Breastfeeding is healthier for a baby than formula because it provides enzymes, growth factors, antibodies and anti-virus factors that prevent babies from getting sick. Many women plan on breastfeeding their babies but sometimes the babies have difficulty latching on. It also is difficult for women to continue breastfeeding their babies when they return to work. These are common situations that are solved by a breast pump. These devices allow a woman to save her breast milk and feed it to her baby in a bottle. There are electric, pedal and manual pumps, which can be obtained at a hospital.
Things You'll Need
- Your baby’s birth certificate or other proof of identification
- Breastfeeding log
- Proof you are working or going to school (sometimes required)
To obtain a free breast pump from a hospital, you have to prove you have a baby. If you’ve just recently had the baby in that hospital, there should be no problem. If you had the baby somewhere other than a hospital or are returning to the hospital a few months after having the baby, you may have to show the baby’s birth certificate or other proof of identification, such as a crib card or immunization record. Pumps can be expensive and hospitals want to make sure you are trustworthy.
Talk to a lactation specialist or a certified lactation educator in the hospital about what type of pump is best for you. If you are returning to work full time, borrowing an electric pump from the hospital may be your best choice. If you are staying at home but the baby is having trouble latching on, you may benefit from using a manual pump, which the hospital may provide for free.
If you choose to get an electric or pedal pump, you may have to fill out paperwork in order to rent it. Be prepared to show an identification card for yourself. You may have to include a phone number of someone who does not live with you on the loan contract for security purposes.
To obtain a free breast pump, you should show the hospital you are serious about trying to breastfeed. This way they will see your commitment and know giving you a free breast pump is not going to go to waste. One way to prove your commitment is to keep a breastfeeding log to show the lactation specialist or other hospital staff. In the log, record the time when you breastfeed each day, how long each feeding lasts and any other comments you may have, such as “baby got full and fell asleep on breast." In the log, you should be able to show that you are breastfeeding, or are trying to breastfeed, at least eight to 10 times in 24 hours.
To borrow a pedal or electric pump from the hospital, you may have to prove you are going to work or school. This is not always the case, but be prepared to provide a name and number of someone they can contact who will verify you are working or going to school. A good contact would be a supervisor or a school academic adviser.