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Breastfeeding advice: new voice-activated digital app to provide tips for mothers

Breastfeeding Friend digital app developed by Start4Life can be activated via Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant device 

Breastfeeding Friend digital app developed by Start4Life can be activated via Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant device 


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A voice-activated app which helps new mothers get information about breastfeeding has been welcomed by nurses and health visitors.

Breastfeeding Friend can be activated via Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant device and will provide advice and tips tailored to the age of the baby.

Adopt healthier lifestyles with Start4Life programme 

It has been developed by Start4Life, a programme run by Public Health England (PHE) to encourage parents to adopt healthier lifestyles.

The technology also works on other platforms, but Alexa allows mothers to get information even when their hands are full.

The information provided is NHS-approved and independent of Amazon or other private companies.

Questions and setbacks

PHE chief nurse Viv Bennett said: ‘Breastfeeding, while natural, is something that mothers and babies learn together, and while learning, women may have questions and setbacks.

‘Health professionals do an excellent job of caring for new mothers, but they cannot be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

‘These digital offerings will help guide new parents through their first weeks of breastfeeding and beyond.’

Better prepared for breastfeeding

The app comes as a PHE survey of 1,000 mothers found 24% wished they had been better prepared for breastfeeding before giving birth.

One in four also wished they had known asking for help could make a real difference and 31% admitted being embarrassed about talking to healthcare professionals about challenges of breastfeeding.

Institute of Health visiting executive director Cheryll Adams added: ‘Whether a mother manages to establish breastfeeding is largely determinant on the support she receives in the first few days after birth.

‘To have this backup – which can be accessed from anywhere – will be hugely helpful. We expect health visitors to want to promote the service.’

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