Nottingham’s hospitals have become the first in the UK to launch their own free maternity app for mums-to-be, funded by Nottingham Hospitals Charity.
The Pocket Midwife is written by Nottingham midwives, for Nottingham women and can be downloaded in the App Store or on Google Play.
It is thought to be the only maternity app in the UK produced by a hospital. Others available are produced by large commercial organisations, and not necessarily by midwives. As a result they often do not reflect local practice.
The Pocket Midwife has been developed by maternity matron Julia Gudgeon and other members of her team, with support from the hospital’s Better For You change Programme and funded by the Hospital Charity.
It contains general pregnancy information that is useful to all prospective parents and their families, but also contains information specific to NUH, such the Trust’s own maternity leaflets and useful contact telephone numbers.
Other features include a pregnancy calendar, which describes the baby’s development and changes to the woman’s body. A contraction counter supports women and their birth partners in early labour. And there is even a ‘selfie gallery’, which was requested by women in Nottingham who want to log the progress of their growing bump.
Julia said: “We could see that many women were struggling to access information available to them and what they found wasn’t always correct. Our aim was to provide parents with a useful resource that they could trust.”
The Pocket Midwife was developed with feedback from 100 pregnant women, who were asked what information they would like.
“This app ensures that women are getting the most up-to-date information from a trusted source. We are really proud of it”, Julia added.
The app contains all of NUH’s maternity information leaflets – on everything from breastfeeding to the signs of labour – so that women and their families have them in their pockets.
It can also send a birth announcement to everyone in your address book.
Julia added: “We think it will be really useful, not just for pregnant women but for their partners and families too. There’s a lot of informative information as well as some really fun features.”
The app is free to download and women will not be asked to register or give personal information.
Barbara Cathcart, Chief Executive of Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “It is rewarding to support an initiative that was created in our own hospitals for the women of Nottingham and their families; and even more rewarding that this innovative new resource could benefit pregnant women throughout the UK.”