Smartphone app gives babies a healthy start

Posted on Wednesday 19th November 2014
Baby Buddy app

Baby Buddy app

Young mums are using a new smartphone app to guide them through pregnancy and the early stages of parenthood.

The Baby Buddy app allows users to create a ‘virtual friend’ who accompanies them on their journey during the first crucial stages of parenthood – from pregnancy through to the first six months of a baby’s life.

The app, which was piloted across maternity services at Guy’s and St Thomas’, sends reminders, daily alerts and video clips, and enables the user to set goals and manage appointments.

Emily Denness, lead midwife in St Thomas’ teenage pregnancy team, says: “We are suggesting the app to all our teenage mums-to-be and we’ve seen great results from some of our young girls who are using the app.

“Its features have helped them with so many different aspects of pregnancy. It has been great for breastfeeding, with practical information, but also during pregnancy to allow them to make an informed decision about feeding and their choices in pregnancy and birth.”

Funded by a grant from the Big Lottery Fund alongside additional funding from the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, the app was developed by Best Beginnings, a child health charity which helps parents give their babies the best possible start in life.

Lynne Pacanowski, Director of Midwifery at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “It has been a pleasure to be involved with such a forward thinking development in maternity care for young people. We’re extremely grateful to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity for their support.

“We’ve had great feedback so far and I’m sure this app will continue to improve experiences for young people not only in our local areas of south London but nationally as well.”

Best Beginnings CEO, Alison Baum, says: “At Best Beginnings we are working to change this by giving parents access to information and support in a way that works for them, irrespective of social background. 16-24 year olds are among the highest users of smartphones, so it makes sense to deliver key messages and support in this way.”

Baby Buddy has been endorsed by the Department of Health, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association, the Institute of Health Visiting and the the Faculty of Public Health.

Users can download the Baby Buddy app on Android and Baby Buddy app on iPhone.