The majority of moms start off breastfeeding optimistic and well-intentioned, eager to hit that 6-month duration the AAP recommends. The reality? About 50 percent stop nursing after four to six weeks, frustrated and unsure that baby’s getting enough milk. A new company, Momsense, has made it its mission to change that.
The solution is a simple product: a set of smartphone-compatible earphones with an attached “baby safe sensor” that, when placed below baby’s earlobe, monitors baby’s swallows to gauge how much milk is being consumed. You’ll receive the data, along with a soundbite you can share, via the associated app. Since it’s fully-functional in airplane mode, you don’t need to worry about radiation.
Like other new baby tech products, Momsense is intended to put new parents at ease, essentailly confirming that baby has, in fact, been fed. The app, which records ounces consumed per session, allows you to indicate whether you nursed from your left or right breast, along with the time of day (or night), helping you to get a feel for a feeding schedule that works best for baby.
Momsense does not, however, track the accumulated amount of milk baby’s consumed over the course of the day, week or month. (Although you can add up the amounts from each session if you so choose.) And that’s for a good reason. The company’s CEO, Osnat Emanuel, MD, explains that there are no recommended guidelines for the quantity of breast milk baby should be eating; it’s too dependent on additional factors like age, weight, other food or formula consumed throughout the day, etc. So the device sticks to offering insight regarding how much was consumed at each meal, helping you recognize baby’s eating patterns.
While Momsense is not intended to be used in those first few days of nursing, when you’re producing only colostrum, Emanuel does indicate it’s most helpful during the newborn period.
“I think the first month or two will have the most intensive use and the most intensive benefits,” she tells The Bump. “There’s also an emotional benefit. Moms can give the earbuds to spouses or siblings to get them involved in the feeding process.”
Want to give it a try? Momsense is available for $89 here.