Living Well

Breastfeeding just got "smarter"

The FSA-eligible Medela Sonata with Smart Solution brings new levels of connectivity to nursing

The benefits of breastfeeding are well-documented. For children, nursing produces short-term benefits like easy digestibility and well-rounded nutrition, while offering longer-term benefits like reduced risk for asthma, allergies, obesity and more.

For mothers who choose to nurse and are able to, it can help save money, burn calories, boost postpartum recovery, and even create a sense of relaxation when producing milk. And of course, there's the opportunity to bond with your child.

But even these undeniable benefits can get lost in the annoying sound of a dated breast pump. Though electric pumps have been around for 30+ years, they haven't evolved much past the original format. Yes, they've been made more portable and efficient, but they still lack the convenience and modern advancements we've seen in other technologies.

This is what drove Medela, one of the maternity industry's oldest and most well-known names, to develop the FSA-eligible Sonata, which is not only its quietest device, but also its first Bluetooth-enabled breast pump. Using SmartSolution™ technology through its MyMedela mobile app, the Sonata brings new levels of interaction, understanding and privacy to nursing.

When connected to the app, the Sonata breast pump directly interacts with an on-demand lactation resource, featuring around-the-clock consultants available for live video chat whenever needed. Mothers can also monitor their feeding and pumping information, while also tracking their babies' height, weight and even diaper change frequencies.

This data can then be recorded, saved and shared so you can monitor your nursing in real-time, while doctors can easily gauge progress, for both you and your child. The reassurance that comes from a smart, more advanced technology is a great choice for hi-tech moms on the go.

The FSA-eligible Medela Sonata is now available in our store.

Medela Sonata Smart Breast Pump

This smart breast pump is designed with you and your baby in mind (and even connects to Bluetooth.)

Eligibility

Breastfeeding 101: A Buying Guide to Shopping with Your FSA

Your FSA covers a huge range of qualifying breastfeeding kits, supplies and accessories, so there's no reason not to save on this important expense!

Got a bundle of joy on the way? In your scramble to prepare your home and every aspect of your life for your new baby, one of the most important decisions you'll make as a new mother is whether or not to breastfeed.

Today, the medical community resoundingly endorses breastfeeding, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development attests that breastfeeding has many known health benefits, including, "nutritionally balanced meals, some protection against common childhood infections, and better survival during the first year of life, including a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)."

If you do decide to breastfeed, preparing is made easier if you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA)! Your FSA covers a huge range of qualifying breastfeeding kits, supplies and accessories, so there's no reason not to save on this important expense!

We've created a breastfeeding buying guide just for you so you'll have everything you need to get started off right!

Breastfeeding Kits

For a one-size-fits-all solution that includes a breast pump, carrying case and all necessary accessories, this is a great starting point for moms to set up their breastfeeding regimen.

Make breastfeeding easy with an all-in-one breastfeeding kit.

Breast Pumps

Breastfeeding moms who plan to return to work or who will be away from their baby for any period of time will need a back-up supply of milk. Breast pumps are used to extract milk so it can be fed to the baby or stored for later use. There are both manual and electric pump options and you'll want to purchase a pump that you're most comfortable with.

Choose from electrical or manual breast pumps to always have a back-up supply of milk, and to keep milk supply strong.

Storage Bottles/Accessories

Whether at home or on the go, breastfeeding storage bottles and bags are the easiest option to properly store and conserve breast milk for later use.

Store and preserve breast milk easily and efficiently with baby feeding bottles.

Nursing Pads

Breastfeeding supply adjusts based on the demands of your baby, some of whom can require feeding between 8-12 times per day, reports WebMD. This can cause your milk to leak at unexpected times, so nursing pads are often needed. These pads are available in a variety of styles and are worn underneath the bra to help keep you dry.

Having a baby is unpredictable, and so is breastfeeding. Stay comfortable and dry with easy-fitting nursing pads.

Breast/Nipple Shields

A breast/nipple shield is a device that is typically made from silicone with a hole in the center that is placed over the nipple during breastfeeding to allow milk to pass through to prevent post-feeding irritation.

Nipples can get sore during breastfeeding, and nipple shields can help.

Cleaning Wipes

Breast pumps and accessories are susceptible to bacteria and mold growth if they are not cleaned regularly, which is why cleaning wipes and solutions are a great investment to prolong the service life of your pump. Cleaning wipes also make it easier if you're pumping on the go or at work.

Keep pumping accessories clean and ready-to-use.

