When it comes to breastfeeding, I tend to be a bit old-fashioned. Instead of logging feeding times or reminding myself which breast the baby nursed off of last, I simply go with the ol’ grab-and-grope to see which boob is bigger. And as long as my baby is rocking some serious thunder thighs, I figure she’s getting enough milk.
But for moms looking to up their breastfeeding game with a little help from technology, whether it’s keeping track of feedings with other care providers, or simply utilizing an online village of support in the sometimes difficult world of breastfeeding, an app made for breastfeeding moms might be just the ticket.
Liz Maseth, a lactation consultant at Akron Children’s Hospital, told me she encourages breastfeeding mothers of infants in the NICU to use apps, especially in the first few weeks after their baby is born. “Using the apps helps mothers keep track of how well they are doing,” she explains. “Moms who use breastfeeding apps tend to accumulate a larger milk production and are able to pump for a longer time.”
In my mind, breastfeeding moms need all they help she can get, apps included. And if all else fails, just remember that there is no shame in publicly groping yourself when you’re a breastfeeding mom. Promise.
1. Breastfeeding Central
According to this app’s description, “The Breastfeeding Central app is like having a breastfeeding expert in the palm of your hand. Written by a board certified lactation consultant, it guides you through every phase of nursing your baby.” Sounds like a beautiful thing to me.
$3.99 on iTunes
2. Baby Nursing
One of my favorite things about breastfeeding is that it’s really more than just feeding your baby. Some of my most beloved memories as a mom have occurred in the privacy of our bedroom rocking chair, nursing my baby while the fan blows a gentle breeze on us.
I love that this app really gets that, and not only allows moms to track feedings, but also gives the option to capture those little memories that make breastfeeding special. You can add text, video, or pictures in real-time to create a live baby book as you go. Megan Doherty, a mom of two, has used this Sevenlogics Breastfeeding App, created in part with American Baby magazine, with both of her children, so this one comes real mom-approved.
3. Total Baby
This baby app has the endorsement of Apple as the #1 baby tracking app on iTunes, which is not too shabby indeed. “We just had our 5th baby and have used Total Baby with every one of them,” says Stephanie Jones. “[It’s my] fave of all time (and I have tried several others in between). You can even set auto-alarms with it now, so it reminds you to feed the baby again after a user-set interval, which is triggered each time a feed is saved. Absolutely awesome.”
Total Baby allows users to pretty much log and track every aspect of their baby’s care, from feeding times, amounts, pumping schedules, and doctor’s appointments. Moms of multiples might find the twin timer especially helpful, and the app also features a growth chart so you can track your baby’s growth as you feed him or her.
$4.99 on iTunes
Moms looking for a community to talk with about breastfeeding concerns may appreciate the Preggie app, which offers users the opportunity to join a community of fellow mothers. “Breastfeeding is a huge topic in our community,” says Charong Chow, Senior Content Manager of the Preggie app. “Moms offer support to each other in our open newsfeed and private messaging. Women ask questions and receive answers in real time quickly from many different perspectives. Users can search through previous content for help with nursing positions, advice, and product recommendations, but mostly our moms talk to each other live on our main newsfeed, like a contemporary variation on the traditional ‘village’ support system.”
It’s free, simple, and you can use it one-handed. (Which is what I wish cooking while nursing a baby was like.) Also, you can sync it to multiple Apple devices so that you, your hubby, your mom, etc. are all on the same page.
Free on iTunes
After nursing four kiddos, I can safely say that those first few weeks, when your breasts are engorged, your nipples are burning, and you can’t see a light at the end of the sleep-deprived tunnel can feel like the worst. Which is where this app, created by Registered Nurses and Lactation Consultants, can come in handy.
Instead of letting moms play a guessing game or waiting for mothers to come to experts with questions, these experts have brought the answers to tired moms. After users create a profile for their baby, this app gives a customized tracking of what parents should expect for their baby’s growth and development, notifying you if a problem seems to appear, and boasting over 454 tips based on the baby’s age.
$3.49 on iTunes
7. Milk Maid
Maseth recommends this app for moms who are exclusively pumping and don’t want to put babies to the breast at all, because it helps encourage mothers to build up their milk supply in those first few crucial weeks. “Moms can see how much they are making,” she explains. “It’s important to establish that milk supply early and maintain it.”
$2.99 on iTunes
8. Eat and Sleep
If you have multiple children you’d like to keep track of data for, or you are looking for a simple, free, no-fuss app that will help you log the basics (eating, sleeping, and diapering), then this is the app for you. The mothers in the support group that Maseth heads up use this app to update their pediatricians and have all the vital info on feeding and growth right at their fingertips. An app like this can help mothers transition from hospital to home with more peace of mind, notes Maseth.