Many of today’s nursing mothers are turning to apps to help them keep records of their baby’s feedings, pumping sessions and volumes of expressed milk. How do breastfeeding apps help these nursing moms?
At the hospital and during the first few weeks at home, moms are tired after delivery and may have difficulty remembering when their baby was fed and if the baby had a wet or poopy diaper. Apps can help the mom and dad track feedings, wets and stools.
It’s important that nursing moms understand that their baby needs to be breastfed 8-12 times in 24 hours. Your baby’s wet and stool patterns should be as follows:
- 1 wet diaper per day of life up to day 6. Then baby should be having 6-8 soaking wet, light yellow or clear diapers by day 7.
- Baby should be having 1-3 poopy diapers per day. Some apps show how the color of the stool changes as mother’s milk becomes more plentiful (usually between day 3-5).
After entering this info into an app, moms can take their iPhone, iPad or other device to the pediatrician’s office or to their visit with the lactation consultant. These apps are an excellent tool to assist healthcare providers in evaluating the breastfeeding mother and baby.
For moms who only want to pump, these apps can help them keep up with their 8-10 pumping sessions per day, as well as evaluate milk production. Mothers should be making about 25 ounces by the time their baby is 2 weeks old.
Below are 3 breastfeeding apps that I recommend:
iBaby Feed Timer –Nursing moms can use this $1.99 app single handedly. It shows pumping with volume amounts, and you can add “baby’s firsts,” which is especially important if your baby is in the special care nursery or NICU.
iBabyLog: Baby Tracker – This app is free and easy to use. You can use it to track your baby’s activities, sleep, diaper changes, feedings, milestones, vaccines, and much more. It even has a built-in video and email support. A lot of my patients always have their smartphones with them, so they’re willing to use apps like this versus paper.
Express Yourself Pumping Assistant Free – This app lets you “set up a slideshow of photographs of your baby and record loop-able audio clips of feeding, crying and laughing” that you can watch and/or listen to while you’re pumping. These visual and audio stimuli help moms with the letdown reflex. Some moms have difficulty with pumping when they’re separated from their baby. This way, you can bring your baby with you using pictures and sounds. It also helps moms see their premature baby and reinforces how moms are the only ones who can provide that milk for their baby. This free app is available for the iPhone and iPad.
A number of moms I work with who have a baby or babies in Akron Children’s special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit really find these types of apps helpful. Pumping and expressing breastmilk, as well as providing skin-to-skin care, are a few of the things they can do as their baby is growing.