Midland DHBs set to launch free breastfeeding app to support and encourage women with their breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding mums and pregnant women will soon have useful tips and advice at their fingertips with the launch of a new, free, breastfeeding app.
The Midland Maternity Action Group (MMAG), a clinical network of the Midland District Health Boards, developed the app in response to feedback from a 2013 study* which identified a need to harness smart-phones to provide new mums with user-friendly advice.
Written by experienced midwife, lactation consultant and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative co-ordinator, Karen Palmer, the app provides simple, consumer-focused information, alongside illustrations, photos, video clips, web links, and personal stories.
“The aim of the app is to support and encourage women with their breastfeeding whenever and wherever they may need it. It’s the perfect tool for today’s mothers,” Karen Palmer says.
“Most breastfeeding mums have smart phones and are used to having access to information at the tap of a screen so an app designed just for them was a logical step.”
The app has been primarily written by Karen, with valuable input from breastfeeding mums who spelled out their needs clearly to the project team.
“The app has been reviewed by new mums, midwives, other health professionals, and breastfeeding organisations. Feedback suggests women will find it a useful tool to help establish and maintain breastfeeding, ultimately lifting breastfeeding rates around the region.” Karen Palmer says.
The first phase of the app (covering pregnancy and birth, the first few days and early weeks) will be launched in late August, with the second phase (covering breastfeeding the older baby, twins, early babies and answering common questions) following soon after.
Currently pitched for birthing women within Midland, by nature of the internet it will be available free to all women within NZ.
The initial objective of the app was to find a more consumer friendly way to support the work of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (The Ten Steps).
During 2013, the NZ Institute of Rural Health was commissioned to carry out the ‘Midland Region Rural Maternity Services Consumer Engagement Study’*. The study recommended the need for a mobile phone app for pregnancy and birth which should be provided free to newly pregnant women.
Combined, these two needs and recommendations provided the catalyst for MMAG to forge ahead with the development of the breastfeeding app .
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