LatchAid shares success to mark World Breastfeeding Week

LatchAid FI

Gloucestershire-based LatchAid, an app which helps new mothers learn to breastfeed, has gained more than 7,000 users across 94 countries since launching in July 2021.

It has released these figures to mark World Breastfeeding Week. LatchAid uses 3D interactive technology and avatars to help new mothers learn breastfeeding skills intuitively.

Dr Chen Mao Davies, LatchAid’s founder, said: “Traditionally, the UK has one of the worst breastfeeding rates in the world, with the vast majority of women giving up before they want to,

“Breastfeeding is natural, it’s bonding and it gives the baby antibodies, but nobody tells you how difficult and painful it can be. In my own experience, I developed mastitis and thrush, the baby’s weight dropped and I often faced long lonely nights not knowing what to do.”

LatchAid says that early results show mothers using the app are more likely to continue breastfeeding for longer. An NHS trial lasting six months found that of the 271 respondents based in the UK the number of mothers exclusively breastfeeding at six to eight weeks was 49 per cent, compared to a national average of 24 per cent.

Along with modelling and networking, the app features an AI-powered chatbot and live one-to-one support from human experts providing mothers with round-the-clock expertise and companionship.

Read more – Woman behind breastfeeding support LatchAid is recognised on Innovate UK blue school plaque

Chen added: “In the past year, we’ve seen the continued impact of the Covid pandemic on access to healthcare professionals and breastfeeding rates,

“The need for 24/7 support for parents has never been more urgent. This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme is ‘step up and support’, which perfectly sums up the reason why LatchAid exists; to fulfil the 24/7 need for evidence-based parenting support and advice.”

The company was originally funded by a 2020 Innovate UK ‘Women in Innovation Award’, which included a £50,000 grant. Further funding was secured with support from Innovate UK EDGE finance specialist Ed Tellwright, who helped the firm raise £1 million in funding and finance.

Further support was given through Innovate UK EDGE’s investment readiness scheme, Pitchfest, which helps those looking for investment refine their pitches.

Funds from the latest investment round are being used to develop LatchAid’s technical and commercial teams and to expand the company’s B2B offerings to healthcare organisations as a licensed prescription app.

LatchAid will also be expanding its scope to the first 1,000 days of parenthood, helping families to overcome a much broader range of challenges, with a rebrand planned for later this year to support this development.

Read more – LatchAid raises £1m to expand revolutionary breastfeeding and parenthood support app