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TN Launches 24-Hour Hotline for Breastfeeding Moms

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Thursday, January 30, 2014   

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With a bounty of benefits for both babies and moms, Tennessee is launching a new effort to help support mothers who are breastfeeding. Those with questions can now call a free hotline staffed by lactation experts.

The need is great, according to Michelle Devlin, area coordinator of leaders, La Leche League of Kentucky-Tennessee.

"Hundreds of thousands of women need this extra support when they can't get it through their own families or friends. Or even then, if they just need a little bit extra, whether it's medical knowledge or just a shoulder to cry on, because it can be difficult," Devlin explains. "Sometimes it takes a little bit of practice."

The Tennessee breastfeeding hotline is 1-855-4BF-MOMS. Since babies are ready for a meal any time, day or night, it is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The benefits of breastfeeding encompass everything from saving money without having to buy formula, to encouraging a closer bond between mother and baby. Beyond that, explains Devlin, are a myriad of rewards in terms of health - starting with the child.

"They have a lower chance of allergies, asthma and chronic diseases both in infancy, childhood and later on in life. And for mothers, the benefits are lower risk of cardiovascular disease, ovarian cancers, breast cancers - there's so many, you can't even list 'em all," she says.

While the number of mothers who are breastfeeding has been slowly rising across the country, Tennessee has one of the lowest rates in the nation. About 60 percent of mothers in the state do start breastfeeding, but half of them give up within the first six months.

More details are available at http://news.tn.gov/node/11942.




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