“Am I doing it right?’
‘Do I have enough milk?’
‘Why does my baby feed so often?’
‘Can you move in with me?’
These are the questions that new mothers ask me, when I see them as a lactation consultant.
When I’m working with them one-on-one, the immediate breastfeeding problem is often fixed quickly. But the support and encouragement that over time builds a new mother’s confidence—the key to sustaining breastfeeding—isn’t always available. Technology is amazing but when I searched for an app that provided support and encouragement, I found none; so I decided to create one myself and Breastfeeding Central was born.
Breastfeeding Central is the next best thing to having a breastfeeding helper move in. It’s a step-by-step breastfeeding companion, filled with the wisdom, practical hints and encouragement that I’ve been giving to mothers for 25 years, such as:
‘If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that it’s often not the breastfeeding so much as all the ‘other stuff’ and especially the lack of sleep, that makes nursing seem so daunting’.
‘Coax yourself along from one feeding to the next and see how things are in 24 hours’.
‘Stick with it and know that it won’t be long before the reward period begins (baby smiles, pats your breast, looks adoringly at you). This is not to be missed’.
Breastfeeding Central’s content can be bookmarked for easy reference and is arranged chronologically, from Preparation for Breastfeeding to Getting Started in the Hospital, Early Days at Home, The First Six Months and Returning to Work.
For second time moms, there’s invaluable hints on managing a toddler while nursing the new baby.
A section on Common Difficulties provides concise and helpful suggestions plus guidance on when to seek professional assistance.
Washed, chilled green cabbage leaves placed over the breast help to reduce engorgement.
Breastfeeding Central’s handy Help Locator provides quick access to board certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs) and breastfeeding support groups worldwide.
OTHER APPS FOR PREGNANT AND NEW MOTHERS
For the early, sleep-deprived days, trackers and timers can be helpful, with Total Baby (if you want to track everything) and iBaby Feed Timer (simple, basic and breastfeeding friendly) at the top of the list.
White noise apps get high marks—especially White Noise Baby—for helping to soothe fussy or colicky infants.
For questions about medications and breastfeeding, the go-to app is LactMed, a database of drugs and dietary supplements.
Among pregnancy apps, the informative, witty Up the Duff on the Go—a mobile version of Australia’s top selling pregnancy book—is a hit and great fun. A nice feature of this app lets moms take a weekly photo of their bump that expands into a slide show.
Beverley Rae, MSW, IBCLC is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Clinical Social Worker, and mother of five breastfed children. She is a past president of the International Lactation Consultant Association. Beverley helps mothers to breastfeed successfully at Breastfeeding Resources in Manhasset, NY. Her app Breastfeeding Central for iPhone and iPad is available in the App Store.