A few days ago, I was surprised and intrigued to see an application show up at the Apple iPhone Application Store that helped women keep track of when they were nursing their baby. I communicated with the program author and found out that it was actually a team: a woman who had the need for the application and a man who actually wrote the program itself. A bit of discussion and I ended up with two short interviews, one with each person. The more techie interview with the programmer I’ll be putting online elsewhere (and will link to it here once it’s online).
Mostly I think I was just a bit confused why women would need to track their nursing in the first place, so I asked Heather for some background. Please read on…
Q: When Linda nursed our children, I don’t recall us tracking anything. They just free nursed. Why would women have to track their nursing?
A: After I delivered my son, the hospital sent me home with a breastfeeding chart so that I could log my times and track my feedings. As a first time mom who had no idea what she was doing the chart was a helpful guide. Tracking allowed me to see if I had nursed the recommended number of times (8-12 times in a 24-hour period).
I was sleep deprived and overwhelmed, it was hard to remember what day it was let alone when the last time I nursed. I realized that if I was able to get in all my feedings during the day, the result was a well fed happy baby that slept the entire night! When you look back at the log, it is inspirational and tells you how well you are doing.
Q: Since it’s pretty hard to calculate how much the baby has drunk, what’s the purpose of tracking their nursing?
A: Because it IS so hard to calculate how much the baby is drinking is exactly why I kept track of the feedings. By making sure that not too many hours went by between feedings I was able to ensure babyâs hydration and most importantly proper weight gain. In the beginning, frequent nursing (every 2 to 3 hours) establishes a good milk supply. If the infant does not nurse at least 15 – 20 minutes they may not get all the benefits from the breast milk.
The baby needs to be at the breast long enough to get the “hind milk” (has the highest fat content). My detailed records also helped at pediatrician visits when the doctor asked how the feedings were progressing.
Q: Presumably, you didn’t have the slick iPhone application Baby Tracker: Nursing available when you started, so how did you track everything?
A: I had a chart that the lactation nurse at the hospital gave me. After it was all filled up, I made my own chart to fill out. Searching for pens at 3am and having a clock in view at all times, I only wish I had the Baby Tracker: Nursing App!
Q: I have to ask this, did you track “left” or “right” too, or just “nursing events”? 🙂
A: I tracked how long and which side. I had a bracelet that I would switch wrists to help me remember which side my son last nursed. In the middle of the night it made things easier to recall. Because the baby may take more from one breast than from the other, switching sides each time helps ensure adequate stimulation and emptying of ducts, plus avoids engorgement (ouch).
One last note, I realize this App may not be for all moms, in the same way that breastfeeding itself is a personal choice. However, it would have made my life much easier at a time when I needed order the most. I look forward to using this App for baby #2 someday.
Thanks again for the interview. Here’s a direct link to learn more about this helpful application for nursing mothers:
(click on the graphic to learn about the app)
Do you have an iPhone application that’s relevant to attachment parenting? Maybe one that tracks how often your kids steal your phone to play games? 🙂 Please contact me, I’d like to talk with you further about how ubiquitous technology helps solve age-old parenting problems too.