New resource in TN for breastfeeding moms
Tennessee families now have a new resource to support their efforts to breastfeed babies. The Department of Health, in partnership with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, has launched the statewide Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline. The free service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free number is 1-855-4BF-MOMS (1-855-423-6667) and is staffed by International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants and Certified Lactation Counselors at Le Bonheur.
Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline staff members are available to assist nursing mothers and partners, their families, expectant mothers and health care providers seeking breastfeeding support and information. The hotline provides accurate and up-to-date information to address common questions and concerns about breastfeeding, including but not limited to:
- Is baby getting enough milk?
- Baby refuses to nurse
- Coping with breast or nipple pain
- Using breast pumps
- Working while breastfeeding
- Taking medication while breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding in public
- Tennessee breastfeeding laws
- Referral for breastfeeding support groups
The Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline is available for breastfeeding mothers and their circle of support such as a family member, partner or health care provider at any time of day, and will help sustain the length of time for breastfeeding. The hotline offers referral services to the Tennessee Women, Infants and Children Program, breast pump rentals and local community support groups.
“Babies who are breastfed reap multiple health benefits, including fewer respiratory and gastrointestinal infections and fewer ear infections. It helps brain development and strengthens the emotional bond between the mother and baby,” said Sandra Madubuonwu MSN, CLC, RN, at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. “Breastfed babies are less likely to have allergic diseases, celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease and are less likely to develop obesity or diabetes. They are also at lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome.”
Breastfeeding provides health benefits to nursing mothers as well. Mothers who breastfeed are at reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, post-partum depression, breast and ovarian cancer and other debilitating conditions. Beyond the physical and psychological benefits, mothers can save money, effort and time by breastfeeding. Employers can also save money by providing breastfeeding accommodations; breastfed babies tend to be healthier, meaning nursing mothers may be away from their jobs less to care for a sick child.
Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding.