The use of mobile phones is increasing which brings different phone apps to facilitate the users. The new study explains that these Infant Feeding (IF) apps are also helping new mothers to make breastfeeding decisions. However, these phone apps are paid and the free version is not available.
The new study by researchers of Flinders University, College of Nursing and Health Sciences indicates that these breastfeeding apps support and encourage mothers to overcome the stress of initial months of parenting. This study is published in the “Health Informatics Journal ( Dec 2019)” and is available online.
Currently, there are more than 100 apps available at play store which share information, potential problems and their solutions as well. The participants of this study were interviewed about using these breastfeeding apps.
Dr. Jacqueline Miller, the lead author and a professional in pediatric nutrition says that;
“Some apps provide information that is not always accurate and can’t be tailored to the individual,” she warns. “Information stored in the app can provide a useful history to discuss with health care providers who can then provide much more individualized advice, particularly with breastfeeding.”
He is positive that these targeted phone apps would cover the guesswork for the new parents. The demand for such apps is increasing majorly because the mums are able to track their baby’s progress by means of eating, sleeping, nappy changing and overall growth.
Dr. Miller further adds that;
“A generation ago mums used a safety pin to remind themselves which side to start feeding on. But these days we use apps to record all sorts of facts.”
The infant guidelines from the National Health and Medical Research Council encourage breastfeeding at least six months to the newborn. The medical professionals and community experts also support it saying that it is an important maternal decision that may change the lifestyle, physical, social and psychological perception of the new mother.
Kaitlyn Dienelt, a co-author of this study has interviewed new mothers who were using eight different Infant feeding (IF) apps. She says that this study is significant as it proves that these phone apps are making breastfeeding decisions easy for mothers. She also shares;
“This technology is helping mothers with everyday routines and decision-making which can be tiring and sometimes complex with breastfeeding—although some mobile apps are better than others. Overall, the participants were positive and some even felt they would have given up on breastfeeding without the app.”
This is the first-ever study of its type that brings nutritional experts and health professionals to analyze the Infant feeding apps experience of new mothers and review the accuracy of information and apps’ overall readability.
The World Health Organisation estimates that these mobile health apps would be able to help in multiple ways such as behavioral change, self-management of disease, helping in data monitoring and making e-information available with ease. With more than one hundred choices in these apps, buying one is a personal decision. However, this popularity of Infant Feeding (IF) apps are adding to the health app market boom. It is estimated to cross $30 billion by the end of 2020.