These days, it seems like everyone uses an app for something. So it shouldn’t surprise us that there are even relevant apps for breastfeeding. How can these apps be useful? Parents and professionals are using apps for several purposes. Here’s a brief summary of what’s out there.
We all want to track something these days — our steps, our blood pressure, our weight, and much more. Similarly, breastfeeding moms often want to track their milk output, nursing frequency, or other metrics.
There is at least one app that is on the breast pump itself, and tracks the amount of milk pumped. Is this a good thing? Maybe. If it gives you “performance pressure,” then it’s not such a good thing.
I’ve heard of some parents being a fan of Mamma Baby because it enables you to use the app across multiple devices, and track while a child is in daycare or with another caregiver. This one actually has a feature that allows you to export information for visits to the doctor.
Locating a space or a service
Maybe you want to find a place where you can find a spot to peacefully nurse your baby or pump your milk. You might want an app like pumpspotting, or the Mamava app, which helps find both Mamava pods and other lactation spaces as submitted by users of the app. Both apps are available for Apple and Android devices.
Not specific to breastfeeding mothers, but a parent of children any age might want Sit or Squat — an app to help you locate clean restrooms, as well as rate restrooms to help other parents.
Connecting with professionals or other parents
You also might want an app to help you connect with an IBCLC. Or, you might want to connect with other parents. Interestingly, getting the semi-anonymous camaraderie seems to be a popular reason for using the apps.
Some of these “connect” apps are very general. However, some are very specific. If the mother of a premature baby has a low milk supply and wants to connect with another mother of a premature baby with a low milk supply, she can locate that mother by using an app. And, some apps, for example Glow Baby, have a tracking function, as well as a “connect” function.
Milestones and safety
None of us know everything. We often need to know what’s normal, and what’s not. Apps can help us to do that. Some apps are breastfeeding-specific. Others are more general, for example, the CDC has a free app for growth charts, which I heartily endorse.
The Wonder Weeks is another popular app available on both platforms that has milestone tracking during the first 20 months of life.
Of course, you can download my favorite breastfeeding app, LactMed. It’s provided by the National Institute of Health and has information regarding medications and breastfeeding. It’s free, completely evidence-based, and updated once a month. How great is that?
Solving a problem
Breastfeeding Solutions from Nancy Mohrbacher is a helpful app for breastfeeding families to solve problems by providing reliable information at their fingertips. I’ve chatted with Nancy about solutions for moms working outside the home.
These are just a few of the reasons that parents are using apps for breastfeeding. And keep in mind that apps change constantly; whatever I said here today could be outdated tomorrow morning at 8 am! If this topic interests you, be sure to listen to my discussion with my guest, Dr. Jill Demerci, as she talks about criteria for picking a good app, the downsides and cautions of using apps, and much more!
If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend! Let us know your thoughts about apps for breastfeeding: have you used them, and what you liked or didn’t like, in the comments below!