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Rural Health Information Hub

Mississippi WIC

  • Project Title: Pacify
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Laura Stokes
  • Location: Mississippi
  • Program Overview: In 2016, Mississippi had the lowest breastfeeding rates and the fewest lactation consultants per 1,000 births in the country, according to the CDC Breastfeeding Report Card. Seeking to address this public health crisis, the Mississippi State Department of Health applied for and received a grant from the USDA to test the feasibility and effectiveness of Pacify's newly developed telelactation technology. Pacify's telelactation services allow women to video chat with lactation consultants using personal devices such as smartphones or tablets. The goal of the project is to increase access to professional lactation support in Mississippi and improve breastfeeding rates among pregnant and postpartum women participating in the state's Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

    The Mississippi State Department of Health began offering Pacify memberships to WIC participants in June 2016. Through this program, participants receive free and unlimited access to video visits with International Board Certified Lactation Consultants through the Pacify mobile app. Pacify's lactation consultants are available for consultation on demand, 24/7, in English and in Spanish.

    The results of the program have been outstanding. Over 2,300 women have downloaded the app, and qualitative and quantitative feedback from Mississippi WIC participants and staff was overwhelmingly positive. A retrospective cohort study conducted by an independent researcher found that the participants who had access to the Pacify app were 2.5 times more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at three and six months than those who did not.

Models represented by this program: