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For Release: February 10, 2009
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline Open for Questions or Help
Call 1-877-271-MILK (6455)

A new telephone support hotline is now open to answer questions about breastfeeding. The support line is a partnership of the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, Title V Maternal and Child Health Service (MCH), and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center OB/GYN Department. The Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline, 1-877-271-MILK (6455) is available to nursing mothers, their families, partners, prospective parents, and health professionals seeking breastfeeding support and information.

“We are pleased to be able to provide this service as part of the health initiatives to make Oklahomans strong and healthy. Breastfeeding provides a good start in life for mother and child. It helps improve the baby’s immune system to fight off numerous diseases as well as reducing obesity and diabetes for both mother and child,” said Becky Mannel, Lactation Manager at OU Medical Center.

“We hope this hotline will help more mothers overcome some of the barriers they face to continue to breastfeed,” said Interim Commissioner of Health Rocky McElvany, MS. “This hotline is part of a long-range plan to help improve the health of Oklahoma’s babies.”

The Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline is:

Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
Staffed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) provided by the OU Medicine Lactation Team
Callers may leave a message for a return call that day. Those with urgent questions may page the IBCLC on call. The hotline cannot provide a medical diagnosis. All medical questions should be directed to a health care provider.

The Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline provides accurate, up-to-date information for common breastfeeding issues and questions about:

* Not making enough milk
* Baby refusing to nurse
* Breast or nipple pain
* Medications and breastfeeding
* Working and breastfeeding
* Breast pumps
* Breastfeeding in public
* Weaning

Referral information is provided including outpatient lactation services available in Oklahoma, La Leche League breastfeeding support groups, and breast pump rental locations in Oklahoma.

For more information about the hotline contact: Becky Mannel, Lactation Center Manager at Rebecca-mannel@ouhsc.edu.

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