Woman’s Hospital Launches Virtual Lactation Consultations

March 27, 2018

One of first in U.S. to offer through iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™

Woman’s Hospital has launched a convenient resource for breastfeeding mothers: virtual lactation consultations through iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™. The service, called “BreastTime,” allows women to video chat with certified lactation nurses in the convenience of their own homes.

“Though some healthcare organizations across the country are providing telehealth services, Woman’s is one of the few, or perhaps even the only hospital providing telehealth specifically for at-home breastfeeding consultations,” said Dana Vidrine, director of Mother/Baby.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, with continued breastfeeding alongside introduction of appropriate complementary foods for one year or longer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most mothers are not exclusively breastfeeding or continuing to breastfeed as long as recommended.

Issues with lactation and latching are cited as major reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding early; many women face low milk supply or breast/nipple pain, and some babies have difficulty latching or maintaining latch, or are unable to remove milk. During a one-hour BreastTime consultation, a certified lactation nurse video chats with a mother and provides assistance/guidance for her breastfeeding concerns and challenges.

Woman’s has always been at the forefront in promoting breastfeeding, which provides unmatched nutrition and health benefits for a baby as well as several benefits for a mother. The hospital established a Lactation department in 1990 to assist mothers before, during and after birth. Certified lactation nurses began providing one-on-one teaching for new mothers, staffing a 24/7 phone “warmline” and offering breastfeeding rentals and supplies. Since that time, Woman’s has continued its strong commitment to breastfeeding through additional resources such as classes, support groups, and even a free smartphone app that app features a breastfeeding tracker to help mothers successfully breastfeed. In 2018, Woman’s achieved the globally recognized Baby-Friendly designation for its breastfeeding efforts. Woman’s also recently received The Gift (Guided Infant Feeding Techniques) redesignation to improve the health of women and infants by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in Louisiana. The Gift is designed to increase breastfeeding rates and hospital success by improving the quality of maternity services and enhancing patient-centered care.

The fee for a BreastTime consultation is $40. To make an appointment, visit www.womans.org/breasttime.