Sheila Chan using Google glass to aid her breastfeeding through Google Hangout to connect with a lactation consultant.
Sheila French using Google Glass to connect with a lactation consultant via Google Hangouts. Photo: Angela Wylie
New mothers struggling with breastfeeding may soon have the latest technology at their disposal to get expert help at any time of day.
The Melbourne office of an innovation company called Small World is about to conduct a Google Glass trial with the Australian Breastfeeding Association that will effectively allow their telephone counsellors to see through the eyes of mothers while they breastfeed at home.
The company is looking for 10 Victorian women expecting to give birth in February who want to trial the high-tech glasses for six to eight weeks to receive breastfeeding coaching. During that time, participants would receive training through their glasses on the fundamentals of breastfeeding. The gadget will display prompts, allowing mothers to keep their hands free to nurse their baby.
If they need further help, they can video call at any time an ABA breastfeeding consultant who will be able to see, through their Google glasses, a live stream of their baby attaching and feeding.
Nicole Bridges, a spokeswoman for the ABA, said the group decided to participate in the trial because they felt the technology could overcome some of the barriers women face in getting useful advice when they need it most.
She said although most Australian women started breastfeeding infants soon after birth, many decided to stop about six to 12 weeks because of difficulties. In many cases, this stemmed from women leaving hospital before their milk came in, leaving them insufficiently advised about how to prevent and overcome problems.