There's no denying that Tricare is one of the biggest benefits of becoming a service member. Now that premiums are hitting all-time highs for mediocre coverage at best, it's a huge advantage to have top-notch healthcare for your family- especially when it's paid for. While in years past this was still a positive, as insurance markets and healthcare changes, it's become more and more valuable.
Us milspos might have to deal with deployment, long hours, frequent moves, and more, but one positive is getting some decent healthcare out of the deal. (What can I say? Some days we dig deep for the perks.)
Breastfeeding as a Trend
Obviously breastfeeding isn't new, but its popularity has grown tremendously in recent years. With more and more studies showing health benefits, products sold that help make it easier, and an emphasis on natural eating, a growing number of moms are feeding their little ones straight from the tap. (This comes in vs. decades past, such as the 80s, where women were more modest and formula was the new-age way to go.)
Combined, this means that breastfeeding is popular, it's easily accessible, and Tricare is taking note.
Military Locations are Breastfeeding Friendly
Hospitals and other new buildings are displaying signs that show they support nursing babes. Lactation rooms are also being designated so moms can feed with privacy and comfort. (Arm rests are a must!)
Breast Pumps are FREE!
Anyone who has ever shopped around knows that breast pumps are pricey; out of pocket you're looking at $100-$400. But with Tricare, it's free. Yep, completely free. Women have a choice of various models and all they have to do is contact a medical supply company to have it delivered. (When I had my babe it was even easier; a rep came to my room fully stocked.)
This benefit applies to every pregnancy. Opt for a different pump with baby number two, or just get the latest version whenever number three rolls around. The choice is yours; Tricare allows for a free pump with each child.
Every month, breastfeeding moms get a supply of storage bags, bottles, and flanges (the parts that attach to the ta-tas). This is another example where, out of pocket, this would be expensive. But with the monthly prescription, it's free.
These benefits are likely due to ongoing research showing the health benefits of breastfeeding, which can lead to healthier kids.
Meanwhile, moms get some great benefits and even greater savings.
Fed is Best
There are various camps on the breastfeeding stance. However, it's best to remember that no matter what your preferences, fed is best. Not all babies or moms are able to breastfeed; others choose not to for various reasons. Donated milk is another option. Check Facebook groups for access to donating or obtaining breast milk for a little one.
Breastfeeding is certainly a personal choice. But when under military insurance, it comes with some serious benefits for your budget, and for your baby.