Connecticut Children's Care Network adds telehealth breastfeeding support

As part of a new collaboration with the Connecticut Children’s Care Network, Nest Collaborative will provide unlimited same-day telehealth appointments with certified lactation consultants for parents in need of prenatal and perinatal breastfeeding support. 

The virtual care services will be delivered without copays, out-of-pocket costs or deductibles for families with active insurance or Medicaid coverage.


The Connecticut Children’s Care Network, with 37 independent pediatric practices and more than 200 pediatric primary care providers in Connecticut and Massachusetts, has a mission to improve the quality of care and health outcomes for infants, children and adolescents.

“As pediatric primary care providers, we know the short- and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding,” said Dr. David M. Krol, medical director of Connecticut Children’s Care Network, in a statement.

The network is collaborating with the nation’s first and largest virtual lactation consultation platform, which provides services in more than 10 languages seven days a week in all 50 states, to improve the success of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has been found to decrease risks for maternal and infant diseases, yet there are numerous systematic barriers to supporting the practice. 

“We also know that significant sociodemographic and cultural disparities exist in the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding. Nest Collaborative’s International Board Certified Lactation Consultants provide equitable, evidence-based guidance to our families when they need it most to help prevent and overcome breastfeeding challenges,” Kroll added.

The collaborative says IBCLCs are the gold standard of care. As experts in lactation, they support families in their infant feeding decisions, including exclusive breastfeeding, supplementation and re-lactation, and help navigate infant feeding as parents return to work.


Early on in the pandemic, hospital executives saw telemedicine as a way to help close the maternal health gap, providing a number of pregnancy-related services, including lactation support, mental health support and at-home monitoring. 

“When a new mother needs a lactation consultant, it’s likely she will need assistance at all hours of the day and night. We leverage virtual lactation services to meet the unique needs of these mothers,” Deborah Muro, CIO at El Camino Hospital, told Healthcare IT News when the Mountain View, California hospital launched virtual care last year.

Barriers are incredibly profound for black women, who experience higher maternal mortality and morbidity rates than white women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. 

“Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism and implicit bias,” the agency says, adding, “Social determinants of health prevent many people from racial and ethnic minority groups from having fair opportunities for economic, physical and emotional health.”

Expanding access to telehealth, however, requires a look at the existing regulatory hurdles. Before the pandemic, patients had to be in a rural area in a hospital or clinical setting to receive reimbursement for telehealth.

End-of-year legislation included a two-year extension for Medicare telehealth flexibilities that have been in place since the COVID-19 public health emergency was declared, but the telehealth industry is advocating to make systematic changes created by telehealth expansion permanent. 


“Connecticut Children’s maintains the highest quality clinical standards for pediatric care and partnering with them is an honor,” said Amanda Gorman, founder and chief clinical officer of Nest Collaborative, in a statement.

“We’re especially excited to join Connecticut Children’s Care Network in bringing together the pediatric expertise that Connecticut Children’s has to offer with the quality of care that community physicians and our IBCLCs bring to caring for families and newborns,” she said.

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.


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