IsenseU, Worth The Try!
Wouldn’t it be nice if the breast had ounce markers on it?
I think one of the biggest questions I hear from moms is, “Is my baby getting enough breast milk?”
And it’s an understandable concern – I mean, for the most part, all you have to go off of is diapers and weight gain.
While Jack didn’t have weight gain issues, Oliver did, and it was one of the most stressful and scary times of my life.
I always wondered if he was truly getting enough. While we used a scale to do weighted feeds for nearly every feed for a few months, it was really stressful!
Doing those weighted feeds helped us discover that he actually was getting enough, but he wasn’t gaining weight as well as he should have. It gave us the catalyst we needed to convince our doctor that we thought he had bad reflux (which was the problem).
However, weighted feeds are not that fun to do! So when I was walking through Target a few months ago, I saw something on the shelf, and it really caught my eye:
IsenseU. The description said something about how it was a unique device that tracks baby’s nursing intake and habits.
I didn’t have my phone at the time, so I snapped a picture with Forrest’s because I wanted to do more research when I got home.
I soon found out that it was a smart device that had been developed to track baby’s breast milk intake by using acoustics to track baby’s swallows. You put the sensor underneath baby’s ear, and then you connect the headphones and sensor to the app, and it tracks the milk intake from there.
As soon as I learned more, I reached out to the company to see if I could do a review, and much to my delight, they agreed (and they also agreed to give me an exclusive discount code for 20% off – the code is specialoffer20).
My Thoughts on IsenseU Smart Breastfeeding Meter
Oliver is just over one, so the product isn’t ideal for him because a) I don’t really need to monitor his breast milk intake as much anymore and b) he is far more likely to pull at the wires.
When I talked with my contact at IsenseU, she said it is recommended to use this product with babies under 3 months. That sounded about right to me, especially since many breast milk intake issues occur during those first three months.
However, when I got the product, I still decided to try it out with Oliver. As I suspected, he wasn’t too thrilled about it. I was able to track a little less than 2/3 of his feed, though, and the amount recorded seemed on par with what he usually would eat (about 3 ounces per feed – the app tracked almost 2).
So, as far as accuracy goes, I feel that it was quite accurate. I was hoping to do a weighted feed and then use the IsenseU Meter another time, but Oliver was not having it. I might have to enlist the help of my sister-in-law and her new baby for that
I do feel that it is accurate, though, based on the limited experience I had using it.
I don’t believe you are supposed to use it before your mature milk comes in, though, as it’s harder to hear the swallows with colustrum.
I think the mobile app is very easy to use. When you first register, it asks you some details about your child (birth date, sex, weight at birth, etc.), and then you can get into the app and get things set up.
As you can see above, there are several different options – breastfeed, follow-up, guest baby, my IsenseU, quick guide, and our tips.
The breastfeed section brings you to a screen where you can choose to start a session. You can select which side you are feeding on, and once you start nursing, it tells you how good of quality the audio is for the feed. I found that was very accurate, especially because it would immediately stop when Oliver would swat it away.
After you finish nursing, it gives you a screen that looks like this:
It tells you how long baby ate for, how much was eaten on each side, as well as the total. They give a + or – .3 ounce margin of error, which feels reasonable.
The follow-up section just gives you basic information about feeds, when baby was last fed, etc.
You can let a baby use the product by using the “Guest Baby” section. This allows another mom to use it without messing up the data for your baby. I thought this was kind of cool!
The My IsenseU section just is the profile for your baby, lists baby’s weight, and it also stores your baby’s last audio session.
Quick guide just shows you how to use it!
And “Our Tips” gives a bunch of great advice on breastfeeding – which I love. I love interacting with companies who are so passionate about helping moms to breastfeed.
Ease of Use
So long as you don’t have a baby grabbing at the cords, it’s very easy to use. You simply place the sensor below your baby’s ear, and then you plug it into your phone. From opening the box to first use, it was about 5-10 minutes (including installing and registering the app).
I didn’t feel confused at all about how to get a session started or stopped.
In order to use this product, it is recommended to put your phone into airplane mode. This helps prevent any radiation
from being emitted. It doesn’t use Bluetooth or your data connection to transmit information, so it’s safe for baby!
More questions and answers about the product can be found here.
I’m not aware of any other products that are similar in function to the MomSense Breastfeeding Meter, so I can’t really compare it in cost.
The IsenseU Smart Breastfeeding Meter costs $89 on the IsenseU website. However, you can get 20% off and free ground shipping by using the code Specialoffer20 at checkout.
The most similar thing I can think of is an infant scale. I have found that most infant scales start at around $40 and go up from there – and most of those are just bare bones scales.
Obviously, they have different features, so I can’t really do a direct comparison. However, for the technology and function of the IsenseU, I think it’s priced reasonably. Obviously it will be a bit of an investment, and it’s probably not going to be on your “MUST-HAVE” list, but if it’s something that interests you, it’s not going to break the bank necessarily to buy.
One thing that I think is really cool about this is that you can hear an amplified version of your baby eating. I know that sounds a bit odd, but it’s actually quite cool. I think it’s a great way to involve baby’s dad or siblings in the feeding process.
It also records the sessions so you can listen to them later!
Do I think that EVERY mom needs to get this? No, I rarely find a product that I would say that about. However, I think it’s incredible technology that can help mothers feel more confident in their ability to nurse. I also think it would be wonderful for those of us who do have babies that are having trouble gaining weight.
I’ve heard different breastfeeding advocates lament on products like this and how they think moms shouldn’t use them because they just need to “trust themselves.” Which I can understand – there does need to be a certain level of confidence in your ability to feed your child. But I’m also of the belief that we live in such an amazing time of advancements in technology – why not use it?
However, I believe that products like these can lead to mothers breastfeeding for longer and more confidently. I have met mothers who quit breastfeeding because they just really needed reassurance that their baby was getting enough.
This product should not replace the care of working with a lactation consultant and/or doctor with breastfeeding issues, and you absolutely need to watch your baby for signs of not getting enough – you can’t just rely on this to tell you. This is simply another tool to help moms understand their child’s feeding habits and intake a little bit better. It’s all a part of creating the bigger picture for a healthy breastfeeding relationship
But it certainly gets the Clarks Condensed seal of approval!
For more on Katie Clark visit http://www.clarkscondensed.com/