Breastfeeding – like birth – is very different to what you see portrayed in movies and on television.
It may be just a natural thing your breasts are specifically designed to do, but it can feel anything but natural when it comes time to actually feed your new baby.
Say hello to MamaBreast, a new wearable simulator that promises to give mums realistic practice beforehand.
Breastfeeding can be a struggle
Whether or not bub has arrived yet, expectant mums or new mums will likely have plenty of people sharing their opinions on breastfeeding.
What they won’t always share is just how hard breastfeeding can be for some.
My son latched on without too much trouble from the beginning, but the conflicting advice I received from midwives on the ward had me totally confused by the time we headed home.
People told me my breasts would get huge and leak a lot, they told me about chaffed nipples and even explained the signs of mastitis, but no one actually told me about technique.
For instance, I had no idea my baby was meant to latch on to the area around the nipple, and not just the tip, until a midwife had a giggle at my expense.
I also didn’t know that there is no one way to hold a baby while feeding, this can actually vary based on what is most comfortable for mum and bub.
Every feed I wondered if my son was getting enough, or anything at all, but his nappies were regularly wet and he seemed to grow bigger by the day so I claimed it as a win.
What is MamaBreast?
MamaBreast is a wearable lactating breast simulator developed by Laerdal Global Health, an organisation dedicated to providing affordable products and programs to help train and equip birth attendants in low-resource countries.
MamaBreast allows new mums to practice breastfeeding positioning and attachment as well as expressing breast milk.
See MamaBreast in action
In this demonstrative video, which runs for 1.31 minutes, we can see each breast in the simulator can hold up to 500ml of water. It is not designed to hold any milk or milk-type products.
Using an on and off valve, the wearer remains in control, deciding when the water is able to be expressed.
While the valve is set to open, the video explains water will only come out if the expression technique is correct.
A caption attached to this video on Youtube, explains: “Together with PreemieNatalie Preterm Simulator, MamaBreast is excellent to use in the Essential Care for Every Baby training as well as other training programs on premature care, essential newborn care and Kangaroo Mother Care”.
What do you think? Would this product help you or a mum-to-be you know?