Breastfeeding Friend from Start4Life on Google Home and Assistant

If you have any breastfeeding questions, the Breastfeeding Friend from Start4Life has lots of useful information and expert advice to share with you. The BFF is available on Google Assistant and Google Home, 24 / 7.

Whether you're experiencing breastfeeding difficulties, you've got sore nipples, or you want to know about vitamins and what you should include in your diet – if it's a breastfeeding related question, the Breastfeeding Friend is ready to help you.

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All day, every day, you’ll have access to:

  • NHS trusted advice – based on questions asked by thousands of new mums
  • Daily breastfeeding tips – on things like comforting your newborn, feeding frequency, and what to do if your baby cries during feeds

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Getting started is simple

Via smart speaker (Google Home)

1: SETUP – Set up Google Home using the Google Home on Android or iOS

2: SEARCH – Just say "Hey Google, talk to Breastfeeding Friend"

3: TALK – Ask Breastfeeding Friend a specific question, for example "Hey Google, is my baby getting enough milk?", or just let Breastfeeding Friend talk to you about useful breastfeeding topics

Via Mobile (Google Assistant)

1: SETUP – Install and set up the Google Assistant app for Android or iOS

2: SEARCH – In the Google Assistant app - say "Hey Google, talk to Breastfeeding Friend"

3: TALK – Ask Breastfeeding Friend a specific question, for example "Hey Google, is my baby attaching well?", or just let Breastfeeding Friend talk to you about useful breastfeeding topics

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Just ask

"Hey Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend for a quick tip"

"Hey Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend for the feeding guide"

"Hey Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend for some advice"

"Hey Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to log a feed"

"Hey Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend how do I breastfeed?"

Find out more

Once you've set up your Google Home just say "OK Google, talk to Breastfeeding Friend".

Once you've set up Google Assistant just say “OK Google, talk to Breastfeeding Friend” or type “Talk to Breastfeeding Friend” in the search field.

  • Android: Google Assistant is available on all Android phones running Android 6.0 or higher. If you are running the most up to date version of Android, there is a good chance you already have Google Assistant on your phone.
  • iOS: The Google Assistant app is available on the App Store for all iPhones or iPads running iOS 10 or higher.
  • Once you have set up your Google device just say “OK Google, talk to Breastfeeding Friend.” Or you could open it with a specific question (as long as you include the words “Breastfeeding Friend”), for example, “Hey Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend - how do I breastfeed?”

    In order to start a conversation with the Breastfeeding Friend, you always have to say “Hey Google …” or “OK Google …” before asking a question or making a request. You can leave a short pause after saying “OK / Hey Google” to ensure it is listening.

    If you're already in a conversation with Breastfeeding Friend, you can just ask a question, such as “Why is my baby crying?” If you're not already in a conversation with Breastfeeding Friend, start by saying “OK/Hey Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend…..”, for example: “Hey Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend why my baby is crying.” For further guidance, have a look at the example questions at the bottom of this page.

    No, the Breastfeeding Friend doesn't collect or store any sensitive data. None of your personal details associated with your Google account are fed through to the Breastfeeding Friend. The Breastfeeding Friend only stores your baby's age, but this data is anonymised (so no personal data is included) and isn't shared with any third parties. This information is captured only to ensure you're given the most appropriate information for you and your baby.

    All the information provided by the Breastfeeding Friend is NHS-approved and is based on questions asked by thousands of new mums.

    Yes, you can interrupt Google any time by saying “OK Google …” then ask a new question. If you're using the Google Assistant on mobile, tap the microphone button to interrupt it. Another way to finish a conversation is to just say “OK Google, exit” or “OK Google, stop”.

    You’l'l be able to tell by the voice – the Breastfeeding Friend and the general Google voice sound different to each other.

    Usually this is because Google hasn’t heard you clearly, or you’ve asked a question the Breastfeeding Friend can’t answer. If this happens, try repeating your question clearly. The example questions at the bottom of this page may also be helpful.

    This is an error message you'll get in the general Google environment (when you’re outside the Breastfeeding Friend). It means Google has misheard, hasn't understood, or doesn't know the answer to your question. You might be getting this because of background noise, if you're not speaking clearly enough, or WiFi connectivity issues. To get back to the Breastfeeding Friend, just say “OK Google, talk to Breastfeeding Friend”.

    This means the device has disconnected from WiFi – check the WiFi settings in the Google Home app to reconnect your device.

    Sometimes Google might not hear you correctly and gives you an answer to a question you didn’t ask. Sometimes it can take a while to respond, or not respond at all. There are various possible reasons for this, including:
    • strength of WiFi connection
    • intonation / accent / clarity of voice
    • similar sounding words
    • background noise
    • accidentally exiting the Breastfeeding Friend
    It may take a few attempts before Google hears you correctly – try repeating your question. Remember to leave a short pause after saying “Hey Google” to make sure it’s listening. If it responds in the generic Google voice, this means you’ve exited the Breastfeeding Friend and you're in the general Google environment. Just say “Hey Google, talk to Breastfeeding Friend” to reopen the Breastfeeding Friend.

    You can use the Breastfeeding Friend with any of the Google Home devices in the UK, on Google Assistant on Android and on the Google Assistant app on iOS.

    You can exit the Breastfeeding Friend by saying: "Hey Google, stop" , "Hey Google, Exit", "Hey Google, quit". This will play the goodbye message and exit the conversation.
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend for the feeding guide
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend for advice
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to log a feed
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend for my feeding log
    • OK Google, tell Breastfeeding Friend I'm feeding now
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend for a quick tip
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend how do I breastfeed?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend is my baby getting enough milk?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend why are my nipples sore?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend why are my breasts swollen?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend why is my baby feeding all the time?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend how often should I feed?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend how long should I feed for?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend what should my baby weigh?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend how will I know if I have milk?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend how do I know if I'm overfeeding my baby?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about tongue-tie
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend why are my nipples bleeding?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about skin to skin
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about my first feed
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend why is my baby crying?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about the baby blues
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend should I give my baby a dummy?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about feeding sick or premature babies
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about breastfeeding after a caesarean
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about my milk supply
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend should I top up with formula?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about breastfeeding in public
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about expressing milk
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about mastitis
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend when should I stop breastfeed
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about colic
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about the benefits of breastfeeding
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about leaking milk
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend how can my partner support me?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend to tell me about thrush
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend what is the best position for breastfeeding?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend can I use medication while I'm breastfeeding?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend for the National Breastfeeding Helpline
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend where can I go for further support?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend does my baby have constipation?
    • OK Google, ask Breastfeeding Friend is it dangerous to take drugs and breastfeed?

    For more Google queries please see the Google Home Centre or the Google Assistant Help Centre

    For Start4Life queries, please contact Information Service for Parents

    Enable the Breastfeeding Friend from Start4Life on Google Assistant and Google Home now.