UC Health, Ohio Department of Health expand access to breastfeeding support

Babies don’t keep office hours – and now, neither do the lactation experts at UC Health.

A new partnership between UC Health and the Ohio Department of Health Bureau of Maternal, Child and Family Health will provide an after-hours breastfeeding helpline free of charge to nursing mothers in 18 counties across southwest Ohio.

Mothers will be able to call the helpline any time of night and speak with a board-certified UC Health lactation consultant, who will guide them through any questions or difficulties they are experiencing while nursing.

“We are proud to partner with ODH to provide this important service to mothers and families across our community,” said Ruby Crawford-Hemphill, Assistant Chief Nursing Officer at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. “As healthcare providers, we know that breastfeeding improves positive health outcomes for mothers and their babies.”

The service has been available to UC Health patients for the past year, but it will now be expanded to nursing mothers and families across the community. The expansion is funded by a $45,600 grant from the Ohio Department of Health. The grant was announced Thursday at a Breastfeeding Awareness Month celebration at UC Medical Center.

The toll-free helpline is expected to launch this fall. It will be available 6 p.m. through 7 a.m., seven days per week, including holidays. Nursing mothers will be able to speak with a board-certified lactation consultant, who will assess the mother’s concerns, provide recommendations and advice, and refer her to a healthcare provider as needed for additional follow up.

As a Baby-Friendly Hospital, UC Medical Center is committed to providing evidence-based maternity care, optimal infant feeding outcomes, and mother/baby bonding opportunities. For more information, please visit uchealth.com/womens-health.

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