A free smartphone app for new mums seeking user-friendly breastfeeding advice developed in the Midland region has exceeded expectations.

Karen Palmer, content developer for the app BreastFedNZ, said the app – that provides simple, consumer focused information alongside illustrations, photos, video clips, web links and personal stories – has now had 12,000 downloads across the country.

“We knew the demand was out there but are delighted to see the volume of downloads from mothers, their families, and health professionals and to receive endorsement that the content and style is hitting the mark, said Palmer.

The app was developed by the Midland Maternity Action Group, a clinical network of the five Midland district health boards, in response to feedback from a 2013 study which identified a need to harness smartphone technology to provide new mothers with instant user-friendly advice and support about breastfeeding.

Fiona Hermann, Associate Clinical Midwifery Director, Waikato District Health Board said the BreastFedNZ app provides a quick, easy, convenient place for women and whānau to access accurate breastfeeding information and help.

“It’s right where you are breastfeeding – in the car or on the couch at home; it’s really handy if you are a bit remote or don’t have services near you as it’s like having a kind expert in your phone. Just the right amount of information without overloading women, but with links to find more help or info as and when you need it.”

BreastFedNZ contains six chapters covering pregnancy and birth, the first few days, early weeks, breastfeeding the older baby, twins and early babies, and ‘this and that’. Answers are also provided to common questions and concerns. The app also includes ideas for those in the supportive role for mothers, such as dads, partners, friends, and extended family members.

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