Many new mothers begin breastfeeding their babies from birth, but often face challenges after leaving the hospital. While support for new mothers is provided through educational programs and peers, there has been little innovation in terms of understanding nutrition and milk supply progress while breastfeeding at home.
MyMilk Labs aims to solve this by providing nursing mothers with a small sensor that scans a few drops of breast milk to get information about its nutritional composition, while also analyzing the overall breastfeeding progress. Known as “Mylee,” MyMilk Labs launched the device at TechCrunch Disrupt this year with a pre-order price of $249 (Mylee regularly retails for $349).
Situated in Startup Alley’s BioTech/HealthTech section, Mylee was very well received by attendees. Moreover, MyMilk Labs, which is an Israeli-based company founded in 2014 by Dr. Ravid Schecter and Dr. Sharon Haramati, was chosen as a “Top Picks” in healthcare and biotech during Disrupt.
“We received amazing responses from both women who had previous breastfeeding experiences and who see the value of objective early feedback, as well from fathers that deal with the uncertainties accompanied with breastfeeding at home. Innovation scouters were also excited about Mylee’s technology,” Dr. Ravid Shechter, co-founder of MyMilk Labs, told Grit Daily.
In addition to attracting interest from attendees, MyMilk was selected as a wildcard to present on the main stage as part of Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield. During the company presentation, Schecter explained that Mylee is meant to provide mothers and lactation consultants with objective information about breast milk.
“The Mylee device is a truly innovative product. There are other solutions for breastfeeding monitoring and milk production, from other directions such as diary apps that help mothers track breastfeeding timings and baby diapers, as well as some new technologies (such as flow meters or swallowing audio) for assessing individual feed volume. However, Mylee is the only device that integrates a digital health platform with unique breast milk analytics, for targeting main breastfeeding problems,” Dr. Shechter said.
Common breast feeding issues women face include poor milk supply, inflammation of breast tissue and changes in breast milk in the first days and weeks after birth. In order help mothers overcome these challenges, Mylee scans the electrochemical properties from six drops of milk and then correlates that to data points based on MyMilk Labs’ research to calculate where the sample is on the continuum. Results are then instantly transmitted back to the Mylee smartphone app, allowing mothers to see if their milk is “delayed” or “advanced,” in relation to the time that has passed since giving birth. Other insights include real-time progress of milk supply, letting new mothers identify risk for low milk supply early on.
MyMilk Labs also offers consumer breast milk testing kits that allow nursing mothers to send breast milk samples to MyMilk Labs’ laboratories for analysis. Through this testing, mothers can learn more about their milk levels, calories and fat percentage. They can also receive dietary recommendations to ensure nutritional breast milk. Moreover, the testing kits look for bacterial or fungal infections and other problems that can affect nursing mothers.
Mass Adoption of Mylee?
While MyMilk testing kits are already in production, the first version of Mylee is currently in a beta pilot with lactation consultants who have used the device to scan milk samples from 500 mothers. And while the company has developed innovative solutions for breastfeeding, there are still some challenges that need to be overcome before mass adoption.
According to Dr. Sharon Haramati, the company is now focused on user feedback to adjust the product market fit for Mylee.
“Being the first is always challenging, especially since mothers do not have other solutions to compare with. You can imagine that it’s hard for moms to envision the experience, before actually using the product. That being said, we are focused on product market fit assessments in order to reveal the main value proposition and the novel user experience. Moreover, we are working on further integrating Mylee with MyMilk Labs to monitor early signs of breast inflammation. Further developments include connecting other sensors to enhance the analytics capabilities to include nutritional value and more.”