Imagine this scenario, if you will.
You’re a brand new mom. You want to breastfeed desperately, but you don’t have enough milk. And/or your baby hates to nurse.
Perhaps it’s just genetics. Perhaps it was the emotional break you experienced after he was born (i.e. not being able to sleep at all for those first six days) that stunted your supply and turned off your baby.
Either way, you’re riddled with guilt. It’s all your fault. Everything.
Along comes first-world health care insurance, and a wonderful lactation consultant who understands your distress. She arranges for you to rent a hospital-grade pump – for free – from an outside home-care company. The goal is to increase your supply, but if that doesn’t happen, at least you can pump every last drop of milk in your body to feed your baby.
You know you would not have continued to breastfeed without that pump. Even at eight months, when your supply has nose-dived and you think about quitting constantly, you still hook up to the pump 4-5 times a day.
Every month the rental company calls to pick up the pump. Every month you call your main insurance company to ask for an extension, which they grant.
In October, the calls stop. You figure your main insurance said, “Hey, stop bugging her. We’re going to approve it every time.”
In January, your health insurance changes. You re-read your pump contract, which requires you to alert the rental company as soon as you switch carriers. With trepidation, you call.
You: Hi, I have a pump that my previous health care company arranged for me to rent for free, but I’ve switched insurance.
Lady: Oh, OK. We’ll arrange for a pick-up.
You: I’d like to inquire about renting the pump on a monthly basis, as well.
Lady: What we’ll need to do is pick up your pump, so that we complete that transaction. Then we’d rent you a new pump under a new contract. Let me pull you up in the system……Wait, it says that you purchased the pump in October.
You: No, I still have it.
Lady: … N0, the computer indicates this pump was a rental but was then sold…..(her voice changes). I think you’re just forgetting. You purchased this pump, remember?
Lady: Yes, you forgot. That’s what happened. You own the pump now, you can do whatever you want with it.
You: ….Um, okaaaaay…..
Lady: I’ll indicate in the computer that your insurance has changed. And that’s all. Is there anything else I can help you with? No? OK, have a nice day.
After the conversation, you tell yourself that you’ll only keep the pump until you finish nursing. You can’t NOT take advantage of this stroke of fate, right?! At that time, you’ll call the rental company to return the pump and hahahaha wasn’t it funny that the computer said it was sold.
But then you think about the good you could do by loaning it out. What if there are moms out there who also want to breastfeed and encounter the same problems, but don’t have insurance or enough money to buy a pump? Imagine all the women that could be helped, the babies that could be fed, just because a rental company (which isn’t poor by any means) made a mistake.
But, isn’t that wrong? Isn’t that stealing, no matter how much you Robin-Hood it up? Is that the kind of example you want to set for your child?
Well, what would you do? Would you pump it forward?