Bumps, Babies, Parents, Tips (Video) – health care messages for young parents
Dr Margaret Jane Evans
Consultant Perinatal Pathologist, Department of Pathology, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Scotland, UK
The stillbirth rate in the UK remains one of the highest within the high-income countries (4.2 per 1000 in Scotland). Young parents in particular may be misinformed about risk by peers and/or relatives. Communicating risk factors to prospective parents may reduce the rate.
Objectives: We examined the understanding of pregnancy related health messages in a group about to deliver or who had delivered within the past 18 months. We then created a new targeted health care resource.
We invited young people who had engaged with the Lothian Family Nurse Practitioner Service (FNP) to attend workshops and share their experiences, sources and knowledge of “safer pregnancy” messages. Themes related to risk factors were extracted and “sound bites” created. Participants selected and recorded the messages. The animation was created using the recorded messages and images from the workshops. Participation was voluntary.
9 mums, 2 dads and 8 babies attended the workshops. Messages came from peers and family members. Myths identified by the group included “smoking results in small, easy to deliver babies” and “babies’ movements slow as they grow”. Health messages considered important related to smoking, drinking, babies’ movements, healthy eating and sleep position. They raised concerns regarding mental health issues and a fear of being judged which may lead to lack of engagement with health professionals in early pregnancy. All members of the group felt empowered by the process.
Participants drew attention to possible mental health issues, and all felt fear of being judged deters people from seeking advice in early pregnancy. This study demonstrates the need to listen to and be guided by an appropriate peer group when creating resources. The group felt that they would engage with a resource which used real people and real voices. Involvement with family nurse practitioners encouraged a healthy approach to pregnancy and care of infant.
This was submitted to the local ethics group (Edinburgh University) who deemed that ethical approval was not necessary. All participants were volunteers and gave consent for images to be used.