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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
We are building the world’s best data-driven wellbeing solution developed by parents for parents to help improve both mental and physical wellbeing of the entire family.
Overview of Innovation:
We are a team of parents, doctors, management consultants, product designers and engineers aiming to help new parents with their biggest challenges and make their lives easier and less stressful. Combining our team’s personal experiences as parents and professional expertise with clinical medicine and medical device development, we created a concept combining novel wearable devices and integrated support system to help new parents.
Our hardware-enabled-software solution consists of three devices (mother device, baby device, hub) with a mobile phone app.
  • Baby device monitors movement, position, sleep, temperature, breathing and sound via a button attached to baby's vest.
  • Mother’s wristband not only tracks and notifies on baby activity and wellbeing using vibration and display alerts, but also helps her track her own sleep, mood and activity to address both mental and physical well-being.
  • This allows a convenient monitoring experience as the mother does not have to carry anything and will not miss an alert even when doing other activities, in a noisy environment or even when in shower
Our approach will improve the current technology in the following ways:
  • Supports the wellbeing of the parents (mothers’ needs are neglected by services and mother themselves) as well as the baby
  • Integrates data from many sources and analyses it intelligently unlike other monitors which often build anxiety, with false alarms and no follow-through on alerts
  • Fits into parents’ life with nothing extra to carry or wear; other connected systems are intrusive and can require a parent to adapt to them – carrying monitors, buying special clothes
  • Our solution uses low-power, low-emission, and high-range connectivity with long battery life; for other wearable monitors connectivity is a major issue; range and battery life are also inadequate
Stage of Development:
Evaluation stage - Representative model or prototype system developed and can be effectively evaluated
Similar Content2
Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
Our online workshop helps women from all backgrounds in all demographic areas to access positive, factual information to support their birth choices using evidence-based information that can be updated as and when new guidance is released.
Overview of Innovation:
The Real Birth Company’s mission statements are ‘to provide relevant, up to date, evidence based antenatal information that is delivered with a positive attitude’ and ‘to impart our knowledge with confidence to empower women and their birth partners at this very special time’.
 
We have achieved this with our RCM accredited antenatal education training programme that has been developed into an online e-learning antenatal resource for women birthing in the UK & is available in several languages. This e-learning resource is a birth physiology workshop full of important information that supports UK practice & enables women to understand the reasons behind their care, whilst supporting them to make informed choices in labour.


Antenatal education is essential to helping women form opinions & make choices in regard to their pregnancy & birth. There are various types of antenatal education. Hospital accessible antenatal education is dependant on resources, demographics & availability of staff to name a few. Lots of these classes use traditional methods of teaching with limited time to discuss at length the physiology.
 
The Real Birth online workshop is easily updated & uses evidence-based information from NICE, WHO, RCM, RCOG & others. It is holistic, culturally sensitive & can be accessed from anywhere by computer, tablet or mobile phone.
 
The innovation of creating a multi-lingual online e-learning workshop came from the positive birth results that were consistent with women & their partners who had attended a specifically designed positive birth workshop.
 
The workshop was created using techniques that help graduate students revise for exams, this learning technique has been integrated into the imparting of positive birth physiology. The use of non-threatening language & positive birth information helps to normalise birth & reduce fear. When fear is reduced in labour the benefits for both mother & baby are both psychological & physiological.
 
Barriers to effective antenatal education can include:
  • time pressures for antenatal classes
  • finding midwives who feel comfortable giving antenatal education
  • update & training costs
  • availability of classes
  • limited spaces for face to face classes
  • cost of interpreting services/availability of interpreters
  • birth terminology used
  • women being unable to attend for social or demographic reasons
Our online workshop works to address these barriers to help women from all backgrounds in all demographic areas to access positive, factual information.

Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Digital health / Innovation and adoption
Benefit to NHS:
The Real Birth online workshop is an easily accessible form of evidence-based antenatal education (updated as evidence changes) that is interactive, informative & fun to use.
 
