Addressing the global breastfeeding crisis by providing peace of mind to parents

With funding from the European Commission, a patent in place and even a shout out from Richard Branson himself, Coroflo is on a mission to revolutionise the global breastfeeding crisis. 

Coroflo’s revolutionary breast shield, Coro, provides parents with reassurance that baby is getting enough milk, or acts as an early indicator when assistance is needed. Coro contains an inbuilt flow measurement, giving accurate precise data. Parents can connect the device to a smartphone to instantly measure and show milk volume in real-time. utilising its Cloud-based analytics it can show how feeds have varied over time and how they compare with babies of a similar age. 

The World Health Organisation recommends women exclusively breastfeed children up to the age of six months. In the UK, more than ¾ of women stop by the six-week mark. By six months, just one percent of women exclusively breastfeed. Data shows one of the main reasons is ‘concern regarding to supply’. The problem is women don’t know if their babies are getting enough milk, they become concerned and begin to supplement with formula, or switch entirely.  

Attempts have been made to solve this problem, but technology hasn’t been smart enough. Until now. 

Dr Helen Barry and her husband James Travers identified a need for this product when facing concerns with their own newborn, born weighing 2kg full term. The couple experienced first hand the outdated weighing scale technique, measuring baby pre- and post-feed. Despite widespread use, studies show high levels of inaccuracy,.  

Coroflo’s CEO Rosanne Longmore established the company in April 2017 alongside co-founders Helen and James. “We decided as a team that we had a very good range of experience between medicine, engineering and finance. We decided the three of us made a good team, it happened very organically,” said Rosanne.   

The rest is history. And so Coroflo was born. 


The Coro relies on the miniaturisation of micro flow technology, which allowed sensors to be small enough to fit within the shield, allowing for the minimum barrier between baby and mother.  

The problem Coro is solving is that of concern of low supply. “Our product isn’t for every mother. If the mother is breastfeeding naturally and the baby is gaining weight, she absolutely doesn’t need our product. Our product really is for those who want to breastfeed, that started and want to continue, but they’re about to stop because they’re so unsure,” said Rosanne.  

The app provides incredible information including allowing mothers to compare their previous days, weeks or months milk flow. It can also build up interesting analytics, to create a feed profile. “It’s very important not to be underestimated. It’s that virtuous circle of when a mother can see its working, she relaxes more, her milk comes in and she becomes a more confident breast feeder,” said Rosanne. 

Raising funds 

Rosanne explained that software has taken over in terms of it being more attractive for investors. “There’s the saying that hardware is hard, hardware is expensive. Building up a manufacturing line and production capability and capacity is expensive and it’s difficult .” 

Coroflo has funded €900,000 in a seed round. It has also been funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Grant, for disruptive technologies set to have a global societal impact, of up to €2.1m in 2019 to carry out a clinical trial. “We want healthcare professionals to recognise Coro as the gold  standard tool in breastfeeding measurement. The best way to do that is to have a publicly funded peer-reviewed trial that’s evidence based.  

“Its vital for us that we’re able to evidence this as being an accurate breastfeeding monitor,” said Rosanne.  

Rosanne highlights that funding is hard, for all start-ups. It took a lot of conversations, but investors were highly motivated to back Coroflo because of the patent. “With the global recession and the investment winter we’re heading into, it appears that funding for new technology is proving difficult for new companies;  venture capitalists are focusing on following their existing investments,” Rosanne explained. 

Highs and lows 

Brexit and COVID have had significant  impacts to Corofo, with lots of disruption to supply chains and the wider impact on global supply. 

“We were able to continue working during COVID as we’re designated R&D analytics medical devices, but for other suppliers this wasn’t the case which added a lot of time,” said Rosanne. 

The startups testing cycles have been protracted, and delivery of components slowed but things are looking up and improving.  

Despite challenges, the highs of the journey cannot be forgotten. Rosanne enjoys dealing with customers and the beta testing as hearing positive feedback from women is unmatched: “There’s a lot of excitement around Coro. Mothers want to buy it immediately. The fact we’re solving a real problem is satisfying . It makes you feel like you’re doing something worthwhile” 

Looking ahead 

Coroflo is still a pre-revenue company, and the main focus for the year ahead is to launch e Coro into market, beginning in Ireland. Currently, the company is in product finalisation. The product will be sold direct to consumer, allowing mothers to go to their local pharmacies or buy it online.  

Once launched in Ireland, Coroflo will be looking to expand into the UK, and once settled, will look to expand into the rest of Europe, China and the US as these are huge markets.  

“Clinicians and healthcare professionals are very excited about this product because they understand that this is a problem faced by women every day.  

“We really hope that the clinical studies conducting using Coro can  add to the academic body of knowledge around breastfeeding, and potentially inform breastfeeding policy guidelines in the future.” Said Rosanne.  

Femtech is growing and its exciting to see both software and hardware products coming to the forefront, including those assisting with fertility, maternity, breastfeeding and the menopause.; “ For an industry that didn’t exist 10 years ago, and forecasted to be worth USD $1 trillion by 2027, it is a good time for female founders and femtech” 

“VC’s can see the purchasing power of women and how they really are motivated and engaged to take care of their  health. I’m  very hopeful for the future of femtech and female founders, there’s a lot going on in the sector.”