Perinatal support for breastfeeding using mHealth: A mixed methods feasibility study of the My Baby Now app
Despite the well-known benefits of breastfeeding, breastfeeding rates remain suboptimal, particularly for women with lower socioeconomic position. The My Baby Now app was developed by researchers from Deakin University, The University of Sydney, and RMIT University. The app provides breastfeeding support to women during pregnancy and the early post-partum period
What did we do?
266 pregnant women with non-complicated pregnancies were recruited at 20-30 weeks gestation. Breastfeeding intentions, knowledge, attitude and confidence were measured at recruitment, and again at 36 weeks gestation and 8 weeks after birth. A selected group of mothers were also interviewed at 8-10 weeks after birth.
What did we find?
The My Baby Now app was perceived to be credible and useful in enhancing breastfeeding knowledge and confidence, particularly among mothers without a university education.
The qualitative findings highlighted that the app was valuable during pregnancy among mothers with limited family or social experiences with breastfeeding.
Why is this important?
The My Baby Now app provides a credible evidence-based source of breastfeeding support across the perinatal period that is acceptable and perceived to be useful, particularly for women with lower levels of education. This has the potential to reduce breastfeeding disparities among lower-educated mothers.
- Randomised controlled trials are needed to examine the effectiveness of mHealth interventions on breastfeeding outcomes, particularly among mothers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Future research is also needed to explore how best to embed evidence-based apps, such as My Baby Now, into existing antenatal services to provide an integrated model for breastfeeding support across the perinatal period.
Read the full paper here: Laws, R. A., Cheng, H., Rossiter, C., Kuswara, K., Markides, B. R., Size, D., Corcoran, P., Ong, K. L., & Denney-Wilson, E. (2023). Perinatal support for breastfeeding using mHealth: A mixed methods feasibility study of the My Baby Now app. Maternal & child nutrition, e13482.