Evaluation of Breastfeeding App Features: Content Analysis Study

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting


Background: While a variety of health apps abound, less than half of adults in the United States report using a health app, despite the ubiquity of smartphones among users aged 18 to 49 years. Several studies have examined the use of breastfeeding apps; however, less is known about the types of features found on these apps and what factors might influence app ratings.

Objective: This paper seeks to characterize breastfeeding apps, assess whether apps with higher user ratings differ from apps with lower user ratings in their tracking and nontracking features, and analyze whether the type and number of features predict user star ratings and whether an app is higher- or lower-rated.

Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, a convenience sample of breastfeeding apps was culled from the Apple App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android). Content analysis of the apps (N=82) was conducted using a schema of 87 items, which was then compiled into 9 topical indices for breastfeeding, bottle feeding, solid foods, infant health, infant care, technical characteristics, informatics, informational characteristics, and interactivity. Analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, the Mann-Whitney U test, and Spearman rank correlations. Linear regression and binary logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine which features predicted user star ratings.

Results: On average, users rated breastfeeding apps 4.4 of 5 stars. Two-thirds of apps (n=54) were higher rated (≥4.5 stars), and one-third (n=28) were lower rated (

Conclusions: Our findings suggest user ratings are driven in part by tracking features, specifically those related to breastfeeding and solid foods. The proliferation of mobile health apps offers opportunities for parents and caregivers to track behaviors associated with infant feeding and other health metrics in a dynamic, detailed, and comprehensive manner. Hence, breastfeeding apps have the potential to promote and support breastfeeding among users.



Journal ISSN / Book ISBN


Published Citation

Dinour LM, Pole A. Evaluation of Breastfeeding App Features: Content Analysis Study. JMIR Pediatr Parent 2022;5(4):e37581. doi: 10.2196/37581