A Review of MilkSense – A Personal Breastfeeding Monitor

Breastfeeding is wonderful. I highly encourage every mom to try to breastfeed. One of the biggest concerns among breastfeeding moms, and their pediatricians, is how much milk their baby is drinking. You can weigh baby before and after each feeding to find out how much the baby ate, but most moms don’t have access to a scale every time they nurse.

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MilkSense is the worlds first breastfeeding monitor that measures the amount of milk your baby drank at each nursing session. MilkSense answers the common question, “How much milk is my baby getting?” and puts moms worries to bed. MilkSense is a personal breastfeeding monitor system. MilkSense combined with the Bscale, track and monitor baby’s milk intake and growth.

MilkSense measures how much milk your baby drinks from each side, tracks the time since the last nursing session and which breast baby drank from. MilkSense stores this information for you and replaces breastfeeding logs.

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solution, bscale, MilkSense monitor, cord and instruction booklet

MilkSense works by measuring the changes in the milk alveoli to determine the amount of milk the baby receives from the breast, by tracing changes in tetra-wire capacitance and resistance of the tissue before and after breastfeeding. The readings from MilkSense in combination with weighing your baby with the Bscale give you an accurate picture of how much milk your baby is getting at each feeding. MilkSense has a few parts, the MilkSense monitor, the cradle for MilkSense, the sponge and solution that go into the cradle, and the Bscale. MilkSense has some software you download. The software helps you keep track of your milk production and baby’s weight gain.

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MilkSense monitor

To use MilkSense you first insert batteries and add 2-3 capfuls of solution to the sponge on the inside of the cradle. Then put MilkSense in its cradle. Next you want to set up your Bscale and weigh your empty car seat. After you have weighed your empty car seat you then weigh baby in the car seat. After you have done this you measure your breast with MilkSense before you nurse baby. If you nurse on both sides, you need to measure both sides. I only nurse on one side per feeding so I only measure one side per feeding. To take a MilkSense measurement you sit in a relaxed position without a back support. Use your opposite hand from the breast you are measuring place MilkSense on your breast at the fold line. The fold line is where the bottom of your breast connects to your body. There is a small bar that comes out from the bottom of the MilkSense monitor. If your areola is below your fold line you simply lower this bar until it touches the top of your areola and allows the electrodes on the MilkSense monitor to be at your fold line. Make sure all the electrodes are wet and MilkSense is on your bare breast. Once MilkSense is on your breast, push the left or right button (depending on which breast you are measuring) and apply gentle pressure until the green display light illuminates. The letters SNS  will appear for 2 seconds then the 10 second countdown will begin. During these 10 seconds, the MilkSense monitor is measuring your breast. Keep the same amount of pressure on your breast during this time. Remove the MilkSense monitor from your breast after the countdown. The letters REF will appear on the screen, meaning this measurement is the reference for the next measurement (or for the next hour). Return the MilkSense monitor to its cradle and nurse your baby as usual. After you are done nursing and your breast has stopped dripping (approximately 1-4 minutes after nursing), remeasure your breast. The MilkSense monitor will then display the amount of milk your baby consumed during that feeding.

Because every body is unique, you need to calibrate the MilkSense monitor to your individual biology. To do this you need to weigh baby before and after 6 feedings with the BScale as well as measure your breasts with the MilkSense monitor. You need to do this 3 times for each breast. After you have calibrated your MilkSense monitor it is no longer necessary to weigh baby before and after each feeding. I must say, this is very easy to do when baby is a newborn or a little bit older. When Baby Sister was a newborn it was super easy to weigh her before and after each feeding. She would fall asleep and transfer easily. Once Baby Sister was about 8 weeks old she no longer transferred well after falling asleep. This meant I could not easily weigh her before and after each feeding. I also couldn’t guess when she would fall asleep after a feeding because she did not have a schedule yet. Now that Baby Sister is 13 weeks old she has a loose schedule and is easier to weigh before and after a nursing session.

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bscale

To weigh baby using the BScale first you download the MilkSuite software and open it. Attache your BScale to your empty car seat and plug it into your computer. You then weigh your empty car seat. Once the empty car seat is weighed, you place baby in the car seat and weigh her. Nurse baby as usual and use the MilkSense monitor. Once baby is done nursing, weigh her again in the carseat using the BScale. The BScale is easy to use and is very accurate. The BScale eliminates the need to run to the clinic every time you want or need to weigh baby. The BScale attaches to almost any car seat (one of our carseats is the Orbit infant seat and it does not attach to that).

MilkSense is very easy to use and gives me piece of mind. Baby Sister does not have a problem gaining weight, but Bunny did. Bunny had a lip and tongue tie  when she was born. The tongue tie was corrected (barely) and the lip tie was never corrected. I was always worried about her weight gain and would often take trips to the clinic to weigh her. Because of this I was very paranoid about Baby Sisters weight gain. I wanted to make sure she was gaining weight. Sure enough, Baby Sister has no problem nursing or gaining weight! MilkSense has given me the piece of mind during those early days. I was able to see how much milk Baby Sister was getting. It was also interesting to see how much milk Bunny was getting when she nursed.

Does MilkSense work? YES! How do I know? Because I weighed Baby Sister before and after using the MilkSense monitor. Not only did I weigh Baby Sister with the BScale, I also weighed her with an infant scale. I did this to see if the BScale and MilkSense monitor were accurate. I am happy to say they are very accurate.

In the USA, at birth 77% of mothers breastfeed their baby, but by six months that number drops to approximately 49%. At the 12 months, the percentage drops down to 27%. I have friends who have stopped nursing because they were not sure if their baby was getting enough milk. I have a friend who would rather pump and feed her baby a bottle of breastmilk so she can see exactly how much milk her baby is getting instead of breastfeeding directly. MilkSense will help these mothers by allowing them to see how much milk their baby is getting. Please remember as long as baby is gaining weigh well, has enough wet and poopy diapers and is happy and content, your baby is most likely getting enough milk. MilkSense wants to help mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals. MilkSense is a wonderful invention. I am thrilled nursing mothers now have a way to see how much milk their baby is drinking just like bottle fed babies do.

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