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Breastfeeding Medicine

Includes specialty programs: Fetal Treatment Center / Maternal-Fetal Medicine / Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine / Neonatology (NICU)

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Breastfeeding medicine is a specialized area of health care that focuses on supporting you and your baby to make breastfeeding a positive and fulfilling experience. Our breastfeeding medicine team is dedicated to helping you navigate any challenges you might encounter while breastfeeding. We provide personalized guidance, advice and evidence-based information to ensure both you and your baby thrive during this special bonding time.

Whether it is tackling concerns about milk supply, helping with latch issues, managing breastfeeding discomfort, or helping with any other breastfeeding-related worries, we are here to support you every step of the way. Our goal is to empower you to feel confident and comfortable while giving your baby the best start in life through breastfeeding.


Contact Breastfeeding Medicine


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Breastfeeding Medicine, Akron
Akron Children's Breastfeeding Medicine, Akron
Considine Professional Building
215 West Bowery Street
Maternal Fetal Medicine, Level 5
Akron, Ohio 44308
Fax: 330-543-4508
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Breastfeeding Medicine, Boston Heights
Akron Children's Breastfeeding Medicine, Boston Heights
Akron Children's Health Center, Boston Heights
328 East Hines Hill Road
Boston Heights, Ohio 44236
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Breastfeeding Medicine, Mayfield Heights
Akron Children's Breastfeeding Medicine, Mayfield Heights
Renaissance Centre, Suite 250
5800 Landerbrook Drive
Mayfield Heights, Ohio 44124
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Breastfeeding Medicine, Portage
Akron Children's Breastfeeding Medicine, Portage
Akron Children's Health Center, Portage
2497 State Route 59
Ravenna, Ohio 44266
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Our Doctors/Providers

Department Heads:
Marya Strand
Marya Strand, MD, MS

Chair, Department of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine; Thomas R. & Mary Lynn Crowley Endowed Chair in Neonatology and Maternal Fetal Medicine; Director, Division of Neonatology; Neonatologist-Perinatologist; Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist


Carly Dulabon, MD, IBCLC, NABBLM-C

Division Director, Breastfeeding Medicine

Accepting New Patients

Other Providers:

Samantha Lavender, RN, MSN, IBCLC

Lactation Consultant

Accepting New Patients

Sarah Pupillo, RN, BSN, CLC

Certified Lactation Counselor

Accepting New Patients


Prior to your baby’s birth we can help you with:

  • Breastfeeding concerns during pregnancy.
  • Creating a plan for premature babies, multiple births or babies with complex medical conditions.
  • Breastfeeding after breast surgery.
  • Breastfeeding/chestfeeding in LGBTQ+ patient.

If your baby is admitted:

to one of our neonatal intensive care units (NICU), special care nurseries (SCH), or acute care, we help you:

  • Learn how to breastfeed, with one-on-one instructions.
  • Establish and maintain milk supply.
  • Rent a breast pump.
  • Learn to use a breast pump.
  • Transition when your baby is ready to breastfeed.
  • Learn to use specialty feeding devices.
  • With any lactation difficulties.
  • Adjust feeding positions to help your baby latch onto the breast.
  • Breastfeed twins or triplets.

After you and your baby are home

our breastfeeding medicine team can help to diagnose, treat and manage breastfeeding items such as:

  • Low milk supply or oversupply.
  • Painful feeding.
  • Managing slow weight gain through nutrition.
  • Thrush.
  • Breast masses.
  • Stimulating milk production.
  • Complex medication schedules.
  • Breast infection.
  • Manage nutritional needs to ensure your baby’s healthy growth and weight gain.
  • Provide breast milk when you are separated from your baby, such as during a hospital stay.
  • Referrals for medical conditions that require additional care.

Patient Resources

Akron Children's Resources

Visit the Akron Children's Family Library on the Akron campus.


All about breastfeeding

Apps for Android/iOS devices


Black Mom Breastfeeding Resources


  • “Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers” by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
  • “Mothering Multiples, Breastfeeding & Caring for Twins or More!” by Karen Kerkhoff Gromada
  • “The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning” by Martha Sears and William Sears
  • “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” by La Leche League International


Is it OK to receive the COVID-19 vaccine while I’m breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding does not prevent you from choosing to receive the vaccine. If you are breastfeeding, we recommend that you discuss the risks and benefits of getting the vaccine with your health care provider prior to receiving the vaccination.

I have COVID-19. How do I safely breastfeed?

Coronavirus has not been found in breast milk, so it’s safe to breastfeed your baby if you have COVID-19. However, you could spread the virus to your baby through tiny droplets that spread when you talk, cough or sneeze. Talk to your doctor to help decide whether you should continue to breastfeed and how to do it safely. Your breast milk is the best nutrition for your baby and can protect against many illnesses. While you are sick, you (or someone else) can give your baby expressed breast milk.

What are the benefits of breastfeeding for my baby? 

