If I could have my way, there would be no hindrance─physical, social or otherwise─ to get in the way of a woman’s desire to breastfeed her child. It’s hard to imagine, but just two generations ago, nursing was seen as a “backwoods” approach to mothering. My husband’s Grandma tells me of having her breasts bound painfully to stop her milk production, and being told that only poor women in Africa (!) breastfed their babies. Thank goodness times have changed, and 77% of US women begin by breastfeeding their newborns.
While my own experience with breastfeeding was blissfully simple, I know all too well that this is not the case for every woman. With my second baby on the way in July, I hope I will have a similarly easy go of it, but that remains to be seen.
MilkSense is the first breastfeeding monitor of its kind developed to help nursing moms who have concerns about their milk supply, who must return to work and need to optimize the time they use to pump while at work, stay-at-home moms with more than one child or moms nursing multiples who need to keep track of their feedings and milk supply.
How does it work?
The MilkSense monitor is placed gently against the mother’s breast to take a 10-second measurement both before and after nursing. (The monitor never comes in contact with baby and is 100% safe for the mother and her milk.) The monitor can then track how much milk your baby consumes. It can also sense when your breasts are at their fullest, allowing you to pump at the best moment over the course of your workday. (As a sidenote, I want to tell all of your working/pumping Mamas that you are amazing.)
The software that comes with your monitor can be easily installed on your PC or Mac and allows you to track all the illegible details I frantically wrote down in a notebook when Cub was a new nursling, plus much more: how long since the last feed, which side you last fed on, average amount of milk consumed, breast fullness at different times of the day and baby’s weight gain.
A Scale To Use at Home
Ah, the dreaded “weight gain” in our newborns. What mother hasn’t fretted about whether her child is gaining enough weight? And if you’re breastfeeding, there’s the added pressure you put on yourself to produce enough milk to sustain baby’s growth. In order to track Cub’s weight gain, I had to trek over on foot to the clinic in our neighbourhood (thankfully only about two blocks away) and weigh him on the self-serve scale. The self-serve scale, however, had no space around it to lie him down to take off his clothes, and was in the middle of a waiting room full or visibly and audibly ill patients! The MilkSense monitor system comes with a scale you can use at home by attaching it to the handle of your bucket car seat!
Do We All Need a MilkSense Breastfeeding Monitor?
The MilkSense Breastfeeding Monitor isn’t a must-have for every nursing Mom. It’s important for mothers to put faith in their bodies and their instincts when it comes to caring for their babies: we don’t need a computer to tell us we’re doing it right. However, as an ardent breastfeeding advocate, I love how the MilkSense monitor could help working Moms continue to breastfeed by pumping at the best possible moments, help new Moms with breastfeeding concerns and give Moms of multiples one less thing to think about during the day.
Don’t think of the MilkSense Breastfeeding Monitor as a cure-all for nursing roadblocks. It’s a tool to help you understand what’s going on in your body and give you a read-out on how much milk your baby is consuming. There are many, many reasons that mothers can experience difficulties nursing, and there are amazing community resources out there to help solve those problems. Contact your local La Leche League, community health clinic, midwife or family doctor to get the help you need with nursing. Don’t be shy: talk to other Moms who have been there and may know just whom you should talk to.
Connect With MilkSense
Could you or someone you know benefit from a MilkSense monitor?
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