The Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin local maternity system (LMS) has teamed up with the national charity Best Beginnings to launch a mobile app that will support parents and parents-to-be during pregnancy, birth and the initial first six months of a baby’s life.
The FREE app, called ‘Baby Buddy’, has been created with parents and professionals as a tool to provide information that is reliable, accurate and available 24-hours-a-day. Baby Buddy is accredited by the NHS and features in the new NHS apps library. The LMS has funded the app to be localised to ensure women and their families have local information and support.
Fiona Ellis, Programme Manager for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin LMS said: “Baby Buddy recognises where parents are going to for their information these days. It acts just like a digital best friend! It goes on your parenting journey with you, giving you useful tips and help anytime you want it. The app is part of a range of tools that we are offering to parents and parents-to-be in the area. The app is endorsed by all the relevant royal colleges, meaning that both parents and professionals have access to reliable information.”
Baby Buddy will support parents in a low-cost, effective way, providing information on local services and much more. Among other benefits, the app can send relevant, personalised daily information, reminders about immunisations, appointments and signposts to local support services such as breastfeeding. Unlike other ‘free’ pregnancy apps, which require payment after a few weeks or months, Baby Buddy is advert-free and free of charge throughout.
Staff across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin LMS, including midwifery and health visitors, were trained during December 2018 to use the app to enhance communication with parents and help with continuity of care (parents can set goals, keep a record of their concerns and development at the tap of a button). They are now encouraging parents to download the app to use it during and in between appointments. The app has lots of video content, making it accessible to those who don’t have English as a first language, as well as young parents. Baby Buddy also uses language that most people will be familiar with as well as providing a comprehensive glossary that explains any complex words and phrases. The LMS will also be arranging a public launch to take place later this year.
The app has been developed by the national charity Best Beginnings and is endorsed by organisations including the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Royal College of Midwives.
The Baby Buddy app can be downloaded for FREE on Google Play and in the App Store, and there is also a web version of Baby Buddy.
More information is available at www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/baby-buddy