Austin company UpSpring has teamed with Doctors on Demand to add lactation consultants to the Doctors on Demand app, which is available for iPhones and Android phones. The consultants began working this morning.
So, how does it work? You click on the app and fill out some information. Then for $40 you get a 25-minute consultation. A 50-minute consultation is $70. You put in your credit card information and you’re connected to a licensed lactation consultant through Facetime.
She can do things like have you shine a flashlight into the baby’s mouth to make sure there’s not thrush or some anatomical issue like a tied tongue that is adding to the problems. She can look at your nipples and make sure you don’t have a structural problem like an inverted nipple. She can watch you try to latch the baby and suggest different ways for you to position the baby’s mouth or chin or hold the baby to make breast-feeding more comfortable.
If there’s an infection, she can recommend you see your doctor to get a prescription for antibiotics. Of if there’s something that would benefit from an in-person visit, she’ll recommend that, too.
The advantage, says Julie Jumonville of UpSpring, is that you can get the help you need when you need it rather than having to wait for an appointment and you don’t have bundle up yourself and your baby to get to an in-person consultant.
The consultants are available seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. All but one actually lives in Austin, but they can help nursing mothers anywhere.
While UpSpring’s service does miss that in-person touch, Jumonville says there’s a lot that the app can do. You can actually take a picture and send it to the consultant if she can’t see something on Facetime.
Jumonville recommends that if she can, a nursing mom can get the dad or friend or grandma to help her with the consultation to hold the baby or hold the phone or a flashlight if they need to look inside the baby’s mouth.
“This is a great thing for moms in Austin,” Jumonville says. She believes moms will call if they are struggling and thinking about giving up on breast-feeding. “This is going to extend the life of breast-feeding,” she says.
Would this be something you would use or would have used when you were nursing? Let us know.