Evaluation of a Breastfeeding App in Rural Australia: Prospective Cohort Study

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New mothers often need support to establish and maintain breastfeeding, and rural women may find it difficult to access breastfeeding resources locally. There are many smartphone applications for breastfeeding mothers; however, very few have been developed by health professionals. We evaluated a smartphone application, Breastfeeding Solutions, developed by U.S. IBCLC Nancy Mohrbacher.

Research aims:

The aims were (a) to explore usability of the application among rural Australian breastfeeding women and (b) to describe participants’ infant feeding outcomes compared with the general population.


A prospective longitudinal self-report survey design was used. Data were collected via online questionnaires at baseline and at 3 and 6 months from a convenience sample of new mothers. The setting was southwest Victoria, Australia, from 2016 to 2017. Descriptive statistics were used to answer research aims.


Of the initial 46 participants who received the app, 63% (n = 29) completed surveys at 3 and 6 months. Usability was assessed at 3 months: 93.5% of participants (29 of 31) rated the application favorably, whereas 96.8% (30 of 31) found the application helpful and 87.1% (27 of 31) would recommend it to other mothers. At the 6-month survey, 79% of participants (n = 23) were breastfeeding; 10% (n = 3) had stopped breastfeeding during the first 3 months. The local breastfeeding rate at 6 months was approximately 50% according to routinely collected data; however, we cannot infer that the application was responsible for the difference.


The smartphone application was acceptable to breastfeeding women in an Australian rural setting. Further evaluation using a user-centered design could improve rural postpartum women’s access to reliable, evidence-based information.

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