With the new Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), insurance companies are finally beginning to cover lactation services and necessary aids and equipment; like breastpumps.   After I have attended several seminars on insurance reimbursement, the consenses is that the US insurance industry is in turmoil and confusion about adding lactation services and equipment to their reimbursement menu. Each company is intrepreting the ACA in it’s own way.

You are not alone if you are confused!

We are all trying to figure it out, but it is worth it for you to pursue reimbursement for the services and products you need, with your insurance company, to be able to breastfeed and provide breastmilk for your baby. More and more companies ARE paying, and the more consumer demand, the more the lawyers and businessmen that run our health care industry will realize how important these services and products are.

It would be smart for every insurance company to provide “well” breastfeeding services for ALL mothers and babies just like they pay for “well” pediatric visits as babies that are breastfed are so much healthier and have, on average, 1/2 the health care costs compared to babies that are formula fed.

These links will provide you with more information.  Please ask your insurance company to pay for the services and products you need.  Best Start Parenting Center is here to help in any way we can.  (434) 384-MAMA (6262)

Jane Bradshaw RN, BSN, IBCLC, RLC

The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new “Patient’s Bill of Rights” gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health.


Get your questions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and insurance-covered breastpumps answered!



Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program




Read this excellent blog about why mothers need childbirth classes, whether birthing in the hospital or at home.  Understanding this can help us on our journey to have better births in the United States and lower cesarean rates.

By Joy Rhodes, virtual assistant to Jane and Mom of three boys

I recently had my third son this past summer and was looking forward to breastfeeding him just like I breastfed my other two sons.  Having had wonderful breastfeeding experiences with my other two boys, I was quite surprised when I experienced pain while breastfeeding with this baby.  I knew that the latch looked right from the outside, but something was not right if there was pain.  Jane Bradshaw, my wonderful International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and friend, always told everyone that breastfeeding should never hurt, so I started investigating other possibilities.  I noticed that my baby seemed to eat all the time with hardly a break.  I would sit for two hours at a time on the couch with a baby that seemed to eat and eat and eat and not feel satisfied.  He would sleep a bit and then wake up hungry again.  He was getting milk, but it seemed to take him so long to get it.  That in combination with the pain was wearing down this mommy quick.  So I made an appointment with Jane to do a weight check and a breastfeeding snapshot to see exactly how much milk he was getting in a feeding and also have her look at his latch to make sure I was not missing any problem areas.

The first thing Jane checked was his tongue.  She noticed that he did not stick his tongue out of his mouth and it did not rise very high when he cried.  These were two very good signs of the possibility of a tongue-tie in combination with the breast pain and long feedings.  Sometimes you can see the frenulum visually, but in my son’s case he had a very deep rooted tongue-tie that was not easily seen until the Ear Nose and Throat Specialist found it underneath the web-like tissue.  Even my son’s doctor did not see the tongue-tie because it was one that was not commonly seen with an initial look in the mouth.  Thankfully he was getting enough milk to gain weight, but I had to work harder with pumping and compressions to get all the milk to him in a feeding (not to mention the pain I was feeling!).  Jane suggested a visit to the Ear Nose and Throat Specialist in Lynchburg, VA, Dr. Andrea Kittrell.   I made an appointment and had the procedure done that day.

No one likes to see their baby in pain and worries about having any kind of procedure done that would cause it.  My son cried a little when he came back to the room from the procedure, but the pain afterwards was very minimal.  He breastfed immediately and I felt a difference right away!  No pain from nursing at all, right there at the doctor’s office.  Jane gave me some post-procedure exercises to do with him to help him learn to use his tongue better, and he was soon sticking out his tongue with gusto and enjoying the new-found freedom to move his tongue.  Feedings improved dramatically and there was NO pain.

