At Best Beginnings we take an evidence based approach to identifying, evidencing and sharing best practice.

We continually evaluate the impact of our resources and apply this learning to the development of existing and future resources. As well as commissioning academic evaluations of our interventions, we commission and undertake independent and impartial market research that helps inform the design development and forward planning of our resources.

A sophisticated analytics tool behind Baby Buddy allows us to track uptake and usage by locality, age, gender, ethnicity, language, education, employment and training. It also allows us to identify which videos Baby Buddy users are watching, what questions they’re asking and which features they are using, as an anonymised data set.

We feed this rich data into detailed reports for our Public Health Commissioners to measure the reach and impact of Baby Buddy. Pop-up in-app questionnaires capture what pregnant women and new mothers think of Baby Buddy.

WHAT OUR USERS SAY

Read here what our users say about Baby Buddy.

UK wide Pregnant women and new mums & Dads and Partners report the following about Baby Buddy:

  • Easy to use: >99% (n=16,319) >98% (n=428)
  • Easy to understand: >99% (n=16,224) >99% (n=421)
  • Helps me get more out of my appointments: 85% (n=8542) 89% (n=745)
  • Helps me look after my mental health: 88% (n=5659) 88% (n=548)
  • Helps me look after my physical health: 90% (n=5748) 88% (n=566)
  • Helps me feel closer to my baby: 89% (n=4466) 92% (n=415)
  • Helps me feel more confident caring for my baby: 98% (n=4245) 97% (n=135)

(Data from completed pop-up in-app surveys to 29/2/2020)

Baby Buddy embedding and training impact

The process of 'embedding' involves training local professional and community champions to use Baby Buddy as a tool to support their work with parents. Data shows that embedding is successful. It also ensures that parents of all backgrounds know use Baby Buddy, allowing Baby Buddy to have more impact. Learn more about how to embed Baby Buddy in your area.

16 local authorities have 25% or more of their parents using Baby Buddy.

TOP SITES USING BABY BUDDY ACROSS THE UK TO END MARCH 2020

 25% or mothers using Baby Buddy in 16 local authorities

Top thee sites:

#1 Darlington  57%

#2 Telford and Wrekin 44.04%

#3 Shropshire 38.3%

Proportionate Universalism in action

Evidence shows that in order for a public health intervention to be effective, it must be universal (it should support the wider population) but delivery should be scaled to serve those who would benefit the most.  

Children who are at risk of poorer outcomes are those whose parents are under 25 (Black and White British) and those from Black and ethnic minorities. Baby Buddy is designed to support all parents of all backgrounds and especially considers the needs of parents whose first language might not be English, who may have an age 11 literacy level and who have very limited resources.

Analytics show that our approach is working:

Families who are at highest risk of poor outcomes are over-represented amongst Baby Buddy users. 

WHO USES BABY BUDDY? 

Registrations to end February 2020 = 273,541

Teenage mothers are a particularly high risk group.

While 3.2% of pregnant mothers in the UK are teenagers (ONS DATA),

7.2% of mothers using Baby Buddy are teenagers

While 1.83% of mothers speak 20 of the top non English languages in the UK,

13.5% of Baby Buddy users do not speak English as their first language

While 3.3% of mothers are Black,

5.15% of Baby Buddy users are Black

While 7.5% of mothers are Asian (including Chinese)

8.35% of Baby Buddy users are Chinese

BABY BUDDY USAGE

Levels of app usage (open the app to use any feature) per year.

Extremely high usage: 251+ times. Very high usage:101-250 times. High usage: 46-100 times

Moderate usage: 26-45 times

OF Black and Ethnic minority Baby Buddy users

97% are moderately to extremely active users

OF all Baby Buddy users who are under 25 years

68%  are moderately to extremely active users

Substantive evaluation

A more in-depth study of Baby Buddy in three areas where Baby Buddy has been embedded into service provision has been completed. The study involved academics from the University of the West of England, Coventry University, Newcastle University and the University of Hertfordshire. Using a longitudinal framework, this evaluation will explore the impact of Baby Buddy app on maternal self-efficacy, parenting competence and well-being as well as exploring detailed usage and benefits of the app. Although the evaluation found no impact on self-efficacy using the validated tool, Baby buddy users were found to be more likely to be breastfeeding at 1 month, and exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months post birth. A summary of these important findings can be found here

Norfolk Self-Care project

Best Beginnings partnered on a self-care project which used the Just One Norfolk website and the Baby Buddy app as interventions to support parental self-care, using PAM (Patient Activation Measure) as the validated tool.

Researchers from Eastern ASHN and the University of Essex found that parents using the website and the Baby Buddy app increased their activation score. The average activation score increased by 5.6 points for parents using the Baby Buddy app: this increase was statistically significant (p<0.01). However, given the small sample size and the lack of consistency around timings of baseline and follow-up scores nor any control condition, these findings should be interpreted with caution. Read the full report here.