The Better Births Maternity Review says that all women should have access to information to enable them to make an informed, non-bias choice.

Making Normal Birth a Reality states ‘evidence-based information for women about factors that make a normal birth with good outcomes for the mother & baby more or less likely, presented in a format which they understand so that they can plan for the kind of birth they want & make informed decisions’ is an essential part of birth preparation.

WHOs new recommendations on reducing unnecessary births by C-section recommended ‘Health education for women is an essential component of antenatal care’ by using childbirth education workshops that include partners to support women & address fear of birth with methods such as understanding birth physiology, our workshop helps to address unnecessary interventions in labour.

Women with access to antenatal education have a higher chance of normal birth & a more positive birth experience that can help in the postpartum period.
 
The workshop follows a researched learning technique. Written in a style that enables users to learn & retain the information more effectively leading to confidence & understanding of birth.
 
Accessed from 25 weeks of pregnancy via a unique coded card issued by the healthcare provider, users work through 1 module at a time before accessing the next to ensure the workshop is comprehensible. Within the modules are questions, diagrams & carefully designed non-threatening animations.
 
Each language has been translated by first language speakers to ensure the terminology is understandable & animations are culturally respectful whilst explaining a journey of birth. NICE Pregnancy & Complex Social Factors list barriers for women who speak no or little English that include lack of interpreters & knowledge of the maternity service. Our workshop helps address such barriers. NICE also say that with this group of women other methods such as online video clips & audio information should be used.

  
 
Our workshop is factually based giving true & correct information & techniques to practice for labour along with the best positions & why. It addresses subjects like the reasoning behind recommendations for skin to skin & looks at how this can help aid mental health for both parents in the postnatal period.
Initial Review Rating
5.00 (1 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
Antenatal education has a role to play in improving knowledge of, and preparation for parenthood and can lead parents to be, to adopt a range of healthy behaviours that affect pregnancy and birth, improving outcomes and the mother’s experience of birth.
 
The Real Birth Company is committed to supporting all women to access up to date and evidence-based information relating to their birth. We believe that all women should have access to this information and have produced the e-learning modules in several languages to help tackle health inequalities.
 
Tackling health inequalities in infant mortality and infant and maternal health, will not just improve health outcomes today, but lay the foundations for sustainable, long-term improvements in health.
 
At 5.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, the West Midlands has the poorest infant mortality rate in England [2014 data].  The infant mortality rate takes into account the total number of live births and so provides a more accurate indication of trends than just analysing the number of deaths in infancy over time. The West Midlands rates are significantly higher than the England average. (source)
 
Poorer mothers-to-be often do not attend antenatal classes. Almost three-quarters of pregnant women on low incomes do not attend antenatal classes according to new figures. Nearly half are not even offered them on the NHS. (source)
 
The Real Birth Workshop was created because we believe that all expectant parents should have access to positive birth information. It is beneficial for pregnant mums and their birth partners to have positive help with their birth preparation. We support all birthing choices because we believe in empowering women with the right information when they need it.
 
A report by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Preparing for birth and parenthood report surveyed 928 expectant parents (first-time mothers and fathers) attending antenatal courses. The research found that while only 3% of women said they felt confident about birth before attending an antenatal course, afterwards 98% said they felt confident or fairly confident. Similarly, among fathers-to-be surveyed, just 1% said they felt confident about birth before their course; afterward 97% felt confident or fairly confident.
 
The Real Birth Online Workshop provides parents to be with the education they need to manage and reduce maternal anxiety leading to improved coping strategies, greater partner support and a better birth experience.
Current and planned activity: 
We believe the workshop shows decreased admission in the latent phase, decreased use of analgesia & an increase in women having a positive birth experience.

We need champions who can apply for NIHR funding with us to pilot The Real Birth Online Workshop with women using their NHS maternity services.  
 
A number of languages are currently active, we want to include more to help all women access valuable antenatal education. Being able to access our online workshop provides antenatal education to women who may otherwise be unable to attend classes for various reasons including social, cultural & demographic.
 
