Mums welcome new app designed to enhance maternity experience
- Credit: Toni Howlett/NHS
A mother and baby app with thousands of free tutorials and local information is being embraced by parents for offering an on-the-go solution to maternity support.
The 'Mum & Baby' app, which has been launched in Suffolk and Essex today, has been designed to provide all the information pregnant women, their partners and family need to improve their experience and complement face-to-face care.
Features include a library of almost 1,000 free-to-download videos covering a huge range of maternity-focused topics, including maintaining good pre and post-natal mental health, the benefits of breastfeeding and dietary and exercise advice.
What do parents think of the idea?
Mum-of-two Toni Howlett, says that "finding answers in one place will be like a dream come true".
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She said: "What I'm struggling with at the minute is weaning and potty training as there is so much advice around. So it would be nice to have the guidance available to hand."
The 36-year-old, from Ipswich, also said it will be helpful to save time and find answers easily.
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She said: "I would also like to know where the health visitor weigh-in groups are, as I spend my time searching children centre Facebook groups which is time consuming!"
With around 10,000 pregnancies annually across Suffolk and north east Essex, the 'Mum & Baby' app aims to ensure consistency of care across the patch, raise awareness of choice, be a trusted single source of information and boost access to services that support good wellbeing.
The app will help users navigate the various options available to them and offer personalised care plans.
'It's important women know what choices they have'
Teri Gavin-Jones, maternity lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Local Maternity System (LMS), said: "I am really pleased that we're able to launch an app that will be offering a truly local take on the maternity experience, containing relevant information on services and support in our area.
"It's important women know what choices they have when giving birth, such as being able to choose where they can give birth, and we want to raise that awareness. Pregnancy is an exciting time and often throws up many questions. The app is packed with useful tools to support good physical and mental wellbeing during and after pregnancy.
"This app isn't just for women, it's for partners, carers and family members too. We want the pre and post-natal experience to be as happy as possible for everyone involved and hope that this app will help users achieve that."
Mums put the app to the test
The app has been created in collaboration with new mums and NHS maternity staff, with a number of local mums testing the design.
Jade O'Reilly, a west Suffolk mum, said: "The phone numbers for my local maternity units are to hand which I really like. The whole app is easy to navigate, and I like how I can track appointments on the calendar."
Lisa Ketley, said: "I am having a few health problems with this pregnancy so sometimes need phone numbers quickly and the app is fantastic for help with that.
"It keeps track of my weeks and due date and I can check into my local hospital, but also if I'm out of town in London I can check a hospital near me."
For those people who do not have a smartphone a web version of the app is being developed and will be available on the hospitals' websites later this month.