Why did this lactation consultant create a baby formula phone app?
One of my passions as a pediatrician and lactation consultant is helping parents gain confidence in feeding their babies. I answer questions about infant feeding and nutrition multiple times every day. Although I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding and very well-versed in all of the benefits of breast milk, the reality is that many parents have to eventually supplement their babies with formula. This was the case with all 4 of my babies. My oldest had a milk-protein allergy and had to be put on a special formula called Neocate when she was two months old, and I was not able to pump often enough at work in my intensive care unit to keep up with my other three babies' needs (I worked tons of 24-30 hour shifts when they were little and had to have pockets of non-pumping sleep to function and be able to take care of other people's babies!)
Despite a commonly held belief, baby formulas are not all the same! As a professional I have found it incredibly difficult to sort through all of the baby formula options on the market, so I cannot imagine how hard it can be for parents to do this. Almost every baby formula resource I've found online has been funded by formula companies (thus is biased), and many individuals offering online "formula consults" are either not medical experts and/or have outrageously high consulting fees. FYI, my consulting fee is $30 for 30 minutes, which is just a fraction of the price of many others.
I have created my new mobile app, which I have named the "Baby Formula Guide," to help parents with formula selection. I have spent many hours building a comprehensive formula database for this app that includes all of the following information about currently available formulas in the U.S.:
- Name of formula and manufacturer
- Category(ies) of each formula, i.e. milk-based, soy, hypoallergenic, low lactose, corn-free, for preemies, organic, etc.
- Indications for use (which babies should avoid it)
- Photo and link to website for purchasing
- Price per prepared ounce (there is an incredible range from $0.08 per ounce to greater than $.50 per ounce!)
My app also contains a "glossary" of ingredients in baby formula, including what each ingredient is and why it is included, as well as multiple references for safe infant feeding. For full disclosure, there are a handful of affiliate links, but all funds I collect through these links are being donated to Project NICU.
You can download my baby formula app for free here. I am also happy to share links to my formula and ingredient databases on request - please reach out if you are interested in learning more and would like me to share. Thank you!