Maternal Health & Lactation Support

To support the health and well-being of both new parents and their baby, Indiana University is committed to supporting lactating employees as they return to work. Talk with your supervisor or local human resource office to discuss your plans to return to work while continuing to breast or chest feed your newborn.

Breast or chest feeding gives your baby a healthy start on life! Here are a few reasons why breast/chest feeding is good for you and your baby.

Breast/Chest Feeding Health Benefits for:

  • Reduces rates of type 2 diabetes and incidence of obesity
  • Decreases rates of leukemia and lymphoma
  • Fewer and less severe respiratory and gastrointestinal infections
  • Reduced risk of developing asthma and allergies
  • Strengthened immune systems
  • Fewer instances of constipation and diarrhea
Lactating Parents
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases cholesterol levels
  • Lowers rates of breast and ovarian cancer
  • Reduces risk of diabetes
  • Reduced bleeding after giving birth
  • Decreased instances of postpartum depression
  • Burns calories that can contribute to post-pregnancy weight loss

Learn More about The Benefits of Breast/Chest Feeding

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Human milk is an excellent source of nutrition that sets up your baby for healthy growth and development and can also benefit his or her immune system. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends human milk as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. After six months, it can be continued for as long as both mother and baby desire it.

If breast or chest feeding is not an option, there is an alternative. Feeding your newborn donor milk can help your newborn receive the antibodies and nutrients he or she needs.

Donor milk is human milk that has been donated to a milk bank by prescreened donors. The donated milk is tested, pasteurized, frozen, and distributed to families of babies who need it. Donor milk is usually prescribed by the newborn’s healthcare provider.

Learn more about Donor Milk

Formula Feeding

Infant formula can provide excellent nutrition for your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides a series of articles, where you can learn about what to look for in a baby formula, and most importantly, how to prepare and store your baby’s formula safely.

Find the articles on Formula Feeding here.

Fed Is Best Foundation provide safe, infant feeding education for breastfeeding, mixed-feeding, formula-feeding, pumped-milk-feeding, and tube-feeding mothers and families to prevent feeding complications to babies that have become too common from the pressure to exclusively breastfeed at all costs.

Lactation support, supplies, and counseling are covered under IU-sponsored medical plans as preventive care with no member cost.

Lactation Medical Benefits

One breast pump is covered under all IU-sponsored medical plans at no cost during pregnancy following delivery when purchased from in-network providers.

Steps to obtain a qualified breast pump:

  • Obtain a prescription from an OB/GYN for the breast pump (pediatricians do not provide a prescription for breast pumps),
  • Purchase a pump through a local in-network Durable Medical Equipment (or DME) provider, or
  • Purchase a pump through an online or national in-network DME provider.

*Sometimes, the OB/GYN provider will not provide a breast pump prescription until the baby is born, but it is good to have this conversation ahead of time to know how to get a prescription from their office.

Obtaining a Pump
The breast pump is considered durable medical equipment (DME), under an IU-sponsored medical plan. The prescription should be filled through an Anthem in-network DME provider. This can be the hospital, an approved local brick-and-mortar, or an online DME provider. Employees can find an in-network, DME provider by clicking here.

Alternatively, many employees order breast pumps through national online providers that are part of the Anthem network:

Start Your Child's Medical Coverage - As an IU Academic or Staff employee enrolled in a medical plan, eligible dependents can be enrolled in the same plan when a qualifying change in status occurs. Enrollment must take place within 30 days of the newborn's birth, adoption, or legal guardianship.

Paid Parental Leave is provided to an eligible staff employee, following a birth or adoption of a child, in recognition of the importance of work + life synergy and offering parents the opportunity to bond with their new child.

IU Tax Saver Benefit Plan - Dependent Care reimbursement account may help you save money on child care and medical care expenses.

The 24-Hour Nurse Line (dial 888-279-5449) is a resource for those enrolled in one of the IU-sponsored medical plans who need guidance on non-emergency health questions and concerns.

Telehealth services are similar to an office visit. Doctors you see online are prepared to assess your conditions, offer a treatment plan, and send prescriptions to a pharmacy of your choosing. Learn more at LiveHealth Online.

Indiana University provides wellness rooms to support Academics, Staff, and Students who need a private space for expressing milk. Click on your campus below to learn more.

On March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express human milk for their nursing child, for one year after the child’s birth, each time the employee needs to express milk (section 7r of FLSA).

Ind. Code § 5-10-6-2 and § 22-2-14-2 (2008) provide that state and political subdivisions shall provide for reasonable paid breaks for an employee to express milk for their infant, make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express milk in private as well as make reasonable efforts to provide a refrigerator to keep the milk that has been expressed.

Research has proven that breast/chest feeding plays a vital role in giving newborns a healthy start on life and maintaining moms’ good health. Therefore, it is important that employees who have the opportunity to breast/chest feed their newborns are presented with a welcoming and supportive environment when they return to work.

Learn more about How to Support Lactating Employees

CDC Proper Handling and Storage of Human Milk

Travel Recommendations for Lactating Individuals

TSA Special Procedures related to human milk, formula, and infant feeding equipment across all airport security checkpoints.

Enroll Your Newborn or Newly Adopted Child Today!

As an IU Academic or Staff employee enrolled in a medical plan, eligible dependents can be enrolled in the same plan when a qualifying change in status occurs. Enrollment must take place within 30 days of the birth, adoption or legal guardianship.

Start Coverage

Change the beneficiaries on your base retirement and life insurance, as well as any other supplemental plans.

Begin or stop IU Tax Deferred Account.