Anxious breastfeeder alert: 3 new gadgets track your milk supply

by Joyce Slaton posted in Products & Prizes I don't know about you, but my breasts don't have ounce markers on them. Thus, I never knew how much milk my baby was getting at any feed -- too much? Too little? Just enough? Was my supply going down? Was it steady? For God's sake, are... Read more »

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by

Joyce Slaton

posted in Products & Prizes

I don’t know about you, but my breasts don’t have ounce markers on them. Thus, I never knew how much milk my baby was getting at any feed — too much? Too little? Just enough? Was my supply going down? Was it steady? For God’s sake, are we normal and am I doing this right?

For me, it was fine, and not particularly fraught — my daughter was born healthy and full-term and grew typically. If your baby’s similar and you feel confident, these new toys probably aren’t for you.

Milk Bottle

But if you have breastfeeding issues — your baby’s smaller or not thriving or you’re worried about your supply or how she’s feeding — you may want a little more reassurance. The old-school ways of judging whether your baby’s getting enough milk (counting diapers, weighing, watching for breast/stool changes) still work. Use them if you want to save $.

Experts also point out that measurement products can erode a mom’s confidence in her own body; that breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand relationship that works beautifully for most.

All that said, some parents feel more comfortable if they have data and technology on their side. If that’s you, here are 3 new and interesting ways to capture that data stream.

MomSense

A pair of headphones that plugs into your smart phone, with an offshoot that sticks to the side of your baby’s face, MomSense listens for the sound of your baby swallowing and uses an algorithm to calculate how much milk he’s gotten at each feed, and from each breast. It reports it all to the MomSense tracking app.

As a MomSense spokesperson explained to BabyCenter, moms enter their baby’s weight, which prompts the algorithm to change as your baby grows: bigger baby = bigger swallows. Moms can also use the MomSense app to share a report on output with a co-parent, a physician, or a caregiver.

Buy it at Mymymomsense, $89

Lansinoh Smart Pump

SmartPump_Hero_1

If you’re a pumping mom trying to increase or maintain your supply, you probably already know there are pumping schedules that can help with that — for instance, our blogger Sabrina Garibian explains the “pumping power hour” here.

But keeping track of when and how long you pumped quickly becomes a huge drag. You wrote it down…on the back of what envelope, again? Or you swear you’ll remember you did the routine Wednesday and…Saturday? No, it must have been Sunday. You see? The minute someone in the house gets sick, or a big project comes up at work, it all goes to hell even faster.

Lansinoh has come up with a clever solution — the brand new Lansinoh Smartpump syncs with the (free) Lansinoh Baby App, automatically records the date, time, and duration of each pumping session. If you want, you can also manually enter the amount of breastmilk pumped per session — you can tell by looking at the ounce markers on the bottles, my, do I feel stupid writing that out — to track that, too.

You can share info on your sessions and output with a partner or doctor, and keep track of diaper changes, and your baby’s growth.

Gina Cicatelli Ciagne, Global Vice President of Healthcare Relations at Lansinoh, demo’d the pump for us over FaceTime, showing me that the Smartpump keeps track even if you pump both sides at once, since it’s a double pump (an actual real question I had).

She also showed me that you can control speed and intensity separately, which is a great feature not every pump offers. “We’re trying to trick the body into believing there’s a baby there,” Ciagne pointed out, “so you want to set the pump to mimic the way your baby sucks as much as possible.”

Buy it at Babies “R” Us starting May 23, $199

MilkSense

milksense

Hold MilkSense to your breast before and after a feeding and it sends an electromagnetic signal that measures the volume of the breast alveoli and tells you how much your baby drank. The BScale, included, is a scale that you attach to your car seat to weigh your baby. It calibrates and verifies the MilkSense readings. You don’t have to use the BScale for every feeding — just the first 3 times, and then every now and again as your baby grows.

MilkSense comes with MilkSuite, a program that works with PCs or Mac computers only, not phones. It allows users to track growth, feeding sessions, sessions over time, breast productivity at various times of the day, and more nerdy and interesting stuff.

You’re probably wondering what it looks like and how it works, so here’s a look.

Buy it at Walmart, $172.13

Want to see more futuristic baby technology?

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