Breastfeeding as a new parent can be stressful. You worry if your baby will latch, if you're producing enough milk, or if you're even nursing in the right position. When you do face a problem, you scramble to find the answers, trying every piece of advice you come across in hopes of getting it right. There are specialists available who can help with your breastfeeding woes, but they tend to be few and far between. That's why two entrepreneurs decided to develop a new breastfeeding app that connects nursing parents with lactation consultants on-demand.
Launched Wednesday, Momseze is a new telehealth service that allows breastfeeding (and chestfeeding) parents to chat with a lactation specialist over video, over the phone, or through text directly through the app, which is available on iPhone and Android. Certified lactation consultants are available to users on-demand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer nursing questions and concerns, such as what happens in the first few weeks, how to transition back to work, or what's normal for your baby. And since specialists are available anytime, parents in stressful situations can turn to Momseze whenever they need immediate support, even if it's in the middle of the night.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that about 81 percent of moms chestfeed, but only 22 percent do so exclusively for the first six months, according to USA Today. There are many reasons why parents stop nursing or don't nurse exclusively. For some parents, it's painful to nurse, their child cannot latch, or they're not making nearly enough milk, as USA Today reported in May.
I'm of the mind that "fed is best," whether that's chest or formula. But if you're facing chestfeeding troubles and need help, a professional lactation consultant can be a life-saver. According to Parents, lactation specialists can give you the best tips and solutions because they understand the exact issues you are facing. But consultants aren't available to everyone in their communities, which is where Momseze comes in.
There might be one aspect of the app that makes it a tad out of reach for some moms. It's $39.99 for 25 minutes on-demand and $249 for three months of unlimited access. Those costs might leave out a swath of parents living in low-income households who need lactation help but can't afford to reach out for services. In response to questions regarding the cost of Momseze, Co-Founder Shana Lawlor tells Romper the app is working to find partners who might help subsidize costs, according to the below email statement:
Momseze is a company of women passionate about helping other women especially new mothers and we are excited that our services will enable more women to connect with a professional lactation consultant when they need it most. A study by the CDC from 2006-2013 found that there were only 3.5 certified lactation consultants available per 1000 live birth and in some States, there were as few as 1. We are particularly proud that our technology will enable new parents whom do not currently have access to a lactation consultant or that live in a rural area, are recovering from giving birth or a c-section, sleep deprived, overwhelmed by the thought of leaving their home or face other challenges with baby and/or multiples, to get the help they need day or night 365 days a year.
We are committed to finding like-minded partners that see the value in our services and will work with us to subsidize and/or enable us to provide our services to low-income parents free-of-charge. I can’t think of a better way for a company to make a more heartfelt gesture than to partner with the amazing women professionals that are Momseze, to provide millions of new babies and their parents with the support they need for the critical first year of their babies lives.
Regardless, Momseze is revolutionary in expanding access to lactation consultants without requiring in-person interaction, so hopefully the service can be expanded so that more chestfeeding parents can get the support they need.