Jane told me that tongue-ties are very common, and most are undiagnosed because moms give up breastfeeding because of the pain.  Many people live with the pain of breastfeeding and just assume that it is normal and something to have to struggle through in order to give your baby the best food, breastmilk.  I think of many friends and family members who pushed through with breastfeeding and eventually gave up around six months because it hurt too much or the baby was not gaining enough weight because they thought they didn’t have enough milk.  I agree with Jane, it’s not supposed to hurt!   I wish they would have gone to an IBCLC and got a solution to ease their pain so that they could enjoy the incredible bonding experience of breastfeeding their baby for as long as possible, not to mention the tremendous benefits of breastmilk for their baby.    If you have pain from breastfeeding, make an appointment with Jane Bradshaw or another IBCLC in your area today to find relief.


We have just become an affiliate with Breastmilkbabies.com!  Here is a blog post from their website about some of their wonderful products. 

by Robin Frees, Director of Breastmilkbabies.com

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Relaxation and Stress Reduction

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Click here to listen to samples of this wonderful product!

My wonderful friend Mary posted this on her blImageog, and I think it is the best advice for grandmothers I’ve ever heard expressed.   She has graciously allowed me to share her thoughts with you!   Jane

October 27, 2012

I’m getting ready to fly to Ca for 3 1/2 weeks to help my daughter and her family as she’s about to have her second baby, another grandchild! Woohoo! They have opted not to find out the gender until the birth, which is exactly the same thing they did when their son was born 2 years ago.

When they told me they were pregnant with the first, Of course I was thrilled. Imagine how excited I was, my daughter was pregnant, and now I could share all my firsthand knowledge with her about being pregnant, labor, delivery, raising children, this was going to be great! I could hardly wait to impart my wisdom to her, and surely she would hang on every word and be so extremely grateful.

Here’s how our first conversation went. Me:”Do you want me to tell you all the stuff they don’t tell you about when you’re pregnant?” Her: “No thanks Mom, I googled it, and I’ve got a couple of books. If I have any questions, I’ll ask you, thanks!”

She googled it???? They didn’t have Google when I was pregnant! Argh! But instead of being hurt and angry(which started to be my first reaction), I made the choice right then and there to be proud of my daughter for doing her homework, making her own way and figuring things out on her own. I kept all my advice to myself, sat back, and watched her go. She was great and she still is!

Continue Reading »

Beware of Babywise

A sweet mother called this week, worried because her milk supply is too low.  Her baby cries and is no longer satisfied.  We talked a while and she said she has been breastfeeding according to the information in the book ‘Babywise’.  Her baby was 4 to 5 months old, sleeps 9 to 11 hours at night and she breastfeeds 5 times during the day and he recently dropped another feeding.  I encouraged her to breastfeed more often and she texted me that in less than 24 hours she could tell the difference and that she had more milk.   This is the email with resources I sent her.


Dear _________,

I’m so glad you are seeing a response with an increase in your milk supply already.  It will work, and you will see your milk grow and grow until it is abundant again.  I want you to come home, grab a plate of food, put your feet up, nurse the baby and read all this stuff I’m sending you on your computer, watch TV and snuggle up to your husband.  You can do a lot of “couple time” while the baby is in your lap, which Gary Ezzo doesn’t understand.

Continue Reading »

Making Mealtime Fun

Excerpt By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Picky Eater


Click to Purchase in our Bookstore!

Kids just want to have fun. So why not use this concept to entice them to the table? Many of my test parents report success when getting creative with the presentation or the names of the foods they want their kids to eat. You certainly don’t have to do this for every food, or for every meal, but it is a great way to take a bit of stress out of getting your little one to eat.

You can come up with a crazy name for just about any food.  Get your child involved in the naming process. Once a food gets a fun name go ahead and call it that whenever it’s on the menu. Funny names often get the best results, such as calling melon balls Little Pixie Basketballs or kidney beans Dinosaur Eggs.

Adding your child’s name to any food or meal gives him a reason to try it and love it. Experiment with something like these: Sloppy Joans, Ben’s Belly-icious Beans, Sophie Soup, or Lillian-burgers. Or name food after the dog or your child’s favorite cartoon characters.

