Breastfeeding presents plenty of challenges, and most mothers worry about whether or not their child is getting enough milk. The Surgeon General’s office estimates that as many as 50% of breastfeeding mothers give up nursing their baby earlier than they planned, specifically out of concern over not knowing how much their babies are eating. Additionally, with so many issues contributing to milk supply, a little reassurance can be quite helpful. To that end, Israeli startup MomSense has developed a breastfeeding app that uses the sound of the baby swallowing to calculate how much milk has been consumed.
The MomSense meter looks like a regular pair of wired headphones that plugs into a smartphone, except that it has an extra wire that stems off and is attached behind the baby’s ear just prior to nursing. It amplifies the sound of the baby swallowing, allowing the mother to attune her ear to the type and frequency of the sound, the rhythm of each nursing session. A smartphone app records the sounds and, at the end of the session, issues a report that estimates the amount of milk consumed.
When considering how much milk a baby is consuming, doctors and parents typically judge babies who are exclusively breastfed (EBF) by weight gain and growth measurements. If the little one isn’t meeting milestones, caloric intake may become a concern. Bottle feeding has the clear advantage in that area, since any caregiver can look at a bottle before and after feeding to determine how much milk the baby consumed. But bottle feeding an EBF infant requires the mother to pump breastmilk, which isn’t a practice most lactation experts suggest until 4-6 weeks after birth, in order to allow time to establish milk supply through nursing.
Some parents resort to weighing infants before and after nursing sessions, in an attempt to determine how much milk they swallowed. That technique is fairly accurate, but can be a bit of a burdensome practice that could interfere with naps and other cuddle time with a newborn. A device like the MomSense meter allows parents of EBF babies to get a rather accurate gauge of the amount of milk actually consumed, thereby getting a clearer picture of the entire situation and, hopefully, some peace of mind.
MomSense sells for $89 per unit plus shipping, and works with the smartphone app available for iOS and Android devices.
via Fast Company
Images via MomSense