An investigation into the use of infant feeding apps by mothers

Kaitlyn Dienelt, Kaye Mehta, Carly Moores, Jacqueline Miller

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Sufficient information and support of breastfeeding mothers is vital to avoid feelings of being overwhelmed and encourage optimal infant feeding (IF) practices for healthy infant development. IF apps contain information and instructions around breastfeeding; however, little is known about their use or mothers attitudes towards these IF apps. This study aimed to investigate mothers use and experiences of IF apps, including benefits of app use, the apps role within IF, and how information within these apps is used. In-depth interviews (45–60 min) were conducted with breastfeeding mothers (n = 9) who had used an IF app in the last year. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and manually coded prior to thematic analysis. Coding revealed four key themes: (1) societal and generational shift towards apps for self-management, (2) meeting parenting ideals and expectations, (3) negative aspects to app use, and (4) informing decision-making. Mothers interpreted information within IF apps to inform decisions, such as whether to seek professional help, in consultation with other sources. Most mothers described the experience of IF app use as positive, but some acknowledged distrust and/or over reliance on IF apps. For some, IF app use was reassuring and increased breastfeeding confidence. Many mothers found IF apps provided feelings of control and support. Apps were relied on for tracking data, which were commonly interpreted to inform breastfeeding in conjunction with additional information sources. Future research is needed to understand the influence of app use on compliance to best practice IF guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event10th Asia Pacific Conference on Clinical Nutrition - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide , Australia
Duration: 26 Nov 201729 Nov 2017

Conference

Conference10th Asia Pacific Conference on Clinical Nutrition
CountryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period26/11/1729/11/17

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