Top 5 Breastfeeding Apps for Healthcare Providers
By Laurie B. Jones, MD, IBCLC, FABM
Most surgeons and physicians would not walk into a patient exam room without one critical tool for their clinical decision making ……. And that is their phone! Of course the stethoscope’s value cannot be replaced by a cell phone, but the amount of information needed for clinical practice available on a cell phone makes it the ultimate assistant for patient care. Here I review the top FIVE apps for doctors to provide quick and accurate information and advice to breastfeeding mothers and their children in real time in real world clinical environments.
This searchable app brings up knowledge nuggets of gold to share with your patients, peers, or trivial pursuit at the bar on Friday night. Dr. Anne Eglash strikes again with this platform linking her podcasts and LactFact question of the week. She has applied for CME credit for reviewing these questions – you can get these emailed to you by signing up here. Within the app you can read the source information for the fact and test yourself with a quiz.
4. Newt Calculator
Ok…. This is not an app. They don’t make one, but their website should be bookmarked on your phone and tablet to check how a formula or breastfed infant (vaginal vs. csection) is losing weight compared to 100,000 peers tracked longitudinally. This massive data set from Penn State is a game changer for understanding the differences in normal weight loss and dangerous weight loss. A must for all newborn doctors and hospitalists. Helpful for first week follow up in office also. Parents can see the danger/risk if supplementation is needed and are more likely to comply with close follow up when they can see where their baby falls on the curve. Many EMRs now link to Newt data and can put the weight loss % into your daily progress note. You can make action plans or policies around these in your hospital system or office practice.
3. Breastfeeding Solutions
Created by Nancy Mohrbacher who has cornered the market for professionals and parents in simplifying an approach to return to work planning and basics of breastfeeding and difficulties that parents and doctors encounter. This $5 app is a good companion to the book “Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple” that is a symptom based approach to common and uncommon challenges that is fully referenced.
2. The Health Care Provider’s Guide to Breastfeeding
This FREE clinical practice app is a concise, pocket handbook for a variety of common questions and concerns that doctors face when caring for breastfeeding dyads in practice (OB GYN, NICU, pediatrics, family medicine, Med/Peds, urgent care, emergency medicine). There are other outstanding physically small handbooks to carry in your white coat, but this app brings it to your fingertips for telephone triage and no matter where you are when you have a clinical question. The information is made for doctors and is searchable.
Infant Risk/Mommy Meds / LactMed
THREE medications in milk apps are available for every type of physician or surgeon are available to help you STOP saying “pump and dump” when it is not necessary.
ii) Texas Tech Dr. Thomas Hale “InfantRisk” app for both pregnancy and lactation separate by trimester or post-delivery age in months. Book version here. This extremely useful $10 app shows lactation safety categories L1 – L5, and what percentage of medication gets in the milk with side effects and alternative medicine options. It gives you molecular weight and has other links to their Central Time zone hotline phone number.
iii) “Mommy Meds” app is the parent-facing app with less scientific info and more simplistic safety information with same L1 to L5 rating system. At only $4 you get less than the full Infant Risk app, but might be just the right amount of information for some doctors.