Programs and Services
Nutrition outpatient services are available in group settings or individual consultations. The following services are available.
Individual Medical Nutrition Therapy Consultations
Individual appointments with a Registered Dietitian* for medical nutrition therapy are available to patients who are not able to participate in group programs. Appointments for individual consultations with a Registered Dietitian can be scheduled on an outpatient basis. Medical nutrition therapy is a service that involves a comprehensive assessment of your child’s overall nutritional status, followed by interventions for a personalized course of treatment for a wide variety of conditions and disorders such as weight management, congenital heart defects, slowed growth, elevated cholesterol, and food allergies to name only a few.
* Registered Dietitians (RD) are specialized practitioners with academic and professional training in nutrition and are credentialed through the national credentialing agency, the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Lactation Consultants at Children’s are certified (IBCLC) by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. They are professional breastfeeding specialists trained to help mothers with a variety of issues. Lactation consultants are available to help with breastfeeding problems such as breast infections, engorgement, clogged nipples, milk production issues or positioning problems, and can answer questions you may have about breastfeeding or equipment used to support breastfeeding.
Lactation consultants work with infants including neonates and premature infants with feeding difficulties and/or complex medical conditions and older infants with chronic conditions. Lactation consultants work with moms of critically ill infants to support breast milk production, troubleshoot lactation or feeding difficulties, and initiate feedings.
Lactation consultants provide services and support for breastfeeding employees for successful transition back to work.
Lactation consultants provide comprehensive assessments of the breastfeeding infant or infant who is fed human milk, and implement an individualized plan based on the needs of you and your baby. The consultation sessions include counseling, problem solving and goal setting.
Who might benefit from a Lactation Consultation?
- history of difficulty breastfeeding
- currently expecting a baby with known health problems
- history of breast surgery or problems
- have other health problems
- having difficulty breastfeeding
- painful breasts or nipples
- your baby is not gaining weight
- problem with milk production (too little or too much milk)
- you have questions or concerns about breastfeeding
To schedule an appointment for lactation consultation, call 638-6600.
Physicians and Healthcare Professionals
Why choose a Registered Dietitian?
Registered Dietitians have the skills and knowledge to translate nutrition science into practical information.
Studies show that Medical Nutrition Therapy can:
- Prevent or reduce the severity of numerous diseases and their complications
- Decrease the length of hospital stay
- Increase performance in sports
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Improve health and well being
Registered Dietitians at Children’s:
- Specialize in the unique issues of pediatrics
- Completed extensive training and continuing education in pediatric nutrition
Top 10 Reasons to Refer Your Patients to a Registered Dietitian:
- Your patient has diabetes, congenital health defects, hypertension, cancer, hyperlipidemia, or other chronic disorders
- Your patient has digestive problems (Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, short bowel syndrome)
- Your patient has food allergies which impact a major food group (for example: milk protein or wheat allergy)
- Your patient was a premature or low birth weight infant or has deviated from their established growth curve and is not growing adequately (failure to thrive)
- You are concerned about your patient’s weight or risk of becoming overweight
- Your patient and their family wants to eat healthier
- Your patient has or is at risk of developing a nutrient deficiency
- Your patient has difficulty feeding, has issues with food or is showing signs of disordered eating habits
- Your patient wants to improve their performance in sports
Have questions about how to refer a patient for nutrition services at Children’s? Please refer to our frequently asked questions regarding outpatient referrals for nutrition services. Once the appropriate authorizations and all necessary records have been obtained, then we will contact your patient’s family to schedule a consultation.
How do I refer a patient for an outpatient nutrition consultation?
Please fax [(205) 638-6047] the following items to our office:
- Signed referral form for Medical Nutrition Therapy with specific diagnoses (with codes) indicated
- The reason for the referral
- Current medication list
- Growth chart(s)
- Any relevant laboratory values/test results
- History & phyiscal/progress notes
- Any relevant protocols
A completed Outpatient Medical Nutrition Therapy Referral Form is needed. Outpatient referrals will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis with a physician’s referral.
Please call (205) 638-9204 for appointment scheduling or for further questions.
Patient families will need to bring with them to their appointment:
- Insurance card
- 3-day food record
- Nutrition history form
- Questions they may have and do not want to forget
- Name of the patient’s school, WIC location (if a participant), and local pharmacy
Information for parents/caregivers regarding what to expect during the nutrition/lactation consultation may be found on this website.