Breastfeeding 101 – With Avatar!

We all know about the benefits of breastfeeding, but sometimes finding the right technique for you and your baby is frustrating. While you’re in the hospital, lactation consultants are there to help you get the hang of it. But what happens when you’re back home and it’s 3am and you can’t remember whether you should cradle or football your baby or if you were supposed to lie on your side first?

That’s where Tanya comes in. She’s an avatar – a computerized model of a person –  readily available 24/7 to answer your questions about breastfeeding and demonstrate the do’s and don’ts. Tanya is the brainchild of two Northeastern University professors. She’s not meant to replace your traditional lactation consultant. She’s just a little helper. But you can’t become breast friends with Tanya just yet. She’s still in utero.

As a breastfeeding mom on her second tour of duty, I know I still had questions when it came to breastfeeding my newborn. It wasn’t exactly like riding a bike. I still needed training wheels. My lactation consultants were great. But, it wouldn’t have hurt to have a little Tanya around to ask those questions I forgot or the ones I didn’t want to ask a human being. In fact Tanya’s “parents” found that when it comes to certain things, people prefer to get their information from a computer than from a nurse.


I think creating an avatar to help women breastfeed is a great idea. If technology can help women feel more comfortable and encourage them to breastfeed longer, then why not?

Do you think a breastfeeding avatar is a good idea or is it a case of technology going too far?