Frequently Asked Questions
- Does the hotline cost the caller anything? NO! The 24 Hour Breastfeeding Hotline is free to all callers.
- How is the 24 Hour Hotline funded? The 24 Hour Hotline began in September 2017 as Ohio Department of Health's pilot project After Hours Hotline for Appalachian Ohio. Since it's initial 3 month funding period, the hotline was renewed for an additional 6 month pilot which ended in 2018. After that grant period, the hotline remained open, through the efforts of volunteer staff and donations through our organization. We began in late 2018 as not only an After Hours Hotline, but a 24 Hour Hotline. Because of the increase in volume of calls during the day, we stayed open 24 hours while unfunded! On March 9, 2020 Appalachian Breastfeeding Network won the bid for the Ohio Statewide Breastfeeding Hotline Grant, which means Ohio Department of Health is again funding the hotline through September 2021.
- Who operates the hotline? Our hotline has a staff of Certified Lactation Specialists (CLS), Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC), and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC). A yielding protocol has been put into place for CLS or CLC that need to refer to IBCLC on call. We have an IBCLC on call 24/7.
- Will I get through to a real, live person every time, no matter the time? Yes! We have 4 people on call at all times to answer your questions! You should not be prompted to a voicemail or go through the hassle of an automated system. If for some reason a call is missed, your call will be returned within 30 minutes, however, most calls will be answered right away.
- Do I have to live in Appalachia to call? NO! Please call us with all of your breastfeeding questions or needs for supporting during your breastfeeding journey.
- Can a friend, spouse, or family member call for me? YES! Anyone can call and you will receive care.
- What if I don't speak English or English is my second language, making it hard for me to communicate over the phone? We are contracted with a language service through VocaLink, a Ohio-based business, that will interpret calls for us.
- Do you have video capabilities? YES! We are able to video call if the need is warranted. Note: only the IBCLC on call will be able to video chat with you.
- Do you have texting capabilities? YES! You can text BFHOTLINE to 839863 any time to get started.
- Are you open on holidays? YES! We do not close for any reason, unless the line is physically down from the provider company (which has never happened, knock on wood!)
- Does anyone follow up with the caller? YES! We have a designated follow up IBCLC who calls each caller within a few days of the original call.
- Will any of my private information given during the call be shared with others? We collect data for the sole purpose of reporting back to our funder, the Ohio Department of Health. No one person's identity is stored or shared with any third party outside of Ohio Department of Health and Appalachian Breastfeeding Network. All information given during the call is optional and the caller may choose what to disclose and what not to disclose. However, the data being collected is being used to identify breastfeeding challenges and access to care for all Ohioans.
If you have any other questions not answered above, feel free to e-mail Stephanie Hutchinson, ABN President and Hotline Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org