To mark World Breastfeeding Week LatchAid reveals how it has helped increase the number of breastfeeding mothers. Since launching in July 2021, LatchAid, the ground-breaking breastfeeding and early parenthood support application, has gained more than 7,000 users across 94 countries.

Early results show that mothers who are using the app are far more likely to continue breastfeeding for longer. A six-month NHS trial found that, amongst the 271 UK-based survey respondents using the app, 49% were exclusively breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks, compared to a national average of 24%.

“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,” says Dr Chen Mao Davies, Founder, LatchAid.

“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.”

Connecting breastfeeding mothers

LatchAid’s pioneering app uses cutting-edge 3D interactive technology and 3D avatars to help new mothers intuitively learn breastfeeding skills. The app also connects breastfeeding mothers to virtual networks to provide close-knit peer-to-peer support groups.

These features, together with support from a highly empathetic AI-powered virtual chatbot, and live 1-2-1 support from human experts, provide breastfeeding mothers with personalised expertise and companionship, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, at what can be a challenging and difficult time.

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

“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.”

Investing in Femtech

LatchAid’s growth over the past year has been supported by Innovate UK EDGE Finance Specialist, Ed Tellwright, who helped LatchAid in their preparations to raise £1m in Funding and Finance.

The company’s investment journey began with the award of a prestigious Innovate UK Women in Innovation Award in 2020, which included a £50,000 grant. Ed next guided LatchAid through Pitchfest, Innovate UK EDGE’s investment readiness scheme, helping the company to create a clear, compelling and credible investment proposition.

“Ed really helped me to restructure my pitch, make it punchy and follow the thought process of an investor,” says Chen. “Pitchfest proved a big boost to our investment journey.”

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 and will be rebranding later this year to support this development.

Innovate UK EDGE will continue to support this Femtech innovator as she helps mums redefine their relationship with breastfeeding and early parenthood.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.