WBW2017: The Brand New Breastfeeding Hub app

 We were absolutely gutted when our local Breastfeeding Café closed down recently. This was due to – you guessed it – Public Health funding cuts. Jo saw Ros McFadden at the Café when Primrose was 4.5 months old and anxious over slow weight gain. It was a lightbulb moment – she left feeling reassured and far more confident. At other times, we both listened to Ros giving advice to mamas of newborns and older babies and were always in awe of her knowledge and supportive nature.

It comes as no surprise, then, that she has developed a brilliant new app and, whilst the ‘location’ part of it is specifically linked to Milton Keynes, the ‘Information Hub’ will be useful to all breastfeeding mamas.

Over to Ros…

“In my day job I am the Infant Feeding Lead Midwife at Milton Keynes University Hospital and a Lactation Consultant. I recently won the ‘MK Citizen Digital Innovation Award’ to develop a breastfeeding app in my spare time.

The Breastfeeding Hub MK was developed to support local mothers and families with their breastfeeding journeys and aims to make breastfeeding whilst out and about easy, convenient and the socially normal way to see a baby fed.

The Breastfeeding Hub MK has two elements: a Trip Advisor for breastfeeding friendly places in and around Milton Keynes and a breastfeeding information hub. Whether mothers are venturing out for the first time with their baby or they are experienced breastfeeding in public, the app is designed to help discover breastfeeding-friendly establishments in/near their current location, or they can search a location by name, or by clicking on the pins on the map.  They can be assured that all the reviews are added by other breastfeeding mothers and often include helpful comments.  Adding a review is easy once an account login has been created.  All reviews are categorised into to four areas; Eat & Breastfeed, Shop & Breastfeed, Relax & Breastfeed, and Work & Breastfeed.

The Information Hub acts as a virtual breastfeeding supporter, offering a one stop 24-hour shop, for all the basic information requirements around breastfeeding. It includes clear photographs and short video clips to illustrate the basics of breastfeeding and hand expressing.  There is a useful list of common concerns and problems, signposting mothers to external, evidence based information and a toolbox of useful tips.

As the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative project lead at the hospital I thought it would be useful to ensure the information was in-line with what your health professionals learn to teach the mothers and families in their care, around the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative standards. This also makes the Breastfeeding Hub MK a useful tool for health professionals and breastfeeding supporters as well as breastfeeding mothers.

I am proud to announce that, as a result of my work on this project in a voluntary role, I have been nominated by the Our MK Team for Women Leader 2017 Milton Keynes and I am a finalist in three categories: Community Impact – Voluntary, Science & Technology and Public Service.”

We sincerely hope that this app becomes a nationwide initiative – help us spread the word about Ros’ hard work and this fantastic app.

iPhone users can find the app in their app store by searching ‘Breastfeeding Hub MK’.
Android users, fear not – you’ll be able to download within the next few weeks after a few kinks have been ironed out.

Love, The Mother Side x

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