A new baby is born in Australia every 4 minutes. That’s more than 300,000 babies every year. Surprisingly, breastfeeding isn’t all that easy to do and traditionally young mothers have had the support of older women in their families (mothers, aunties, sisters and grandmothers) to help.

Today, families are spread all around the globe, and quite often the family support women have relied on for generations simply isn’t available.  Hospital stays are focused on the baby’s delivery and are considerably shorter, with new mothers usually home within two days of giving birth.

This project aims to develop a program in collaboration with the Australian Breastfeeding Association on breastfeeding basics and tutorials using the latest wearable technology from Google. The wearable device displays prompts of key concepts providing direction, and if needed, personalised help from a counsellor is just a video call away.

A specially trained counsellor will guide the mother through the breastfeeding process, addressing any specific concerns and questions through a private and secure live video stream. There is no traveling or waiting. The service is on demand when and where it is needed, no matter where the mother is located.

 
 
This would be a fantastic idea for mothers like me who are desperate to breastfeed confidently.
— Sarah Jane Bailey
 

The Team launched the Project on the 19th of January 2014, with a callout for participants to register their interest, generating international attention from the Press.

After receiving support and feedback from around the world, the Team selected five mothers from Victoria to participate in the trial. The team trained the women in the technology during their pregnancies, and visited them after their deliveries to monitor the trial.

The trial ran for a total of eight weeks, and during that time connected all five women with an ABA Counsellor who advised them on breastfeeding technique, as well as common concerns like baby weight and sleeping patterns. At the end of the trial all mothers where able to breastfeed confidently. 

Throughout the trial, we continually thrived to improve the support services with home visits, software updates and constant communication for the best feedback from participants.

Emma Crowder

Hi all! My name is Emma Crowder and I am a first time expectant mother. I had my daughter Chloe on 3rd March.

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Lauren Clarke

Hello! My name is Lauren Clarke and I am a first time mum. I gave birth on February 24th, 2014 to my daughter Ava Rose.

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Sarah-Jane Bailey

Hello! My name is Sarah-Jane, I'm 25 years old and gave birth to my third baby, named Patrick on the 26th of Feb.

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Laura Loricco

My name is Laura Loricco and I am a first time mum. My daughter Grace arrived on Thursday 27th February 2014.

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Cath Sharples

Hi! My name is Cath Sharples and I am a first time mum. I delivered my daughter Isabelle on February 25th 2014.

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The Project Team aims to engage the community in all areas of the project and collaboration is key to the development process. If you have skills to help us improve the project please get in touch.

Small World Social

  Madeline Sands Project Leader

 

Madeline Sands
Project Leader

  Tony Kerr Industrial Designer

 

Tony Kerr
Industrial Designer

  Ethan Fan Software Engineer

 

Ethan Fan
Software Engineer

  Lucy Colman Research and Content

 

Lucy Colman
Research and Content

Katie Oster Marketing Program Manager



Katie Oster
Marketing Program Manager

  Andrew Hibberd Videographer

 

Andrew Hibberd
Videographer

The Australian Breastfeeding Association is a nationwide, volunteer run organisation that supports new mothers while they breastfeed their newborns.

The organisation celebrates its 50th year in 2014, and its stronger than ever with over 1100 volunteer breastfeeding counsellors operating around the country.

It is for this reason that the Project Team approached the ABA to collaborate on the project. The ABA enthusiastically dedicated 15 breastfeeding counsellors to the project.

The counsellors each received logins to a Google account that allowed them connect with the mothers, make and receive video calls and advise the mothers in a more personal way. Their expertise and knowledge were invaluable to the project team.

 

After an eight week trial of the technology and counselling service, the Project concluded with all mothers breastfeeding confidently. We are proud to have assisted the women during their first weeks of motherhood and would like to dedicate this short film to them. 

What we've learnt

The Project Team has taken some invaluable learnings from the trial. We have identified a real potential to impact women's lives and childhood health. The Trial found that mothers and counsellors used the service not simply for breastfeeding advice but for other common mother concerns.

At the centre of the trial is the theme of collaboration and support networks, both during development and trial: there are many skilled people in the community who are passionate about creating a better world through technology.