By: 27 May 2016
Breastfeeding app shows promise in supporting first-time mothers

Breastfeeding app shows promise in supporting first-time mothers

A pilot study found that use of a mobile phone app that provided supportive texts and an online community significantly increased the rate of breastfeeding among new mothers. An abstract of the study, “Mother’s Milk Messaging (MMM): A Pilot Study of an App to Support Breastfeeding in First Time Mothers,” was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2016 Meeting in Baltimore on May 1, 2016.

Women participating in the study began interacting with the MMM app roughly six weeks before their delivery date and continued using it the same length of time after giving birth. They received five to seven messages to the app as “push notifications” via text each week. About a quarter of the text messages asked for a response from participants, asking them about normal stooling patterns in babies in the first 4-7 days of life, for example, or whether they knew that babies fed exclusively with breast milk in their first months of life have lower rates of obesity later. The app also linked participants to a private Facebook page, where informative links, supportive comments and brief videos were posted. Comments and questions were monitored and breastfeeding questions received responses from pediatrician Maya Bunik, the study’s lead investigator and an author of American Academy of Pediatrics book Breastfeeding Telephone Triage and Advice.

Among study participants who used the app, 95 per cent were currently breastfeeding three months after giving birth, compared with 83 per cent of the control group. The same amount (95 per cent) were feeding babies breastmilk more than 80 per cent of the time, compared with 78 per cent of women who hadn’t used the app. Participants who used the app also had greater confidence ratings about breastfeeding issues, such as knowing if their babies were getting enough milk and coping with breastfeeding challenges.

Bunik said her research team currently is planning a larger trial.

Source: Medical News Today