Mother and infant on a bed

TeleLactation services mean breastfeeding support is just a click away

Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to nourish your baby. It has just the right balance of nutrients and is easily digested. But breastfeeding may not seem like the easiest way to feed your baby.

Sometimes it can be a difficult and lonely journey with many questions swirling in a mother’s head:

Is my latch correct?

Is my baby getting enough milk?

How often should I be feeding my baby?

The list can go on and on.

However, with a little practice, perseverance and the right support, most mothers can break through their barriers to create a wonderful experience for both herself and her baby.

Success stems from support

OSF HealthCare recently implemented a new support avenue for breastfeeding mothers called TeleLactation – a virtual breastfeeding consultation service.

Sarah Musselman, RN, BSN, IBCLC, a lactation consultant at OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington explains how the service helps moms navigate breastfeeding

Q: How does the service work?

A: The mother calls to request an appointment. Then, we email her instructions on how to download the app that’s needed for the consultation. During the appointment, I can see and talk to her to discuss and troubleshoot as if we were in the same room together.

Q: What are the benefits of TeleLactation?

A: It’s convenient for the mother because she doesn’t have to leave her house, pack up the baby and their essentials or expose the baby to germs outside the home. It’s also easier for mothers who might live farther out of town because they won’t have to drive to the hospital.

Q: Who can utilize the service?

A: Anyone can utilize the service. They don’t even need to be an OSF HealthCare patient.

Q: Where is TeleLactation available?

A: Right now, the service is located at OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington and the OSF Breastfeeding Resource Center in Peoria. However, we are looking to expand the service in other areas, particularly those with limited or no access to lactation support in their communities.

Q: Is there a fee for the service?

A: No, currently the service is free to anyone.

Q: Is there a limit to how many visits you have?

A: No, a mother can utilize the service as often as she needs to.

Q: What type of technology does TeleLactation require?

A: The service can be done through a variety of devices, including a cell phone, computer or tablet.

Whether you choose to use TeleLactation, attend a breastfeeding class, join a mother-to-mother support group or go to in-person lactation consultations, support is important in your breastfeeding journey.

“It’s common and normal to struggle,” Sarah said. “At some point, breastfeeding doesn’t always go easily. Mothers needs to know there is a phenomenal network that will support and empower a woman to meet her goals.”

If you are interested in using TeleLactation, please call the lactation office in Bloomington at (309) 665-4704 or the OSF Breastfeeding Resource Center in Peoria at (309) 683-6672.