Voice-assistant Alexa to offer breastfeeding tips

Women are being offered help to breastfeed through Amazon’s Alexa.

Public Health England (PHE) has launched a new tool, Breastfeeding Friend, through the virtual assistant.

If asked specific questions, it can give advice on latching, sore nipples and frequency of feeding.

It can also give advice on other common issues including tongue-tie, a baby’s weight, skin-to-skin contact and baby blues.

Breastfeeding Friend, created as part of PHE’s Start4Life programme, is also available on other platforms including Facebook Messenger and the Start4Life website.

Viv Bennett, chief nurse at PHE, said: “Breastfeeding, whilst natural, is something that mothers and babies learn together, and whilst learning, women may have questions and setbacks.

“Health professionals do an excellent job of caring for new mothers, but they cannot be available 24/7, which is where our Breastfeeding Friend from Start4Life is designed to help.

“This tool, together with the range of support materials from Start4Life, can provide breastfeeding advice at any time of night or day and support mothers and their partners and families through challenges they may face.”

It is hoped that the move will boost the number of women who breastfeed.

According to PHE, almost three-quarters of women start breastfeeding when their child is born but by six to eight weeks this drops to just 44%. This makes breastfeeding rates in England among the lowest in the world.

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