The Milk Memoirs

One part chronicle, one part resource of all things breastfeeding and family life…with a good dose of fun,crafts & mommy realness

Breastfeeding through the (Google) looking glass

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Wearable technology for breastfeeding support.

Wearable technology for breastfeeding support.Photo credit: ABA website

How Google glasses can help your breastfeeding success.
So I recently just came from the Gartner Symposium- I promise Im not going to bore you with mundane IT jargon- and the key notes clearly indicate that we are truly in the DIGITAL AGE. (If you didnt know that already.) An age where its no longer the machinist nor the humanist thats ahead of the curve, but a hybrid of both. It was this notion that spurred me on to share a breastfeeding post I came across months ago.

It was a post is about a breastfeeding support project in the light that young mothers of today no longer have that same support structure of generations before. One of the contributing factors being that families are spread across the globe (or in my case, across the province)and the practicality of physical support is just not there like it used to be.

Enter Google Glasses!

Google glasses is the latest wearable technology from Google, which in this case, is used to create an online portal that is voice activated and hands-free. Exactly what any mama would appreciate while trying to master the the fine arts of breastfeeding !! Especially when you think about how wiggly a worm hungry lil’ baba can get!

I think back to the (not so long ago) days with my second beasty; Screaming her lungs out, like I never knew baby could; Trying to soothe her in my arms, which I’m sure looked more like I was trying to restrain a crazy cat in a bag than anything else. All while trying to (re)master the breastfeeding technique with her. ( And you should know, that just because you got it right with baby no.1, its not a guarantee that it’ll be all smooth sailing with the next one. Because,[contrary to popular belief] its not all about you, young lady 🙂 Baby is also learning a new skill here. So be patient with both yourself and baby.)

Now with that “patience is a virtue” PSA out of the way, back to reality, where you’re sleep-deprived, sporting engorged boobies, whilst cradling said crazy cat in a bag, who’s letting you know in no uncertain terms that your death is imminent should milk not flow forth into her mouth right now…And needless to say you are far far far from any level of “patient”. You’re desperate for help. And you need it NOW! You don’t need it 45min later or even an hour later, (which is what it may take you to pack up baby and all her gear, and drive on over to your nearest breastfeeding clinic). Or even to wait for your lovely mobile lactation specialist to ring your doorbell. Baby has made it apparent that there is simply no negotiating around feeding time. It must happen now. Now, if only you knew how.

Sound familiar?

Well, now imagine, simply slipping on your stylish glasses, and either

    a) have a step by step video tutorial streaming while you’re looking down at you baby, for immediate comparisons (ie. Not having to look up and screen then back down at boob, then up at screen then back down to boob, then wonder if you’re doing it the same. Or re-read the paragraph in the book about latching, fumbling while trying to hold book and baby. Nope, now its simply a miniscule flash of the eyeball to the tutorial right in front of you.

Or

    b) you start feel the situation escalating and you recognize youre in need of assistance, then boom, a lactation specialist is immediately available to you online, via the on-demand service of the google glasses breastfeeding app. A lactation specialist on the other side of the video call, who can now also get a perfect first person view of what you’re doing and advise you accordingly…right there and then. No driving. No waiting.And no packing up the million and one things of baby gear just to head out the door.

Amazeballs, right? Totally.

I know, if I didn’t find the awesome door to door lactation specialist service at the time that I did, this would definitely have cut short many a panicked moment where I just couldn’t understand why we couldn’t get the latch right. (I mean, we aced it at the last feed at 2pm. But fast forward to 2am and Im just short of doing rain dances and sacrifices to the gods just to get this right. I mean, I read every damn book there was, and been advised by many a professional about what the latch is supposed to look like. But what if baby just never opens her mouth to begin with?! Theres always so much to learn. And thankfully theres always a specialist who’s ready to teach you.)
So at three in the morning, when the clinic is closed or its just too much of a ridiculous time to expect anyone, as kind as they are, to drive on all the way to your place to get baby to latch, these glasses right here would serve an incredible service…Because we all know, all too well, that its at THOSE redonk times that the wheels often tend to come flying off.
Can you just imagine how different your nights might have been?

I see you baby, drinking that boob, drinking that boob...(Am I only the only one singing that?)

I see you baby, drinking that boob, drinking that boob…(Am I only the only one singing that?)

Here’s snippet about the project, but I do urge you to go read the full article:

The trial allowed mothers to see visual step-by-step instructions as they began learning to breastfeed. Mothers could also securely video call an ABA volunteer counsellor who could view the mother’s issue through Glass’s camera (whether it be latching on, mastitis etc) and give the mother immediate suggestions. In January, ABA and Small World launched a call out for trial participants and received nationwide attention for pioneering technology to assist breastfeeding. The Breastfeeding with Google Glass trial ran in Melbourne for six weeks until 13 April 2014.The trial had 5 mothers and 15 breastfeeding counsellors participating. The benefit of Google Glass is its hands-free capabilities, so mums can focus on holding their baby.

More importantly, I think, the trial seems to have been a success, since at the end of the eight week trial, all women involved in the trial were able to confidently breastfeed. To read more about it, why not check it out here and here.
To whoever thought up this ingenious idea: “Give that man a Bells”…unless she’s breastfeeding of course! 
Would any of you be keen to try this kind of technology? Or maybe technology has already come to your rescue ito breastfeeding, birth or childcare. If so, please do share with us in the comments area. Would love to hear about it.

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Author: mommabeartrax

Mother of two (and counting), pregnant with the third and have a sweet little angel in heaven. A very happy wifey, blogger, lover of life and laughter, a clumsy swimmer, loyal friend, Im funnier in my head than I actually am, I am a qualified HypnoBirthing Child Birth Educator, I get inexplicably excited about good food, baking & crafts. Although, I think baking and crafts are just trying to fill a void that my Kenpo and gym-rat days used to fill. Lastly, according to the rest of the world, I fix your printer. But I'm actually a Software Architect.

2 thoughts on “Breastfeeding through the (Google) looking glass

  1. Thanks for your great post on our project. There is a working group focused on rolling out the support program across Australia and hopefully women in other countries can benefit from it in the not too distant future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kathy
      Firstly, thank you so much for stopping by, and an even bigger thanks for the compliment!
      That is fantastic news to hear that soon this service will be made available to more women, hopefully across the globe. I know this little South African would be chuffed to enjoy that kind of convenience! Anytime frames available for worldwide rollout?

      Like

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