An app that provides information about alcohol and breastfeeding. It contains official recommendations from the NZ Ministry of Health.
What does the app do?
While the app acknowledges that drinking alcohol while breastfeeding should be avoided, it provides information about breastfeeding and occasional alcohol use, to enable the user to make safe decisions. It uses your height and weight and alcohol intake to estimate when your breastmilk should be free of alcohol. The timer function can alert you when this time has been reached. It also has answers to frequently asked questions around alcohol and breastfeeding such as how does alcohol affect breastmilk. It has been made available by WellSouth Primary Health Network. For a complete app description go to Google Play or iTunes and for a complete app review, see Reviews.
✔ Developed by an academic and various health associations.
✔ The calculation method appears to be based on sound research. It has been adapted from two research studies on alcohol clearance from breast milk. The clearance principles are similar to other studies quoted in the lactmed database.
✔ Statements are based on the New Zealand Ministry of Health guidelines where available, and they use New Zealand standard drinks measurements.
✔ Many disclaimers advising that alcohol clearance depends on more factors than weight and height, and so the app only provides an estimation.
✔ The information section has a lot of very good advice and includes some myth quashing.
✘ The information section discusses the effect of food intake on alcohol levels, but the user is not able to input food intake into the calculation section. Food intake reduces and delays the time of peak alcohol levels in breast milk.
✘ Incomplete information about the harmful effects of alcohol on breastfeeding infants. For example, it doesn’t mention the negative effects on sleep.
✘ No alcohol abuse screening.
✘ No advice around breastfeeding problems.
✘ You can only input standard drinks not what you actually drank. It also only lets you input integers. It is cumbersome to have to reference the standard drink information, which is hidden in the information section in an external PDF file.
✘ Not been updated since 2016 at the time of review.
Privacy and security
No personal information is collected.
Date of review: September 2016
Platform reviewed: Android
App version: 1.01
Download size: 7.31 MB
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Reviewer: Jeremy Steinberg, GP, RNZCGP
Date of review: February 2019
Comments: This app calculates predicted alcohol clearance based on the amount of alcohol intake (using New Zealand standard drinks) and the user’s weight and height. The calculation method used appears to be based on sound research.
Users should be cautioned that the app does not take food intake into account, which reduces and delays the time of peak alcohol levels in breast milk. It also only lets you input standard drinks not what you actually drank, as well as having to be in integer form. It is cumbersome viewing the external PDF reference in the information section.
The information section has a lot of very good accurate advice, and there is New Zealand specific information.
It would be more complete with having an alcohol abuse screening section, and advice around breastfeeding problems.
Safety concerns: Caution with food intake, as the calculation doesn’t take this into account. The user must input standard drinks, not what they actually drank which could cause some inaccuracies.
New Zealand relevance: An international app, but the New Zealand version has been modified in keeping with local guidelines.