Hitch in Affordable Care Act is causing a breast pump shortage for new mothers across the country

(WXYZ) - It's being called an unintended consequence of a new benefit for new moms.

It's an important benefit for a newborns health too and tonight, those parents and their children are on a long waiting list.

Since the Affordable Care Act went into place, one of the provisions of the comprehensive coverage for women's preventative care requires insurance companies to pay 100 percent of the cost of a breast pump for nursing.

The problem now is finding one.

For nursing mothers, especially those going back to work, breast pumps means that baby can still get all of the benefits of a mother's milk.

"We know that babies who thrive on breast milk make fewer sick visits to their providers. They'll have fewer hospital admits for asthma and all sorts of things," says lactation consultant Natalie Gross.

New mom's at  Walgreens' Well Babies Clinics know the story.

The Affordable Care Act now covers the cost for pumps priced $300 dollars or more and created a shortage - mainly because health insurance providers require that pumps be sold only thru specific vendors like medical supply companies.

"We might see this in other areas of the Affordable Care Act, but clearly it caught people off guard and this is an important issue for mom's and babies," says Indiana State Breastfeeding Coordinator.

On new mother named Cassie Kelley, who rents a pump for $60 dollars a month, was told by her employer that coverage isn't available until next year.

"At that point, he'll be older and it won't be as beneficial to me at that point," Kelley says.

Parents nationwide are being told that the waiting list can be up to three months for a breast pump - what insurance companies say is an unanticipated consequence of a new benefit and that manufacturers are working to fill orders.

Another new mother, Kasi Blackford, finally got a pump just in time to return to work.

"With the Affordable Health Care Act, everybody's taking advantage of it, which they should," Blackford says. "Nursing moms need to go back to work. We can't help that."

A hitch in a law designed to encourage mother's to breastfeed their babies--many who remain on a waiting list to do just that.

So you can't just walk into a store and buy one. You have to go through an approved medical supply company and that's where there's a waiting list.

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