City of Philadelphia Secures Emergency COVID-19 Intervention to Provide Virtual Breastfeeding Support at No Cost to Thousands of Mothers

Telehealth app will remotely connect new parents across the city with lactation support

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 24, 2020 – Starting today, all new parents in Philadelphia have access to free and unlimited breastfeeding support via telehealth app, Pacify. Philadelphia Department of Public Health has announced a partnership with leading telehealth company, Pacify Health, as an emergency measure in the face of COVID-19. Access to telehealth services for city residents will begin immediately and will stay in place at least until July 1, 2020.

The nation faces a breastfeeding crisis as measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 eliminate many in-person healthcare appointments, including lactation consultations. For the more than 5,000 estimated Philadelphia mothers this partnership will impact,[1] Pacify will provide video visits with a nationwide network of board-certified lactation consultants, ensuring access to critical support from the safety of home. Pacify users will receive unlimited access to expert help on a wide range of topics, including successful latching techniques, breast pain, maintaining adequate milk supply, pumping, transitioning to solid foods, and more. The program aims to help new moms successfully breastfeed, relieve parental anxieties, and ultimately keep parents and newborns healthy during this global health pandemic.

“We know that breastfeeding protects against a variety of diseases and conditions in infants, as well as improves the health of the mother,” said Melanie Silverman, MS, RD, IBCLC, Chief Clinical Officer at Pacify Health. “From fewer infant ear infections to decreased maternal postpartum bleeding – breastfeeding keeps moms and babies out of the hospital and ER. Given what’s going on right now, that couldn’t be more important.”

The Pacify app connects users to video visits in an average of 30 seconds or less on a 24/7 basis with no appointments or scheduling. More than 90 percent of new mothers who accessed Pacify for lactation support in a recent study by the RAND Corporation were satisfied with the help they received, and the app maintains a 4.9 / 5.0 star rating in the Apple App Store. Consultations typically last ten minutes and the same study demonstrated increased breastfeeding success for mothers who use Pacify.

Free use of the Pacify app will be facilitated through educational efforts from Philadelphia’s birthing hospitals, primary care pediatricians, and social services agencies. Users can download the Pacify app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and use code PHILLY to access services free of charge.

“Many new families need lactation support once they get home from the hospital,” said Stacey Kallem, MD, MSHP, Director of the Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. “However, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made it even more challenging for families to access in-person lactation support – that is why we are proud to partner with Pacify to offer free 24/7 tele-lactation services to all Philadelphians who need it. Through this service, residents can connect with lactation counselors who can answer questions and provide support to reach their breastfeeding goals”

About Pacify Health

Pacify Health was founded on the idea that more can be done to use mobile technology to help families access excellent prenatal and pediatric care. Pacify’s industry-leading mobile platform provides instantaneous, 24/7 support to new mothers. Mothers who download the app can connect via video-visit with clinicians including nurses and lactation consultants. There are no appointments or scheduling, and calls are answered in an average of less than 30 seconds. Pacify serves a diverse range of mothers via contracts with leading hospitals, employers, Medicaid managed care companies, state Departments of Health, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, and breast pump manufacturers. In 2019, Pacify was acquired by Advantia Health as part of its commitment to continued investment in technologies that improve the lives and health of women and their families.

Advantia is transforming healthcare for all women – setting a higher standard of care and convenience while reducing unnecessary costs. With more than 200 providers and 60 locations across the country, Advantia provides direct healthcare services to over 430,000 patients at our Women’s Health Hubs and coordinated specialist offices. Our Health Hubs integrate OB-GYN services, mental health, and primary care, ensuring every woman’s health needs are met through quality providers she knows and trusts in one convenient location.

[1] An estimated 1,790 babies are born per month in Philadelphia, according to the 2016 city census. This total number of estimated mothers impacted does not include those who are currently in the critical first three months (fourth trimester) immediately after birth.

Media Contact

Vanessa Ulrich

(410) 534.1161

[email protected]

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