NASHUA, N.H. - When Charron Medical Services began offering breast pumps to customers last December, owner Michael George saw it as a natural extension of the company's product mix. It doesn't hurt, either, that two local hospitals and several health clinics sit nearby.
"There's significant demand from birthing centers to work with providers to provide breast pumps," said George.
Charron's retail store is located in a small shopping plaza, next door to a CVS, and enjoys lots of foot traffic, said George. The store does its biggest business in compression and custom compression garments and fittings, along with mastectomy products and nebulizers. Charron advertises locally and does occasional mailings to prospective customers, but most referrals come from the local hospitals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70% of U.S. women start out breastfeeding, but after six months, only 13% still breastfeed exclusively. Breast pumps can help women breastfeed longer, said George.
"For a working mother, it's more than a necessity for a child that's not gaining weight or having trouble feeding," said George.
Insurance will pay for breast pumps for certain diagnoses leading to problems with breastfeeding, said George.