An investigation into the use of infant feeding tracker apps by breastfeeding mothers

Kaitlyn Dienelt, Carly Moores, Jacqueline Miller, Kaye Mehta

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Abstract

Sufficient information and support for breastfeeding mothers is vital to encourage optimal infant feeding practices. Infant feeding apps give breastfeeding instructions and access to information however, little is known about mothers’ perceptions about these resources. This study investigated mothers’ use and experiences of infant feeding apps with a feeding tracker component, including how information within these apps is used, initial reasons for downloading, the role of the app in infant feeding, and perceived benefits and disadvantages of infant feeding apps. In-depth interviews were conducted with nine Australian breastfeeding mothers who had used an infant feeding app in the last year. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and coded prior to thematic analysis. The findings revealed that infant feeding apps provide mothers with objective information to guide their breastfeeding decisions and other aspects of baby care. This objective approach to infant feeding gives mothers a perception of greater control, confidence and efficacy at a time of transition and stress in the early stages of parenting an infant. While, overall, the mothers were positive about infant feeding apps, they also expressed concerns regarding overreliance on the app, feeling overwhelmed with the data and questioning the credibility of the information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1672-1683
Number of pages12
JournalHEALTH INFORMATICS JOURNAL
Volume26
Issue number3
Early online date3 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • infant feeding
  • mobile applications
  • mothers
  • qualitative research

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