Many proactive measures are being taken to address perinatal mental health. We believe a positive birth experience doesn't depend on mode of birth but choice, understanding & involvement in decision making & empowerment in pregnancy & labour.
 
Our programme can have a positive effect on women’s birth experiences & her birth partners & assist with informed choice & understanding of birth.  
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
100% IPO The Real Birth Company Limited
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
high
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
N/A
Ease of scalability: 
Simple
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Overview summary:
There is a wide disparity between the emphasis on breastfeeding in culture and the support for mothers attempting to breastfeed for the first time.
 
Funding for Health Visitor run baby groups & drop-ins throughout the UK have been cut in past 2 years due to budget constraints, leading to increasing social isolation of new mothers.
 
Young mothers in particular may not have ever encountered another breastfeeding mother, given that the last generation was largely encouraged to bottle-feed.
Challenge identified and actions taken :
Our target - Mothers who may not have access to current research and/or may be unduly influenced by cultural barriers to breastfeeding.
 
c 700,000 newborn babies born in UK each year. A high proportion will be to new mothers with no experience or understanding of breastfeeding.
 
Funded by ACE from 2017-18, ‘Holding Time’ a series of photographic portraits of mothers breastfeeding was shown at Fabrica Gallery, ONCA Gallery and Royal Brompton Hospital in London, in print, video and installation formats, accompanied by talks and workshops. ONCA featured a Breastfeeding Hub where comfortable seating encouraged mothers to stay longer and talk with other mothers.


 
A project website ( www.holdingtime.org), and YouTube channel promoted 5 min Podcast interviews with participating mothers from the photographic series. A BLOG written by Dr Newell explored issues surrounding the cultural barriers to breastfeeding. Facebook promotions and postcard campaigns at GP surgeries drew visitors to the website and exhibitions.
Impacts / outcomes: 
Findings / Outcomes:
  1. Exhibition audience was more mixed in gender and age than anticipated
  2. Workshops and talks were attended by many academic, medical and health researchers/practitioners
  3. The ‘Holding Time’ slideshow drew audience to the Youtube channel
  4. YouTube recommendations helped to attract many thousands of visitors to the channel.
  5. The Breastfeeding Hub resulted in longer visits to exhibition
  6. Interviews/talks/workshops revealed structural barriers within health practice where policy and practice are not meeting.
Exhibitions x 10 days/ 435 visitors
Website: 1,000 users/ +67%
Talks x 2: 70 attendees
Facebook fans 303 posts/+91 fans/ +695 engagement
YouTube Analytics: 36,400 Views/ +6,710/60 Likes/+179 Subscribers
Which local or national clinical or policy priorities does this innovation address:
Public Health England - Health matters: giving every child the best start in life; Public Health England Commissioning Infant Feeding Guidance; NHS Start4Life; UNICEF; Every child matters
Supporting quote for the innovation from key stakeholders:
National Strategy:
Include actions to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in all policy areas where breastfeeding has an impact. This includes: obesity, diabetes and cancer reduction; emotional attachment and subsequent school readiness; improved maternal and child mental health; wellbeing in the workplace; and environmental sustainability.

Priorities
Good practice guidance identifies that breast milk is considered the physiological norm of nutrition for infants and can provide wider benefits to further promote the bond between mother and baby. Some of the key evidence based benefits of breastfeeding are summarised below:

Baby
• Children who are breastfed for longer periods have lower infectious morbidity (including diarrhoea and vomiting) and lower risk of infant mortality
• Less risk of constipation
• Reduced likelihood of becoming obese or developing type 2 diabetes or other obesity related conditions later in life

Mother
• Reduced risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer
• Reduced risk of diabetes
• Develops stronger relationship bonds through skin touch between mother and baby
• It is a free resource and readily available
To gain the maximum benefits of breastfeeding the World Health Organization recommends an exclusive breastfeeding period for the first six months of life and continuing to breastfeed for at least two years.

