The Lactation Center

The Lactation Center is one of a few comprehensive lactation programs in Oklahoma, providing the full range of lactation services including inpatient care seven days/week, outpatient lactation clinic through OU Physicians, telephone help and an experienced team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). Watch this video on why certified lactation consultants are important. The Lactation Center is also an official milk bank depot, serving as a collection site for the Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank.

Working closely with a wide variety of health care team members, lactation consultants handle a range of situations:

  • Healthy mothers and babies experiencing some temporary breastfeeding challenges

  • Sick babies or mothers who have been readmitted to the hospital

  • Tiny, premature infants whose mothers are expressing milk and eagerly awaiting the special day when they can help their babies learn to breastfeed

Our lactation team is part of your health care team and collaborates with the nursing and physician teams to ensure that you and your family receive the most up-to-date breastfeeding care.

The Lactation Center team helped OUMC receive two special awards:

1. Breastfeeding-Friendly Worksite, Gold Star Status - awarded by the Oklahoma State Health Department to employers who provide secure, private spaces for milk expression for working breastfeeding mothers. OUMC now has 7 rooms equipped with hospital-grade breast pumps to help doctors, nurses and other health care staff continue breastfeeding after they return to work.

2. IBCLC Care Award - awarded by the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) and the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). This award is given to hospitals that have dedicated positions for IBCLCs, provide IBCLC service 5-7 days/week and have completed a breastfeeding quality improvement project in the past 2 years. OUMC easily qualified for this new international recognition! 

The Lactation Center is working with Women's & Newborn Center at OU Medical Center to become the first Baby-Friendly Hospital in Oklahoma, and has a Certificate of Intent to become Baby-Friendly Hospital-certified.  OU Medical Center is also the only Oklahoma hospital to stop giving patients free formula company gift bags, a practice shown to reduce a mother's chance of successful breastfeeding .

"If a baby is born too small or too sick to stay with mom, then we will help a mom start expressing her milk as soon as possible," explains Kris Hapgood, RN, IBCLC. "We want all our NICU babies to have mother's milk and we provide the highest quality breast pumps to help our moms. While many NICUs in the state expect new families to learn how to breastfeed at home we help moms teach their little 'premies' these important skills before they leave.  We continue to help after a baby goes home, either in the outpatient clinic or by our state hotline: 877-271-MILK." 

The Lactation Center is known around Oklahoma and the United States for clinical care, professional education, research and advocacy.

Clinical Expertise:

  • The Lactation Center partnered with the OU Health Sciences Center's OB/GYN and Pediatrics Departments to re-open outpatient lactation service in the new OU Children's Physicians Building.

  • The Lactation Center team facilitated the addition of pasteurized donor milk as a nutritional option for babies who are patients at OUMC.

  • The Lactation Center team launched the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline in 2009 with support from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, OU Medical Center and the Department of OB/GYN at OUHSC. This free hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and callers will speak with an IBCLC.

  • Lactation Consultant, Kris Hapgood, named OU Medical Center Employee of the Year for 2008

  • All Lactation Consultants are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants

Training & Education:

  • The Oklahoma State Department of Health sends staff to the Lactation Center for clinical training to help them become lactation consultants

  • The state's Children First program has sent nurses for a course taught by Lactation Center staff

  • All Lactation Consultants provide clinical training for OU Medicine's physicians and nurses, medical students, nursing students and others

  • OU Medicine pediatric resident physicians can spend an entire month working in lactation as one of their electives

  • Developed a DVD to train health care providers, recently produced by Injoy Videos and the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) titled Breastfeeding: Best Practices, 2008

  • Injoy and ILCA filmed a follow-up DVD released in September 2011, titled Managing Early Breastfeeding Challenges

Information for Breastfeeding Families: