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Breastfeeding Monitor

Technology Number: 

1431

Principal Investigator

Ph.D.
Ruti
Kapon

Department: 

Biological Chemistry

Patent Status: 

Granted US 8521272
Summary 

A method to monitor the amount of milk consumed by the baby during breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has been shown to have important health advantages for both baby and mother. A few months of exclusive breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of infant gastro-intestinal problems, respiratory, urinary tract and ear infections. Furthermore, adults who were breastfed at infancy have a lower propensity for obesity, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure – all risk factors for heart disease. Despite these advantages less than 50% continue breastfeeding beyond 4 weeks. The most common reason given for not breastfeeding or breastfeeding less than three months is ‘not enough milk’. The perception that milk production is insufficient however is subjective. At present, the only method to monitor the amount of milk a baby eats is by weighing the baby before and after feeding. The current technology can monitor amount and quality of milk during breastfeeding.

Applications


Monitoring of the amount of milk given while breastfeeding

Advantages


·        This method allows measuring both milk quantity and quality

  • Encourage infant breastfeeding.
  • Measurement of capacitance with no electrical contact between the electrodes and the body

Technology's Essence


The outlined technology consists of monitoring the amount of milk consumed by a baby during breastfeeding by measuring the capacitance between electrodes placed on the breast (but not in electrical contact with them) during feeding. It is sensitive to the amount, dielectric properties and distribution of matter in the immediate neighborhood of the capacitor plates. When placed on the breasts the capacitance is affected by the amount and properties of materials between plates, including milk content and constitution. Thus, if the amount of milk in the breast is reduced during breastfeeding the capacitance changes accordingly.