TRICARE and exclusive pumping: accessing support and resources

Breastfeeding comes with a unique set of challenges for military moms, who face hurdles like deployments and frequent relocations. For these brave, busy moms in service, exclusive pumping is a viable alternative as it offers more flexibility and control than nursing. Getting your hands on a high-quality breast pump is crucial if you want to exclusively pump during your military service, and TRICARE makes it both easy and affordable. At Milk N Mamas Baby, we make it even easier to get a pump that meets your needs by helping you navigate TRICARE’s policies.

Understanding Exclusive Pumping

Exclusive pumping is the process of extracting milk with a breast pump to feed your baby by bottle rather than nursing. It’s a choice for many military moms who face unpredictable schedules or lack private facilities for breastfeeding. Exclusive pumping can be as much a commitment as breastfeeding, requiring diligent scheduling and careful management of milk supply. However, for military moms, it offers the predictability and control that their lifestyle may demand.

For more on exclusive pumping, read our article “Choosing the best breast pump for exclusive pumping.”

TRICARE Coverage for Breast Pumps

TRICARE supports breastfeeding moms and recognizes the importance of breast pumps for those who choose exclusive pumping. Under TRICARE, you’re entitled to a new breast pump for each birth event, which includes delivery and adoption. Here’s how you can claim your breast pump through TRICARE:

  1. Obtain a Prescription: Your doctor, nurse practitioner, or midwife can provide a prescription for a breast pump.
  2. Select a Supplier: Milk N Mamas Baby is an authorized supplier, and we can help you choose the best pump for your needs.
  3. Submit Your Claim: With Milk N Mamas Baby, we handle the paperwork for you, submitting your claim to TRICARE to ensure you receive your pump with no out-of-pocket cost.

Additional Resources and Support from TRICARE

Beyond breast pumps, TRICARE offers additional breastfeeding support that is invaluable for exclusive pumpers:

  • Lactation Consultation: Up to six outpatient visits per birth event are covered.
  • Breastfeeding Supplies: Including storage bags, necessary for exclusive pumpers to store pumped milk safely.

We at Milk N Mamas Baby can guide you through accessing these resources, ensuring you have everything needed to successfully exclusively pump.

Tips for Successful Exclusive Pumping

Exclusive pumping requires commitment, and having the right equipment and support is crucial. Here are some tips for success:

  • Establish a Routine: Pumping around the clock mimics a baby’s feeding schedule, which helps maintain milk supply.
  • Choose the Right Pump: For exclusive pumping success, consider the Spectra S1 or the BabyBuddha for their powerful suction and portability, or the Elvie Pump for discreet, hands-free operation, ensuring efficiency and convenience for busy military moms. We offer a variety of TRICARE-approved pumps that fit different lifestyles and needs.
  • Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Just like with breastfeeding, your body needs plenty of fluids and a balanced diet to produce milk.
  • Engage with Community and Online Support: Connecting with other military moms who are exclusively pumping can provide emotional support and practical advice. Platforms like Military OneSource and social media groups specifically for military families can offer support and connection.

TRICARE provides the financial support needed for breast pumps and supplies, and at Milk N Mamas Baby, we’re here to help you navigate these benefits. We believe in supporting military moms every step of the way, ensuring you have the resources, community, and equipment to make exclusive pumping a successful part of your parenting journey. Remember, when it comes to breastfeeding and exclusive pumping, you have choices, and we’re here to help you make the best ones for your family.

With the right support and resources, exclusive pumping can be a fulfilling experience that strengthens the bond between you and your baby, no matter where your military life takes you.