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Lead investigators:
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Apurv Soni, MD, PhD, Nisha Fahey, DO, MSc, Tiffany Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd

The status quo:
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Breastfeeding is the optimal source of infant nutrition and provides many health benefits for both infants and mothers. However, breastfeeding rates are below national target levels, and only 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed for the duration recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). One of the many reasons implicated in low breastfeeding rates is difficulty accessing effective breastfeeding support.

What we study:
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​Virtual lactation consultation or “telelactation” is an emerging modality for mothers to receive breastfeeding support. More research is needed to investigate whether virtual lactation appointments can increase breastfeeding rates and adequately meet the needs of new mothers. The Program in Digital Medicine is partnering with SimpliFed, a company that provides virtual breastfeeding and baby feeding support, to evaluate the effect of telelactation on maternal health and child development over the course of a 12-month study.

How we innovate:
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Study participants will have access to both scheduled and on-demand telelactation visits during an infant’s first year of life. We plan to collect and analyze the following data:

Survey assessments. 

Periodic surveys assessing feeding intentions and practices, maternal mental health, and infant developmental milestones

Healthcare utilization. 

Maternal and infant healthcare utilization

Interactive feedback. 

Feedback on platform usability

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Virtual Breastfeeding Support: Promoting the Well-Being of Mothers and Infants