Sources:

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/breastfeeding/conditioninfo/Pages/benefits.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/establish-a-breastfeeding-schedule#1

Eligibility

2017 FSA Grace Period Product Guide

While the 12/31 deadline is the most important date of the year for millions of FSA users, a huge segment of this population is enrolled in plans that feature a 2.5 month grace period. This option, which is chosen by employers, gives FSA users 2.5 months after the end of their plan year to spend down the remainder of their FSA funds and submit claims for reimbursement.

If you have the FSA grace period and your FSA ended 12/31/2016, the countdown to March 15, 2017 (your 2.5 month grace period deadline) has begun! To avoid forfeiting money to your FSA plan sponsor, we have compiled the FSA Grace Period Product Guide to help you find the eligible products your family needs to stay healthy throughout 2017. Whether you have $20 or $200 left to spend, we can help you put those remaining FSA dollars toward items that can enhance your health and wellness for the year.

Need to get away?

If you and your loved ones are looking to escape the winter blues or planning a trip in the spring, your FSA covers a surprising amount of travel items that you may need along the way. Travel in comfort and avoid unnecessary neck pain with an orthopedic neck pillow, and keep track of any medications you take with an FSA eligible pill organizer. And don't forget sun protection (SPF 15+, broad spectrum sun protection is FSA-eligible)! Pick up children's sunscreen for the little ones and keep your skin protected with mineral sunscreen.

Make a renewed commitment to fitness

Whether you're trying to craft the perfect beach body this summer or are heading back to the gym for health-related purposes, your FSA can cover the cost of a wide range of physical therapy and wellness products to help alleviate pain while you reach your goals. Cold packs are smart buys that can help you control workout related soreness and inflammation, kinesiology tape can promote the healing process of strained muscles, while braces & elastic supports can immobilize joints to prevent re-injury and help you stick to your exercise regimen.

Improve your vision correction methods

Whether you wear contact lenses, reading glasses or prescription glasses, all of these vision correction methods are covered by your FSA! Best of all, in addition to the devices you use to improve your vision, the accessories needed to take care of them are eligible as well! Eyeglass repair kits & cleaning cloths, contact lens solution, contact carrying cases and many more eye care products are eligible and can keep you seeing clearly year-round.

Pick up home health essentials

Is your home's first aid kit up to date with fresh bandages and wound dressings? Do you have a first aid kit for your car or boat? What about over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, acid controllers, allergy remedies or antihistamines? FSAstore.com can help you pick up the medicine cabinet essentials your family needs to stay healthy year-round. And with our hassle-free Prescription Process, we can help you quickly obtain prescriptions from your doctor for eligible OTC medicines to complete your purchases!

Bundle of joy on the way?

If your family will be growing in the coming year, your FSA can help you lay a strong foundation for parenthood with a wide range of qualifying products. Prenatal multivitamins are eligible without a prescription, as well as breastfeeding supplies, baby sunscreen and much more! FSAs can help you save on the huge amount of care items that an infant will need throughout the early stages of life, so you can be prepared for whatever parenthood has in store.

Living Well

August is National Breastfeeding Month

National Breastfeeding Month takes place each August to educate mothers about the importance of breastfeeding in the healthy development of their children.

National Breastfeeding Month takes place each August. It's an effort to educate mothers about the importance of breastfeeding in the healthy development of their children. This year's initiative is focused on anchoring breastfeeding as a key component of worldwide sustainable development.


There are five themes including: nutrition/food, security, health, well-being and survival, environment and climate change, work productivity, empowerment, social protection, and sustainable partnerships and rule of law.

Lower frequency of illness/colds

The breast milk made after birth is called colostrum. It's dense with nutrients and antibodies that can help protect babies from infections. Additionally, colostrum plays a role in the development of a baby's digestive system and overall function. Research shows that babies who breastfeed are typically less-likely to contract colds and viruses, as well as develop pneumonia, diarrhea and other digestive maladies. Additionally, research has reveals breastfed babies are also less likely to develop chronic medical conditions later in life, such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn's disease.

Higher IQ Scores

In the long-term, a number of breastfeeding studies show children who were breastfed showed a 7.5 point increase in IQ by the time they reached elementary school age. Additionally, once these children reach adult life, they also showcase an increase in verbal, performance and comprehensive IQ.

Benefits for Mom

Breastfeeding moms will also reap the benefits of the practice.Women who breastfeed have a much lower risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. They also have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Research finds that breastfeeding also burns extra calories.

It's Cheaper!

