Less of a labour with a buddy

Midwives, doctors, health visitors, breastfeeding specialists, psychologists and parents have teamed up and pooled experience and expertise to create two apps, Bump Buddy and Baby Buddy as a guide during pregnancy and the first six months after birth.

The team have drawn on years of experience and the very latest information about child health. The apps are backed by leading child health specialists, including The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Royal College of Midwives.
Professor Mitch Blair, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s Officer for Health Promotion said: “The Bump Buddy and Baby Buddy apps will give young mums and mums-to-be access to high quality, evidence-based information conveniently through their mobile phone.”

Cathy Warwick, of The Royal College of Midwives, said: “The new Bump Buddy and Baby Buddy phone apps have the potential to be a ‘game-changer’ because they provide evidence-based information in an engaging bite-size format and support women’s emotional as well as their physical transition to parenthood.”

Each day the apps give a piece of information, a suggestion or a reminder – acting as a friendly companion through the journey to giving birth and the first months of parenthood.

Best Beginnings Founder and CEO Alison Baum said: “These apps are aimed at mums, from conception until their baby is six months old. They are about preparing for birth and healthy pregnancy, and helping mums connect and bond with their babies. An enormous amount of thought and attention to detail has gone into creating them so that they are fun as well as informative.

“We’ve worked with health professionals to ensure that the apps give the very best advice, and we’ve designed them so that they can be tailored to each individual so that they offer the right information to the right people at the right time.”

The apps are easy to download and can be personalised – eg. they give breastfeeding advice to mums who are breastfeeding and advice on bottle-feeding to those who are bottle-feeding. Users choose the look and name of the ‘buddy’ they want to connect with, as well as their due date and other relevant details. They can even choose to earn or buy accessories if they wish.

The apps include the following features:

  • Bump Book/Baby Book – a diary to record thoughts, feelings, the first kick, key moments like buying a cot or baby’s first smile
  • Bump Booth/Baby Booth – a photo log that creates a video of the growing bump/baby
  • Appointments – a reminder of dates and times for check ups
  • Bump Around/Baby Around – geo-location to help find local services like clinics and baby groups
  • Ask Me A Question – the Bump Buddy/Baby Buddy answers frequently-asked questions
  • Remember To Ask – a reminder list for questions to ask health professionals at appointments
  • I Can Do It – a tracker for personal goals

A pilot and evaluation taking place in Lambeth and Southwark is being co-funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the Royal College of Midwives to explore how best to integrate the apps into maternity services. It is being evaluated by researchers at King’s College, London.

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