The emergence and promise of telelactation

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Abstract

Although professional breastfeeding support positively influences breastfeeding behaviors, access to International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) is limited in many communities. Recognizing their unique role in the provision of breastfeeding support, the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding identifies increasing access to IBCLCs as a policy priority. Since 2015, a number of direct-to-consumer telelactation services have emerged to increase convenient access to professional breastfeeding support. This innovation in healthcare delivery allows IBCLCs to connect with breastfeeding mothers in their homes through 2-way video on personal devices such as tablets and smartphones. In this Viewpoint, we discuss the recent emergence of this form of lactation support, describe the offerings, and discuss the potential of telelactation to transform the delivery of professional breastfeeding support.

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