The cost of formula can range anywhere from $150 to $400 per month, and can leave significant nutrition gaps that can negatively affect the child's development. In the immediate and long-term, breastfeeding is a cost-effective, sustainable option.

Visit FSAstore.com for your baby care needs! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products, including breast pumps, storage bags and related items.

Eligibility

How to handle baby care with a flexible spending account

When it comes to baby health, your Flexible Spending Account can definitely be handy. You can use your FSA for a lot of different purposes - whether it's for breastfeeding, or treating baby's colds and fevers, for proper sun care for your child, and so much more.

If you're expecting, congratulations! If you already have a little one, congratulations! No matter what the timeline, an exciting time awaits you! As you're getting ready for baby's arrival, you've prepared as best you can. Maybe you read many baby (health) books, asked for advice from friends and family, and consulted with doctors to make sure your baby's arrival goes smoothly.

Shopping for Baby Care with Your FSA

Did you know who you can shop for breastfeeding supplies and accessories with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? As you get ready to take care of your baby, keep in mind your FSA - it will save you on your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

We sell Medela products at FSA Store - everything ranging from breast pumps (depending on your needs) to milk storage solution to cleaning wipes.Check out this great list from Medela about what you'll need for your baby's arrival:

Freestyle Solution Set:

The Freestyle Solution Set is Medela's first hands-free, double-electric pump. You can use this hands-free pump while on the go - as there's no need to be near an outlet.

What's Included:
  • FreeStyle Breastpump
  • Disposable Bra Pads (30)
  • TenderCare Lanolin (2 oz. tube)
  • Quick Clean Bags - (5)
  • Quick Clean Wipes - (24)
  • Pump and Save™ Breastmilk Bags (20)
  • Medela Breastfeeding Resource Guide &Medela Breastmilk Storage Guidelines Magnet

Medela Pump & Save Bags (50)

Medela's Pump & Save bags easily collect and store breast milk. These are no-leak zipper bags, which also have a self-stick mechanism that attaches to any Medela breast pump.

Other features:

  • No-spill stand-up bottom.
  • Double-walled for long and safe breast milk storage.
  • Compatible with all Medela breast pumps
  • Includes 2 easy-connect adaptersBPA-free

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Backpack Solution Set

The Pump In Style Advanced is a daily-use electric breast pump for moms who pump throughout the day. The Advanced breast pumps helps to make pumping discreet and convenient (anywhere, anytime).

Set Includes:

  • - Pump In Style Advanced Backpack Breast pump

- Disposable Bra Pads (30), TenderCare Lanolin (2 oz tube), 5 Quick Clean Bags, 24 Quick Clean Wipes, Pump & Save Breastmilk bags.

- Also includes a Medela Breastfeeding Resource Guide, and a Medela Breastmilk Storage guidelines magnet.

Shop for the Pump in Style Advanced Backpack


Medela Breastmilk Storage Solution

Easily and safely store breastmilk (BPA-free set) with the Medela Breastmilk Storage Solution set. This set is compatible with any Medela breast pump.

Includes:

Six (5 oz / 150 mL) Breastmilk bottles,

Six bottles and lids &breastmilk labeling lids,

Pump & Save breastmilk bags,

A storage tray

A breastmilk storage guidelines magnet.

Shop for the Medela Breastmilk Storage Solution

Eligibility

Guide to breastfeeding with an FSA


"Is is true that I can buy breastfeeding supplies with a Flexible Spending Account? If so, what's covered?"

Customers often ask us about this. The answer is...yes! Your Flexible Spending Account can cover a range of breastfeeding supplies.

If you're curious to learn more about FSA eligible expenses related to breastfeeding and baby care, visit our Eligibility List for a comprehensive view.

In 2011, the IRS approved breast pumps and accessories as an FSA eligible product. If you're trying to figure out which products and pumps are covered, Medela has a comprehensive shopping list that you can use as a guide, while you shop directly for Medela at FSAstore.com.

Breastfeeding accessories include:

Breast pumps and their parts. Medela offers a variety of pumps including the Pump in Style pumps in a Metro Bag, Backpack and Tote, Harmony Manual pumps and more.

- Storage bottles, storage bags, gel pads, nursing pads, quick clean bags, nipple shields and more.

Other Flexible Spending Account items for baby care include prenatal vitamins, and health care products like thermometers, nasal aspirators and baby saline spray.

Related articles about baby care:

Medela Sonata™ Smart Breast Pump

Our smart breast pump designed with you and your baby in mind.

Medela Breast Milk Cooler Set

A great extra set to bring to work or school for all your pumping needs.