Breastfeeding at Princeton
Breast pumps are 100% covered by our Aetna insurance plan! Lactation consultants recommend getting the “Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump Starter Set” which you can order from this website. It is a very easy process. All you need to do is fill out your insurance information and you can get the pump shipped to you within a week or two if you are one month from the due date.
Aetna provides 6 free lactation consultant visits.
Princeton provides lactation rooms (see list here) throughout the campus. You need to request a room tiger card access with the lactation room contact person, to ensure more privacy in these rooms. Princeton also has a nursing guideline under its employees website (beware that this page contains parenting-related information not applicable to Princeton graduate students as it’s meant for staff and employees). Don’t expect much as many of these lactation rooms have little to no accommodations.
Check out the Mercer County WIC for food supplements and breastfeeding support for eligible families.
By Leslie Kowalski, a lactation consultant and La Leche League leader
The biggest obstacles to breastfeeding that mothers face are lack of support and misinformation. Pain, sores, or a baby that “doesn’t want to breastfeed”, are not normal. And breastfeeding after, or with, supplementation is possible. There are answers for breastfeeding problems and getting help early makes things much easier.
If you have breastfeeding problems, or just want personalized lactation support, seek out an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) ‐ a healthcare professional that provides home visits coverable by insurance. Through the Princeton University Aetna plan, you may be entitled to up to 6 fully covered visits with an in-network IBCLC, or up to an 80% reimbursement from a non-network IBCLC. These visits (before and after having your baby) are a wonderful way to help you on the road to breastfeeding success!
A private home visit with an IBCLC can be scheduled for a variety of breastfeeding questions and concerns, including prenatal breastfeeding counseling, help with latch and position, supply concerns, infant weight gain concerns, pumping, return to work/school, and much much more. To find an IBCLC near you, please go to ZipMilk or use Aetna’s “Find a Doctor” database (use the keywords “lactation” or “breastfeeding”).
For additional breastfeeding support, attend a La Leche League (LLL) breastfeeding meeting, or simply contact a LLL Leader for breastfeeding support. LLL is a mother-to-mother support group that welcomes pregnant, new and experienced moms. Meetings are a way to get breastfeeding information (and a great way to meet other moms in the area!). Volunteer leaders answer questions by phone and/or email, and also facilitate the monthly meetings to support pregnant and nursing mothers with any breastfeeding questions and concerns. In order to provide as much support as possible, LLL groups meet throughout the calendar, each group meeting on particular day of the month (some during the day, some at night).
The LLL groups around Princeton are:
- LLL of Princeton – meets at the Gymboree in the Forrestal Center in Princeton/Plainsboro on the 1st Friday morning of each month.
- LLL of Princeton North – meets at the Rocky Hill Library on the 3rd Wednesday morning of each month
- There are other LLL groups in the area – for specific meeting information for all groups in the area, click here or the Facebook Group for La Leche League of Mercer County
- There are other breastfeeding support groups such as the weekly Breastfeeding Support groups at The Medical Center of Princeton or Capital Health in Hopewell
And, if you don’t get a chance to get to a support group or schedule a visit with an IBCLC before having your baby – no worries – please know that babies can breastfeed on their own! Many mothers are taught to use positions (like the cradle and football holds) in the early days, but these are actually more advanced nursing positions. Instead, use the “training wheels” of breastfeeding – Laid Back Nursing. It’s comfortable for you and your baby, no special pillows are needed, and your baby will amaze you by self-latching. After a few weeks of practice, you will be sitting up and breastfeeding anywhere! For more information on laid back breastfeeding (aka Natural Breastfeeding), check out these articles: “Many Moms Have Been Taught to Breastfeed Incorrectly” and Laid Back/Natural Breastfeeding YouTube videos