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lactation services and programs

Breastfeeding and pumping provide lifelong benefits for both mothers and babies, and Dayton Children’s is committed to promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding and lactation. 

Dayton Children’s lactation specialists are registered nurses or registered dietitian nutritionists with special training to support moms, babies, and families to meet their breastfeeding and lactation goals.  Our lactation specialists are all International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) or Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC). 

Lactation support is offered in our outpatient lactation clinic, at Dayton Children’s Pediatrics, and in all inpatient areas including the neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric inpatient units. 

lactation clinic

Our lactation clinic is available to help mothers, families, and babies proactively establish breastfeeding, chestfeeding, or pumping success.  Lactation specialists can also assist with troubleshooting common concerns including milk supply, latch, suck pattern, pain for mom or baby, infant weight gain, volume of intake, confidence, pumping, bottle refusal, return to work, introducing solids, and weaning.  Families can expect to spend up to 90 minutes with a lactation specialist to discuss medical and lactation history, complete a feeding assessment, and to discuss or try changes to help meet family goals.  To make an appointment, a provider can make a referral, or an appointment can be made online without a referral. 

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Dayton Children's Pediatrics

Our own pediatrician office, Dayton Children’s Pediatrics, includes a full-time lactation specialist and a full-time registered dietitian nutritionist as part of the pediatric team.  These services, in collaboration with your child’s pediatrician, can help you ensure your child is receiving optimal nutrition.  The lactation specialist can meet with you during your infant’s regular pediatrician visit to support you in your breastfeeding or pumping goals and to troubleshoot any challenges together. 

neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

Lactation specialists are active members of the care team in the NICU and support mother’s and families throughout their infant’s admission with the goal of providing human milk to all babies.  Often, lactation specialists are supporting mothers to establish milk supply through frequent pumping when babies are too small or not well enough to direct breastfeed.  Mother’s milk is vital to the growth and development of their baby, even when provided through a feeding tube.  When babies are ready, lactation specialists work with moms, babies, and the care team to start direct breastfeeding.  The NICU lactation specialists continue to support families during the admission and may encourage follow-up in our outpatient lactation clinic and/or nutrition clinic after discharge. 

pediatric inpatient units

We also offer proactive lactation support for babies who are admitted to our pediatric units.  Babies may be admitted to the hospital due to acute illnesses, after surgery, or for other medical reasons.  Even if breastfeeding is going well at home, more support may be needed while in the hospital.  Sometimes babies are not able to breastfeed or are eating less frequently, and it is important to support the baby’s mother to ensure she is pumping often enough to maintain milk supply.  Other times, baby may be able to breastfeed, but using a different way may be more comfortable for baby.  Our lactation specialists will work with the baby, mother, family, and medical team to support ongoing breastfeeding or pumping success during and after the hospitalization.

clinical nutrition lab

Our clinical nutrition lab is a state-of-the-art aseptic lab specially designed for storage and preparation of human milk feedings, fortified human milk, donor breast milk from the OhioHealth Mother’s Milk Bank, and complex formulas for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.  If you are pumping milk while your baby is in the hospital, any frozen milk will be stored in the clinical nutrition lab, and you may receive support from our clinical nutrition lab technicians.  For babies who need additional calories or nutrients, such as babies born prematurely or not yet meeting growth goals, the medical team may write an order for the clinical nutrition lab to fortify mother’s milk.  Any human milk stored or prepared by the clinical nutrition lab will receive a special barcode and will be labeled with your child’s information and the date the milk was pumped, all to ensure the right baby always receives the right milk and before expiration. 


Dayton Children’s recognizes the importance of supporting mothers and families after the birth of a child and prioritizes lactation support for our employees.  All Dayton Children’s employees are able to receive free lactation support in our outpatient lactation clinic and have access to specially designed lactation rooms equipped with a hospital grade pump.


Lactation specialists at Dayton Children’s are invested in promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding, chestfeeding, and pumping in our community.  We have members actively involved in the Greater Miami Valley Breastfeeding Coalition and the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health Breastfeeding Branch, and we are happy to consider participation in community events that would benefit from inclusion of lactation resources.

milk bank donations

breast milk programs

Dayton Children’s knows the value of breast milk for all infants and is a partner with the Ohio Health Mother’s Milk Bank to help provide human milk for the sick and premature infants in Ohio. We work with area mothers that are interested in donating breast milk to the Ohio Health Mother’s Milk Bank.

To review guidelines for donating, mothers can visit or to start the process of becoming a donor contact the Ohio Health Mother’s Milk Bank at 614-566-0630.

Those volunteering for donating breast milk must be:

  • Currently lactating
  • In good general health
  • Willing to undergo a blood test (at the Ohio Health Mother’s Milk Bank's expense)
  • Free of medication or herbal supplements (with some exceptions)
  • Willing to donate at least 200 ounces of milk (no requirement for bereaved mothers)

Donor breast milk is used state wide to help treat the tiniest of infants. On average, Dayton Children’s sees 50 very low birth weight (VLBW) babies each year in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). Breast milk is extremely important for any baby, but for very premature babies it can be life-saving. Breast milk provides protection for these infants because it contains live cells, immunoglobulins, enzymes, and hormones.

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