'Virtual breastfeeding': Could it ever work?



Apparently now new mothers can be assisted when breastfeeding, virtually, via Google Glass.

Now, I’ll admit, before writing this, I had to Google exactly what ‘Google Glass’ was. Maybe that was Google’s grand plan and if so, well played Google, well played.

Luckily, I’ve now done the research for you all and here is a quick rundown:

Google glass looks something like this:

Basically it’s a pair of spectacles that communicate with the internet via voice commands.

Cool right?

Indeed! The Australian Breastfeeding Association in conjunction with a Melbourne company, Small world Social, are using Google Glass in an educational and constructive way to help mothers’ breastfeed. It’s innovative and cutting edge and quite frankly, something I wish I had access to when I had first had children and was trying to feed them.

Trial participant Sarah Bailey said:

Could Google Glass revolutionise breastfeeding?

“The video calls didn’t feel invasive, and a counsellor was able to correct her technique right away.”

A six-week trial run that included five mothers and 15 breastfeeding counsellors ended on the 13th of April.

The best thing about this is that the service was on demand, no matter where the Mother was located. A specially trained counsellor and lactation consultant was on hand to guide the parent through any issues she had with one saying that:

“It’s great to be able to video call someone who can give you a few pointers from a mother’s point of view, literally and figuratively.”

There were a few teething problems, a short battery life and internet connectivity being a few issues Mum’s came up against, but in all, it was found to be a positive experience.

So is this the Brave New World? Will it only be a matter of time before midwives visiting our homes are replaced by virtual women on the other end of devices advising how we should attach children to our breast? And will this a good or bad thing?