breast pump company can use the term to market their products. Terms like “hospital-grade suction” or “hospital-grade durability” are common marketing terms used by breast pump companies, but it’s important to understand what the company means by the term. It could be that the breast pump is truly an FDA-certified closed system, multi-user pump; or that the company is simply marketing their personal-use pump’s suction strength or durability with a phrase sure to draw mothers’ attention.
Do I need a Hospital-Grade (Multi-User) Pump?
The simple answer in most cases is no, but because so many breast pump companies market “hospital-grade” as synonymous with “high quality,” many mothers are not aware that a quality personal-use pump is the perfect fit for meeting their breastfeeding goals! While there are special circumstances where a hospital-grade breast pump is necessary, most mothers can establish and maintain their milk supply using a high-quality personal-use pump.
The Affordable Care Act mandates that most insurance companies pay for a breast pump but the type is not specified in the legislation. FDA-certified breast pumps typically cost more than $1000 and most insurance companies will not fully cover a thousand-dollar breast pump, regardless of if the pump is doctor prescribed or not.
We recommend taking advantage of the highest quality free breast pump your insurance will fully cover before coming out of pocket for a multi-user pump. Ameda is the only brand with the FDA-certified viral barrier on all of their personal-use double electric breast pumps! To order your Ameda pump, fully covered by your insurance, click here!