There is now a way to measure how much breast milk a baby has consumed — without expressing.
In what’s been described as a world first, Momsense is a breastfeeding meter that records swallowing sounds from a sensor placed on a baby’s cheek.
Combined with an app, it can give an estimate of a baby’s milk intake.
“It’s a great alternative to expressing,” says celebrity midwife Cath Curtin.
The maternity nurse, known as midwife Cath, says it is “incredibly soothing” to hear the sounds and could help build confidence for new mothers, especially in the early days.
"When women are just breastfeeding, you need the baby to gain weight and have lots of wet nappies," she explains.
"That is easy to say, but with this, [mothers] can hear it. They can hear the milk going down and then they can see the volume the baby has taken in on the app."
The midwife, who is a breastfeeding advocate, says every first-time mother is concerned about not having enough milk.
"Pumping is unnatural, unless you have a sick or premature baby," The First Six Weeks author explains.
"For a normal healthy baby, the baby is best on the breast because that is what the brain wants. The brain wants to look at the baby with the stimulation on the nipple and then it lets down more milk."
New mother Amanda Berger started using Momsense with her newborn son Noah, after weeks of pumping.
"The first 10 weeks I swear I was just pumping... It was pretty stressful and tiring and I don’t know even know how accurate it is to pump," she said.
The 33-year-old mother found the device better helped her understand how well Noah was feeding.
"I didn’t feel like I had to feed him so frequently - because I was stressed about that - because I wanted him to put on weight - so I would feed him whenever," she said.
"But that was more just my stress and once I had this, I understood, 'Hang on, he just had a really good feed.'"
The Melbourne mum says the product has helped alleviate stress and it has also helped her partner get involved.
"It has just been fabulous and it has given me the confidence to continue breastfeeding where there were times when I was thinking about stopping," she said.
Midwife Cath admits breastfeeding can be difficult, and she is all for making it easier.
"Once your milk gets established, most women feel very confident...Breastfeeding is hard work, it just doesn’t happen, you just have to keep at it. It's day in, day out. So, to have that confidence for the first six weeks is great."
If you are concerned about breastfeeding a qualified breastfeeding counsellor is only a phone call away. The Australian Breastfeeding Association run a free telephone counselling service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the national ABA Breastfeeding Helpline. Call 1800 686 268, (1800 mum 2 mum). This line is run by qualified volunteer counsellors who are happy to talk to mums about their individual concerns.