A great way to get younger children engaged in mealtime is to have the food actually “talk” to him. The spaghetti can call your child to the table for dinner. The beans can “ask” to climb into his mouth and visit his tummy. But whenever a food “talks” make sure you use a funny, disguised voice – beans never sound exactly like Mom or Dad, you know.

In addition to fun names you can make any food more interesting by changing the presentation. Try some of these ideas:

~ Use cookie cutters or a knife to make fun shapes out of sandwiches, pancakes, and cheese. Shapes, strips, circles, or funny shaped bits can be more fun than a plain old square.

~ Use anything other than a kitchen plate to serve up food. It’s so easy to use colorful containers, toy dishes, an ice cube tray, or a muffin tin as dishes. These platters often make a meal or snack more interesting to a child.

~ Get artistic! Instead of neat piles on the plate make designs or separate the peas all over the place. While we adults are used to seeing food in tidy designs, lots of kids find a fun disarray more appealing.

~ There’s no reason for your child’s food to always be boring beige or white. You can use food coloring to create pink mashed potatoes or purple mashed cauliflower. You can also add a color to water when boiling pasta or potatoes and have green pancakes or orange pasta. Your child can participate by choosing the colors or adding the drops. Foods create color, too – so add blueberries to oatmeal or strawberries to yogurt for more color.

~ Get out the craft supplies and help your kids design and make their own placements, a table centerpiece, or napkin holders. If this project is a hit, make it a monthly routine, perhaps decorating the table for each holiday. Once your children have decorated the table they may be more interested in sitting there.

~ Purchase a dinner plate set decorated with your child’s current favorite TV or movie character. Or take them to the store and let them choose their own dishes, even if they don’t match your set.

~ Use a plate as a canvass and arrange the food as a face or in the shape of an animal. You can even let your child build his own creation then dare him to “eat the nose” or “take a bite of the foot.”

~ Get creative with presentation. Your child’s plate doesn’t always have to look the same – with a pile of each different type of food neatly arranged. You can string beans or noodles around the edge of the plate. Try alternating veggies, meat and grain in mini-piles or stripes all over the plate, or combine them to make a design. Get creative when you’re dishing out the next meal and see what happens!

~ Combine fun names and interesting presentations to make a meal irresistible.  Stand up broccoli pieces in a bed of mashed potatoes and sprinkle on bits of meat to make an edible forest. Pick a fun name, such as “Dinner Forestville”, or name the forest after your child.

~ Have a formal “taste test” as a great way to clear your refrigerator of the week’s leftovers and get your kids to eat. Put out an assortment of foods in small bowls or dishes and invite everyone to take small tastes of various dishes and comment on their flavors. You can also ask your child to be your official taste-tester when you prepare a meal. Ask formal questions, “Do you believe that this contains enough salt, kind sir?” This game can be played over and over!

~ Try a different configuration of a regular food. For example, instead of spaghetti with meatballs serve spaghetti with one mega-meatball in the middle of the plate, or instead make mini-meatballs — have lots of them surrounding the spaghetti. Instead of carrots cut in circles make one very long, skinny strip from one end of the carrot to the other, instead of apple pieces make long spirals using a potato peeler.

~ Kids love foods they can pick up by hand and dip – so anything that comes with a sauce can be served separately with the sauce in a bowl. Here are a few dipping ideas:

fruit in mashed cottage cheese or yogurt
apples in peanut butter
pita bread in hummus
carrots, celery, zucchini and other veggies in ranch dressing
chicken pieces or beef cubes in marinara sauce
meatballs on toothpicks dipped in mashed potatoes

~ Take a look at the presentation of your child’s favorite fast food and present his dinner in a similar arrangement. Fold the chicken into a paper wrapper, serve applesauce in a mini-cup, and stand green beans in a paper cup to achieve an interesting French-fryish appearance.

When you make mealtime more fun your picky eater just might become a lot less picky!


This article is an excerpt from The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat—and Eat Healthy by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2011)


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