Breastfeeding your baby offers many benefits. Breast milk provides the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein necessary for your baby’s growth and also contains antibodies that protect your baby from infection. Most babies find breastmilk easier to digest. Allergies and asthma occur less often in breastfed babies. Human milk from the breast is always sterile. Studies have shown that breastfeeding may contribute to higher IQs and faster development for your baby. The skin-to-skin contact experienced during breastfeeding will help you and your baby bond. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

What are the benefits of breastfeeding for me?  

Breastfeeding also offers many benefits for new moms. Your uterus will return to its original size sooner and bleeding after childbirth may be reduced. Many women find their pregnancy weight is lost more quickly when they breastfeed. Skin-to-skin contact during breastfeeding promotes bonding with your baby and the risk of postpartum depression is reduced. In addition, breast milk is free and always available.

Are there risks to me or my baby if I do not breastfeed? 

Full-term babies who are not breastfed have an increased risk of: 

  • Hospitalization for lower respiratory infections in the first year
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Acute ear infections
  • Asthma, eczema and diabetes
  • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Childhood obesity and some childhood cancers

Mothers who do not breastfeed have an increased risk of:

  • Postpartum depression
  • Breast or ovarian cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Osteoporosis

How can I learn more about breastfeeding?

There are many resources available to help you understand the process, challenges and rewards that come with  learning how to breastfeed. You can make an appointment with a lactation consultant, attend group classes or access online resources. You may also find it helpful to talk to friends who have breastfed.

 What can or can’t I eat when I breastfeed?

You can eat whatever you want, while making sure to eat a well-balanced diet. Contact your doctor, dietitian or lactation consultant for healthy eating guidelines.

Can I take medication and breastfeed?

There are many medications that are safe to take while you are breastfeeding and some that are not. Talk with your doctor or lactation consultant to review the medications you are taking.

Why is my breast tender or painful?

If you have a hard lump or swelling that is tender or painful, you may have a blocked or plugged milk duct. A plugged duct usually happens gradually and affects only one breast. It will typically feel more painful before breastfeeding or pumping, and less tender, less lumpy or smaller afterward.  

Another common problem is mastitis, an inflammation of breast tissue that may be caused by infection. You may have mastitis if you have:

  • Breast tenderness or your breast feels warm to the touch
  • Redness, often in the shape of a wedge 
  • Pain or burning sensation
  • Chills, feeling feverish or a temperature of 101ºF or higher
  • Flu-like symptoms including body aches and feeling tired or run down 

Contact your doctor or lactation consultant to discuss care and treatment options.

Can I microwave breast milk?

We do not recommend microwaving breast milk. It can destroy nutrients and the antibodies that will help your baby fight infection. It can also create hot spots that may burn your baby’s mouth. We do recommend placing refrigerated or frozen breast milk into either a warming unit or lukewarm water to gently bring it to room temperature.

How long can I refrigerate or freeze breastmilk?

Breast milk should be stored in a bottle or storage bag in the deepest part of the refrigerator or freezer, not on the doors. It can be stored for 8 days in the refrigerator and 2-4 months in your freezer.

Can I breastfeed my baby who has a cleft lip or cleft palate?

When babies have a cleft lip and/or palate, the opening may make it difficult for your baby to create the suction needed to latch onto the breast and take in the milk. Because of this, breastfeeding may not be an option. Most babies with a cleft lip and/or palate cannot get all the milk they need from the breast, so they also require supplemental bottle feeding.

Can I continue to breastfeed once I go back to work?

Yes, we encourage you to continue breastfeeding. You will need:  

  • A hospital-grade breast pump. Check with your insurance company to see if a hospital-grade breast pump is covered. If it is, ask your lactation consultant to help you obtain one.
  • Breast milk storage containers and labels to identify the date and time when your breast milk was pumped.
  • Patience. It may take some time for you to produce milk for your baby and learn how to use the breast pump. It may also take time for your baby to learn how to bottle feed.

How do I wean my baby? How do I stop breast milk production? 

The time it takes to stop milk production varies. The goal is to stay comfortable during the process. Your milk supply will gradually decrease with more time between breastfeeding or pumping sessions, and when you breastfeed or pump for shorter periods of time. 

To gradually decrease your milk production you can:

  • Start the process by wearing a snug-fitting bra day and night
  • Apply cold compresses to the breasts
  • Take pain relievers to relieve increased breast fullness or discomfort
  • Breastfeed or pump fewer times during the day
  • Breastfeed or pump just to the point that you no longer have discomfort or until your breasts no longer feel full or tight

Can I donate my breast milk?  

Yes, breast milk can be donated and helps premature and ill babies who are unable to feed from the breast. Donated breast milk is pasteurized, cultured and shipped to hospitals across the country to help these babies. To learn more, visit Ohio Health Mothers’ Milk Bank

Some of the Conditions We Treat...

Breastfeeding assistance: for babies with complex medical issues, for multiple gestation (twins and triplets), for premature babies; breastfeeding challenges following maternal breast surgery; feeding with cleft lip/cleft palate; breastfeeding management; engorgement; expressing milk; feeding schedule; IBCLC; International Board Certified Lactation Consultants; lactation management; latch difficulties; low milk supply; nipple or breast infections; plugged ducts; slow weight gain; sore nipples; breast pump use; tongue-tie or lip-tie issues with the infant; too much milk supply

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