New mothers now have a new, hands-free way of receiving breastfeeding advice on their phones. The UK-based body Public Health England has expanded its Breastfeeding Friend service to Google Assistant, an intelligent voice assistant available on both Android and iOS devices.
Breastfeeding Friend is part of Public Health England’s Start4Life program. Mothers can ask Google Assistant to launch the Breastfeeding Friend, to which they can fire various questions on breastfeeding. The Friend will respond with advice approved by the UK’s National Health Service.
Crucially, the Breastfeeding Friend is available 24/7 and can also broaden mothers’ knowledge of breastfeeding and similar matters by offering useful tips and podcasts.
Sheila Mitchell, Public Health England’s director of marketing, enthused in words quoted by Digital Health: “The new Google Assistant Breastfeeding Friend offers a great way to make it easier for mothers to learn to breastfeed and to sustain the habit.”
Mitchell added: “Hands-free voice search is ideally suited to supporting breastfeeding, and the fact that Google Assistant can be accessed via smartphone means mothers can call on the Breastfeeding Friend wherever they are, and whenever they need.”
Google Assistant is free to download in app form on iOS, with an iPad-optimized version included. The Breastfeeding Friend can also be summoned outside Google Assistant as a Facebook Messenger chatbot, while the Friend’s initial launch was on Amazon’s Alexa platform in March.