Mums and dads-to-be are being supported to get pregnancy help and advice in the first stages of parenthood sent straight to their pockets as Leeds sees the launch of a range of support from parenting experts.
A new local toolkit has been developed with child health charity Best Beginnings and is being delivered to families by health visitors and midwives in Leeds. Parents-to-be will be able to get help which includes:
- The free Baby Buddy app for smartphones
- Bump to Breastfeeding films where you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about breastfeeding and how to do it successfully from the experience of four mums who have decided to breastfeed their babies, and
- Small Wonders – a DVD which offer support when babies are sick or premature;
- A monthly Baby Express magazine;
The Baby Buddy app provides parents with a range of medical advice, information on local support and a calendar to plan important baby-related appointments, as well as educational videos and a diary for recording the journey from bump to birth in a personalised way with baby bump photos and avatars.
Mum of two, Michelle from Morley, is attending the event on 12 May. She has tried out the app before the launch of the resources across the city. She said:
“I really like a few things about it - the language is good, with no jargon. The ability to find support services nearby is brilliant. You can also type in pretty much any question and it will bring up a lot of options for you. It's easy to use and the alerts are good, they give information you might not have thought of asking about.”
Shelly, from Beeston, also has two children and is expecting a third. She said:
"This app is like having your own midwife in your pocket who can give you advice and support at any time of the day or night.
“So when you need reminding about where to get help with breastfeeding or how to keep baby safe, you can quickly and confidentially get answers to questions you might think are daft or embarrassing.”
The Leeds launch of the Baby Buddy app is being supported by local children and family experts from the council’s Public Health, and the event will be opened by Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council executive member for health, adults and sport.
Councillor Mulherin said:
"We know how valuable it is for children to get the best start in life, from conception onwards. Having access to timely, trustworthy information when you need it can be so much easier if you can access good quality online help.
“That’s why I’m so pleased to see the Baby Buddy app and other sources of information being available for parents and parents-to-be, helping make a difference in the vital early weeks and months of the lives of children in Leeds.”
Alison Baum, Chief Executive Officer at Best Beginnings said:
"Baby Buddy has been designed with input from huge numbers of parents and professionals to support and enhance relationships – the relationship between parents and professionals, between partners and other family members and crucially between parents and their children.
''It's about working together to make a difference for future generations."
The app is endorsed by the Department of Health and a number of other medical organisations including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, The Faculty of Public Health and the Royal College of Midwives. The Department of Health, Leeds City Council and the three Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups in Leeds have funded a study to monitor the impact of the toolkit in helping parents-to-be to feel better supported, and increasing breastfeeding rates.
The Best Beginnings launch event which is due to be held on Thursday 12 May from 11am – 1pm at the Carriageworks in Leeds city centre. Anyone wishing to attend should contact Julie.email@example.com to reserve a place.