Want Breastfeeding Advice at 3 A.M.? There's an App for That

This service gives frazzled new moms access to a whole network of experts who can help them through some of parenting's most pressing dilemmas. Would you give it a go?

Pacify App Quintanilla/Shutterstock
Imagine this scenario: It's 3 am, you're exhausted and your newborn is crying in hunger...but your milk supply seems to be MIA. What do you do? The options aren't great: You could either struggle through the experience alone, wake up your pediatrician, or you could head to the emergency room, which is what some new mothers do when they're faced with similar issues. 

Or, you could use Pacify, an app that uses an Uber-like model to connect parents with experts who can help them work through some common issues that come up during those first few months of parenting. Pacify's team vets a network of nurses, lactation consultants and dietitians who are available 24/7—which is perfect because, as any parent knows, emergencies tend to happen at the most inopportune times.

Pacify's founders, George Brandes and Ben Lundin, may not have kids yet, but they noticed an issue that needed addressing. While Lundin was working in the hospital industry, he discovered that new parents, particularly those from low-income homes, tended to visit hospital emergency rooms with surprising frequency, especially in the middle of the night or during off hours. Lundin and Brandes decided to provide a better solution with the help of Melanie Silverman, a lactation consultant who is a registered dietitian and mother of two. Silverman, who serves as Pacify's chief medical officer, vets each consultant before he or she can join Pacify's network.

"Right now we have three networks available on the platform: dietitians, lactation consultants and registered nurses," Brandes says. "A dietitian is appropriate for questions about picky eaters, maternal diet during pregnancy, truly the gamut of issues in both maternal and child diet." According to the co-founders, Pacify's team of lactation consultants regularly fields questions about latching issues, milk supply, breastfeeding pain and let down. The registered nurses are on hand to dole out advice and support when children have fevers, rashes and the like.

Why go through Pacify instead of calling a local lactation consultant or your doctor? It's all about accessibility: Pacify's team will answer calls in the middle of the night, and there's no appointment required. "Calls are video-enabled. When a mom presses that button on the home screen to connect with a dietitian or a lactation consultant, sort of in an Uber-like fashion, what she's really doing is pinging hundreds of lactation consultants and dietitians around the country to respond to her. Within about 30 seconds, she is connected live with one of our consultants," Brandes says. "Rather than having to [schedule an appointment] or anything like that, it's truly an on-demand video-enabled service."

Getting breastfeeding advice while still at home in your PJs? Sounds pretty perfect to us.