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Personalised Pregnancy and Parenting Advice on the Go!

December 11, 2012 2:29 PM

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The first NHS Scotland pregnancy and parenting smartphone app was launched today, making it quicker and easier for women and their partners who are trying for a baby, pregnant or new parents to find information they can trust.

A collaboration between NHS Health Scotland and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the app is an extension of NHS Health Scotland’s hugely popular Ready Steady Baby! book but is personalised and portable, giving women advice at their fingertips.

Ali MacDonald, Early Years Programme Manager at NHS Health Scotland, said:
“We’re starting to see a shift in the ways in which people prefer to get information, moving away from printed leaflets and books to digital channels like websites and apps. We know our Ready Steady Baby! book is a well-used resource that builds on the advice of midwifes, health visitors and other health professionals, but expectant and new parents told us they would find it helpful to get the same, reliable information from the book in a quicker, more convenient way.

“The Ready Steady Baby! app provides quick and easy access to free, factual guidance from the NHS.”

The personalised app lets pregnant women and their partners see how their baby is developing during week by week, making every week an exciting new chapter in their pregnancy. Interactive features also mean users can:

• get prompts sent straight to their phones, like reminders to take folic acid or vitamin D supplements
• watch short practical videos showing real parents interacting with their babies, which can help to answer some common questions
• keep personal checklists of things to consider for a new baby’s arrival, or for the first year.

The Ready Steady Baby! app was launched today to new and expectant parents, midwifes, health visitors and other professionals who work with children and their families in Glasgow – a fitting location as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has more live births each year than any other health board in Scotland.

Andrew Robertson, Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said:  “We’re delighted to have co-produced the first NHS app of its kind in Scotland, and value the contribution of maternity professionals and expectant and new parents in getting us here. Their comments and ideas have helped us to launch an app we hope will be as useful as the Ready Steady Baby! book and website.”

Gina Quinn, mum to seven-month-old Matthew, was at the launch and said:
“I’ve got the Ready Steady Baby! book at home and refer to it a lot, but if you’re on the go then the app is going to be really useful. If you’re sitting on the bus or are out having a coffee you can look at it there and then.”

Linda McMillan, a midwife at the Southern General Hospital who advised on the app’s development, said: “The Ready Steady Baby! app is great because it gives the public information they can trust when they need it. It can be used before getting pregnant, in the early weeks of pregnancy and in between antenatal classes and health visits. As a midwife I’m confident it will reinforce the advice we give to pregnant women at their antenatal appointments, and will help support them after their babies are born.”

The app supports national maternal health, early years and parenting policy and fulfills a commitment in the Scottish Government’s National Parenting Strategy, which was published in October, to strengthen efforts to provide all parents with accurate and reliable information, and ensure they know about the national and local services that can support them in their parenting role.

Minister for Children and Young People Ms Aileen Campbell said: “Parents are the greatest influence on a child’s life, and the information we provide them needs be comprehensive, consistent and meet the needs of families throughout their children's lives. Making information accessible and providing information to parents the way they want it through social media and new technology is increasingly important. That’s why it is great to see this in action with the Ready Steady Baby! smartphone app.

“The app is being delivered as part of our work under the recently published National Parenting Strategy, which will help us realise our ambition to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.”

ENDS

For further information contact :
Laura Blair, NHS Health Scotland on 0771 748 0826

Notes to Editors:
• The Ready Steady Baby! app is being launched at Partick Library, Glasgow on Tuesday 11 December. Interview opportunities are available between 11.00–11.30.

• Download the app from your app store, or go to www.readysteadybaby.org.uk for more information.

• The Ready Steady Baby! book, supplied free of charge by NHS Health Scotland, will continue to be given to all pregnant women in Scotland by their midwife.

• A 3-minute promotional film showing what the app does and what new and expectant parents have to say about it is available on Youtube.

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