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New free app meets needs of rural women

by Suzanne Andrew | Sep 15, 2015

14 September 2015

New free app meets needs of rural women  

A new free app has been developed to provide New Zealand women – especially those living in remote locations - with information, advice and support on breastfeeding.

BreastFedNZ, available on Apple and Android devices, was developed by the Midland Maternity Action Group (MMAG), a clinical network of the Midland District Health Boards in response to feedback from a study conducted in 2013.

The app’s author, midwife, lactation consultant and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative co-ordinator, Karen Palmer said the NZ Institute of Rural Health was commissioned to carry out the Midland Region Rural Maternity Services Consumer Engagement Study in 2013.

“One of the outcomes was that women living in rural and remote areas wanted to be able to easily access information about breastfeeding via their smart phones,” Karen Palmer said.

Developed in collaboration with mothers, midwives, public health, lactation consultants and an obstetrician, BreatFedNZ provides simple, consumer focused information alongside illustrations, photographs, video clips, web links and personal stories.

“The app is written in a conversational tone conveying easy-to-understand information in a way which will relate to mothers, especially during pressure times when you simply want to know why something’s happening, and what to do about it.”

“The app was launched at the end of August and we have had a lot of feedback from pregnant and breastfeeding women saying it’s a useful tool which is helping them establish and maintain breastfeeding.  Ultimately we hope this will lift breastfeeding rates around the region.”

BreastFedNZ contains three chapters covering pregnancy and birth, the first few days and early weeks with a further three chapters - breastfeeding the older baby, twins and early babies – due for launch in October.  Answers are also provided to common questions.



In the week ending 11 September, BreastFedNZ was the 6th most downloaded app in the Health category in New Zealand (and 235th most downloaded app overall).  Downloads crossed the 700 mark over the weekend and this is considered to be an outstanding achievement given it was launched two weeks ago. 

For more information on BreastFedNZ -