Pregnancy can be a difficult time for any woman, but it often brings additional challenges for military spouses. You will need to look at your options and decide whether you should have the baby at the base hospital or in a local hospital or birthing center. If your service member is deploying during your pregnancy, you will have to decide where to live during deployment—either stay near base, or move home to have help from family. If you work outside the home, you’ll need to decide whether to breastfeed and where you would be able to pump while away from your baby.
All the decisions may feel intimidating right now, but the good news is that military health insurance (Tricare) covers almost all of your needs and expenses during pregnancy. There are great Tricare pregnancy benefits that will help relieve your new-mom stress.
I have had five babies as a military spouse. Throughout each pregnancy, I saw a military doctor on base. Each of my children was delivered at a base hospital. I’m pleased to report that in spite of a few minor complications, they all had very healthy births and are thriving today! If you want to get the most out of your health insurance during pregnancy, then check out these new Tricare pregnancy benefits.
Tricare Pregnancy Benefits for Milspouses
Maternity Compression: Did you know that Tricare pregnancy benefits include compression socks and maternity bands? I never needed these until my 5th pregnancy, but every pregnancy is different. Many women suffer from varicose veins or swollen feet during pregnancy. Compression socks can prevent swelling, improve blood circulation, and help prevent the bulging of varicose veins. I was also prescribed a maternity belt during my 5th pregnancy, because I was having constant back and hip pain early in the 2nd trimester. It wasn’t because of the baby’s heavy weight or large size. It was simply because of the way I was carrying her. The maternity support band helped support the load and take the strain off my abdomen and lower back.
Whether this is your first pregnancy or your last, I recommend talking to your doctor about the benefits of compression socks and a maternity band. Because these are Tricare-covered benefits, they are given at no cost to spouses of active-duty military. Some Tricare members may be subject to their deductible or coinsurance depending on your plan. If the OB-GYN doesn’t have one in their office that is your size, you can have the prescription filled online from companies such as Aeroflow Healthcare.
Breast Pumps and Accessories: This is a newer Tricare benefit, so if you had your first baby a few years ago, keep reading because things have changed. Tricare pregnancy benefits now include breast pumps for every pregnant mother! The process is simple. During pregnancy, you get a prescription from the OB-GYN. You can then have your prescription filled at a variety of companies that are included in the plan, such as Aeroflow Breastpumps. You enter your information, and a few weeks later you will receive a new breast pump with the tubing and seals, some bottles, a nursing bra, and other optional accessories.
When I had my first baby in 2008, this was not a covered benefit, so I paid over $300 for a breast pump and supplies so that I could return to my office job after the baby was born. Now, with child #5 in 2019, I was able to request the breast pump and have it delivered for free, well before my due date. It is a great benefit because anyone who is planning to nurse for any amount of time should have access to a breast pump. Whether you are returning to work or staying at home, you should have a way to pump a bottle for regular feedings, the occasional night out, or to mix with the baby’s infant cereal.
Postpartum Recovery Garments: OK mamas, let’s be real—recovering from pregnancy takes months. It is a long time before you feel strong again and get your body back to its pre-pregnancy shape. With my first baby, I was young so this happened pretty naturally within a few months. With each subsequent baby, it became more challenging to get things tightened up. By the time I had baby #5, I ended up going to physical therapy when she was 6 months old because my back had somehow cracked during birth and was still causing pain and discomfort many months later! I wish I had known at the time that Tricare covered postpartum garments. Supportive panels can support your abdomen and help your back and hips align for better posture and less pain. These are essential for any mom recovering from a c-section, because they improve recovery time and help that scar to heal. Don’t suffer in silence. Ask your doctor about a prescription for recovery garments that you can fill online through companies like Aeroflow Breastpumps.
Tricare pregnancy benefits have come a long way for military spouses! Take advantage of those benefits to do what is best for your body and your baby. To learn more about Tricare pregnancy benefits, supportive gear, breast pumps, or recovery garments, visit Aeroflow Breastpumps.