One thing all new mums share is a natural anxiety about their baby’s health. And nothing is more worrisome than thinking your baby isn’t drinking enough breastmilk.
A new US product, which aims to alleviate mother’s stress by measuring how much their baby is drinking, has just hit the Australian market. Momsense is an intelligent breastfeeding meter which tracks how much breastmilk your baby drinks in millilitres, without you needing to express. The product took over eight years to develop in a laboratory with the aid of over 1000 mothers, and is designed to track your baby’s feeding habits and generate reports.
While this kind of technology can be reassuring for mothers who are concerned, and potentially encourage more mothers to breastfeed for longer (which is a great thing!) it is worthwhile to be cautious when using any kind of baby-related technology.
According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, there are lots of natural ways to see whether your baby is getting enough milk, such as looking at their wet nappies, weight gain, skin colour, bowel movements. These methods are incredibly reliable indicators of milk consumption and baby health, that have been trusted by doctors for centuries.
Most mums actually have enough breastmilk
Even though almost all mothers worry about their supply, particularly in the early days and weeks of breastfeeding, not producing enough milk for your baby is actually the exception, not the norm.
Behaviours that make mothers worry are when the baby feeds too often, for too long or for too short a period. This is all normal, as each mother’s breasts and letdown are different, and a baby will feed based on these variables. Also, between three and 12 weeks after birth your breasts are adjusting and working out the supply based on the baby’s demand – and will feel quite full. When they go much softer, this isn’t because there’s no milk left, but actually a sign that your breasts have fully adjusted to what your baby needs.
When there is a low supply
Technology like Momsense could be valuable in identifying potential issues and helping mothers seek early intervention, but always remember that a machine – however sophisticated – is not a midwife or baby health nurse. And it’s not your wonderfully-designed mother’s body. Trust your instincts, trust your body, and trust your baby.
If you have any issues or concerns with breastfeeding your baby, call the National Breastfeeding helpline 1800 686 268.