West Midlands
• Breastfeeding initiation is significantly lower in the West Midlands compared to the England averages between 2010 and 2015
• Initiation rates between Local Authorities within West Midlands range from 48% to 77% out of all maternities during 2014/15

Key risks of lower breastfeeding uptake:
• Younger age of mother with those aged under 20 years the least likely to breastfeed.
• Mothers who are from a white ethnic background.
• Mothers who have never worked or employed in a routine or manual occupation (classified as lower socio-economic status).
• Younger age left full time education with mothers who left at or before 16 years least likely to breastfeed.
• Mothers in the most deprived quintile of society (classified as being in quintile 1 of the Index of Multiple Deprivation IMD calculation).

Patterns and associations of breastfeeding prevalence:
• Breastfeeding prevalence rates in England in 2010 were higher for each risk factor group compared to 2005 data for each reported period from time of birth to nine months.
• Breastfeeding prevalence dropped at an increased rate after two weeks from birth for all key risk indicator groups. At six months, roughly one third of mothers were still breastfeeding.
• The largest difference in breastfeeding prevalence is associated with age of the mother followed by age the mother left full time education and then socio-economic status and deprivation respectively.

Awareness of health benefits of breastfeeding:
• An inverse association is demonstrated between awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding and younger age of mother, mothers classified as Asian or black, those in a lower socio-economic status and mothers who were intending to only formula feed or who had not yet made a decision.
• Mothers from a white ethnic background reported the most awareness but are the highest ethnic risk group to not breastfeed.

Information sharing:
• The groups least likely to receive information about the health benefits of breastfeeding include mothers aged under 20 years and those who have never worked.
• There is no significant difference between ethnicity and receipt of breastfeeding information.
• For all groups there are a low proportion of women who reported attending antenatal classes where infant feeding was discussed.

Please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjCeenfwBxQ
A film made by rb&hArts – the Charitable trust an partner at Royal Brompton Hospital.
Plans for the future:
Proposal: 
A three year campaign of exhibitions/web content creation/printed book to stimulate and curate conversations around breastfeeding between the public and medical professions addressing the discrepancy between research and practice in order to inform research communities and the general public.

Outputs:
  • 10 new exhibitions of Holding Time at community, health and art centres, birthing units and hospitals across the country.
  • 10 x Postcard campaigns of 1000- 1500 (e.g. 25 cards x 50 surgeries per exhibition) leading public to online content
  • 20 mother stories Podcasts
  • Expansion of Mother Stories section of website
  • Transcripts/closed caption subtitles for all Podcasts
  • 20 guest BLOG posts: Academics/medical researchers to write on subjects raised by women in workshops and interviews e.g. the struggle to feed in the early stages, the establishment of lactation, post partum care, expressing, breastfeeding in public, looking at how current research can help parents make informed choices in these areas.
  • 10 Podcasts with Academics/medical researchers/health professionals
  •  Facebook Q&A sessions with guest researchers/practitioners and participating mothers
  • Breastfeeding Hubs/workshops/talks where possible/appropriate delivered by Dr Lucila Newell and Lisa Creagh
  • Facebook/Instagram channels to promote the above.
A limited edition book featuring Holding Time with an introduction by Dr Debra Bick, essay by Ruth Stirton/Lucila Newell/Erin Barnett. Schilt publishers have confirmed they will produce and distribute this book across Europe and North America using their existing channels.
Tips for adoption:
Any Community health space can host the exhibition, promote the exhibition using the tested method of GPs surgeries locally and linking to the online content. They can also suggest researchers and mothers to interview or write BLOG posts. I have applied to Wellcome for a budget to cover ten exhibitions in areas with low breastfeeding rates nationally.
Contact for further information:
For more information please contact Lisa Creagh
Project Web: www.holdingtime.org
Artist site: www.lisacreagh.com
Email: lccreagh@icloud.com
Tel: 07816 577140
See additional 'Links' document attached
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