How MIM for MOM harms the breastfeeding relationship

Here we go again.  It was not long ago that I published a blog entry about a different device with a similar purpose FeedArt: How technology can harm breastfeeding.  While I am not against technology, after all my original background is as an engineer, there are some things which should remain as natural as possible and that actually require minimum intervention in order to truly happen as intended.  I argue that breastfeeding is one of those actions that should be left to mom and baby as much as possible.

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First of all, let’s tackle some of the technical details here.  The first red flag I see if the major lack of technical details or pictures of this device.  All we get is the following explanation, that it uses a nipple dressing that is sterile and disposable (creating even more trash?) that touches the breast but does not go inside the baby’s mouth.  We get nothing about the actual material of the dressing or what it looks like.  My guess is again that this is some sort of plastic and that they are using piezoelectric sensors the same way FeedArt did.  The accuracy of the materials used to manufacture these sensors can decay rapidly depending on which is used.  So much for their claim of this being an inexpensive solution.

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Do you want to worry about the accuracy of the device and its longevity?  I would much rather not have to worry about it at all.

As with FeedArt I would want to know how do they actually do their measurements.  How do they account for babies for suck for comfort, or for moms with overactive letdown when the baby doesn’t need to actually suck for milk to already be coming out, or that if they suck, even in tiny amounts the volume of milk might not be proportional to the distortion of the sleeve/dressing.

I’m going to steal from my FeedArt post as my concerns remain the same:

“They do claim that they tested their device via live babies and a simulator and arrive at the impressive number of +/- 1.2% margin of error.  This all sounds great *if* the measurements were done correctly and they mention nothing about how these were taken.  Did they use a medical grade infant scale and take pre and post feeding measurements that they compared with the results from their device?  If they did take weights, did they do it correctly?  Does the simulator account for suck-swallow-breathe patterns?  Does it account for sucking for comfort or over active let down?  How could it even do so?  What about a baby with a bad latch/lip tie/tongue tie who compensates by clamping down and sucking extra hard but still manages to move very little milk if any?  There are just so many questions which are left unanswered that I am forced to believe that this device is designed to make moms worry and doubt themselves.  Or even worse, think that their babies are having a higher intake than they actually are then leading them to worry about something being physiologically wrong with their child who takes x amount of mL/oz of milk and is still not thriving.”

I am surprised to say the least to see some Breastfeeding Counselors backing this product.  It is our duty to help moms increase their self confidence and actual knowledge about breastfeeding. Not to introduce yet one more thing for mom to have to worry about.  Who wants to wake up in the middle of the night for a feed to strap on this contraption, find a sterile dressing and then latch on a baby?  I know I wouldn’t, I would much rather feed my baby in the side lying position, while we both get some rest.  Also, do you have to hold this dressing in place.  How would this work for positions other than cradle hold and maybe cross cradle?  I can definitely see some problems with laid back breastfeeding depending on how these things sit on the body and breast.

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What do you really need to feed a baby?  A mom, a baby, some patience and support.  Everything else is extra.  Ask any of the moms who breastfeed in remote parts of the world where formula is not available.  Also, if you ever encounter any problems find help.  There’s free help (La Leche League, Nursing Mothers Counsel) and there’s more specialized help (lactation consultants, counselors and educators) who I bet you know breastfeeding a lot better than these two guys talking in the video ;).  Also, if you ever need help reach out to a support group or community of breastfeeding moms there are many of them, if not near you, online!

If you need breastfeeding help, please contact your local support group, La Leche League or Nursing Mothers Counsel. You can also email me at melisa@ilovebreastfeeding.com.

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