Many people believe that breastfeeding is instinctive, yet many mothers struggle with one or more aspects of nursing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2011, 79 percent of newborns started out breastfed, but only 49 percent were breastfed at six months. Some experts argue this significant drop could be a result of different physical, emotional or social challenges.
Carly Christopher, 28, of Austin, T.X., said breastfeeding was always something she wanted to do.
“Breastfeeding can be really frustrating and sometimes you can feel defeated, kind of like, ‘Why can’t I do this naturally?’ We put a lot of pressure on ourselves sometimes to be these super-moms,” Christopher, mom to 5-month-old James Grant, told FoxNews.com
When moms need help feeding their child, they want fast and immediate answers. Professional lactation consultants can help mothers with their breastfeeding goals, but scheduling an appointment and making the trip to your doctor’s office with your newborn can be a challenge.
But now, with a smartphone app, professional breastfeeding advice can be at your fingertips— immediately.
In partnership with UpSpring Baby, the Doctor on Demand app allows moms to have virtual video visits with board-certified lactation consultants. Women can get answers about feeding positions, milk supply, pumping, latching difficulties-- any breastfeeding concern.
Lauren Reyes, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) has been helping mothers through the app since it launched in December.
“At first they usually need support with latching and positioning and that’s something that we can help with over the app because we can see them,” Reyes told FoxNews.com. “And then we also get a lot of questions about returning to work— how moms can be successful with pumping when they return to work.”
The app is free to download and is available across the country, but each 25-minute video call costs $40. Some health insurances will cover it, but it varies by plan. Lactation consultants are available seven days a week, from 7am to 2am ET.
Reyes said she starts her session by asking the mother what her concerns and breastfeeding goals are. Then, with a few standard questions like the baby’s weight and dirty diaper count, Reyes tailors the session to meet the mother’s needs. The lactation consultants also write down notes that summarize the conversation so moms can refer back to their advice.
“Not every community has access to a lactation consultant, and while talking to friends and family can be good, they are anecdotal,” Reyes said. “[Moms] want to hear an unbiased, professional opinion.”
Christopher used the app and said she was relieved to have the instant support.
“Some of the questions are more real-time with babies-- what works one day may not work the next. And when your breastfeeding six times a day, a small piece of advice can make all the difference,” she said.
For more information go to UpSpringbaby.com.