SimpliFed Takes Lactation Consulting Virtual
SimpliFed, one of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works’ newest member companies, is changing the game when it comes to providing new parents with lactation and baby feeding support. Through virtual telehealth lactation consulting — telelactation, as SimpliFed calls it — the startup seeks to expand lactation support in all its forms and increase the rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration for those that can and want to breastfeed.
Founder Andrea Ippolito, who also serves as a lecturer at Cornell’s College of Engineering and SC Johnson College of Business and director of W.E (Women Entrepreneurs) Cornell, was inspired to begin her mission following the birth of her first daughter.
“She was born early and underweight, and I wasn’t producing enough milk. I saw firsthand the challenges that new moms faced in terms of getting access to ongoing support,” she said.
Ippolito saw the opportunity to utilize her skills and support others in similar situations to her own. Thus, SimpliFed was born. With a mission of increasing breastfeeding rates in those who can and want to breastfeed, SimpliFed offers new parents affordable and easy access to virtual consultations and ongoing support from its team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants.
While the launch of SimpliFed’s virtual services was catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ippolito, who has an extensive background in telehealth and entrepreneurship, always intended for the telelactation services to be easily and immediately accessible.
While the Affordable Care Act and many commercial health insurance plans are supposed to cover lactation support, new parents are often unaware of how to access those services or struggle to get them covered. As a result, lower-income families and families on public insurance often see lower breastfeeding rates than more affluent families who are able to pay out of pocket for ongoing support.
SimpliFed’s goal is to cut through the bureaucracy and act as an intermediary, working directly with both public and private insurance providers so women know their lactation support will be covered and easily accessible.
“Our focus for the next year is to increase initiation and duration of breastfeeding by increasing access to support, as well demystifying how women can get access to that support and ensuring that they don’t feel pressured to pay out of pocket for it,” said Ippolito.
The SimpliFed team is eager to join the area’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and access the resources available to them as a Rev member.
“Access to mentorship and support is critical, and there’s a lot of power in being part of a network, part of an innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Ippolito. “We’re so excited to be founding this company in this region because there’s so much talent and brainpower and support here through the Rev network.”