There’s no question that for some women breastfeeding is easier said than done. The vast majority of Australian women stop breastfeeding before their baby’s first birthday, despite it being the recommended primary way to nourish a child until the age of 12 months. There can be many reasons for stopping, but if it is because they are having trouble breastfeeding, then technology may be able to help.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) has partnered with tech company Small World, and together they are looking at the technologies available to them to provide new mums with breastfeeding help. And so the Google Glass trial commenced.
A New Frontier for Google
Google Glass is one of the newest “trials” for this technology giant and is already proving to be a success for a number of organizations in a variety of industries. With this technology, Google Glass allows its users to wear specially designed eyewear that enables them to then share their view of the world with select parties (it’s recommended that mums wear clothing that allows for minimal visual obstruction, though privacy can still be attained by wearing properly constructed breastfeeding tops like ours at Auqust).
In this trial with the ABA, a device’s camera would film a baby as he or she was breastfeeding – from the mum’s perspective. The mums involved in the trial would then contact an ABA breastfeeding counselor through this Google Glass device, and the counselor could then view and correct the way that the baby is being fed – much like any lactation consultant would.
The difference? It can be days if not weeks before a lactation consultant will follow up and visit your home. With Google Glass, the results are instant and support is always available.
Concerns Going Forward
Google’s innovative spirit may prove to bring relief and much needed support to the 80,000 mums or so who contact the ABA for breastfeeding support on an annual basis. The primary concern of any new mum is the expense of having to purchase the device themselves, something which Madeline Sands, project leader, is looking into solving. "New moms will only need Google Glass those first six weeks, and then they can always send them back to give to the next person," she suggests.
Considering that many mums will drive well over an hour to visit a lactation consultant, this "lend and borrow" option seems to be at least a workable solution.