Best Beginnings commissioned researchers from University College London to conduct research to learn about the experiences of Baby Buddy users during the pandemic. They conducted an online survey with 436 responses and spoke to 32 participants on the telephone. The survey found that COVID-19 had made 88% of participants feel more anxious about their pregnancy, giving birth or being a parent. Many participants experienced reductions in antenatal and postnatal care which contributed to their anxiety and stress levels. Lockdown proved a challenging time for many participants who reported that the pandemic was affecting their mental and physical health and well-being. However, we were cheered that some participants told us about more positive changes that lockdown had brought into their life and relationships.

Almost all participants reported that Baby Buddy (89%) has been helping them during lockdown and 97% of respondents said they would recommend Baby Buddy to family and friends. A few participants "flagged" that we were not as quick as you would have liked in adding COVID-19 relevant content and we have welcomed your suggestions for ways in which we can add to and improve Baby Buddy. We will make sure these great ideas are included in our new version of Baby Buddy when it is launched next year. 

Some of the findings from this research have been shared with Public Health England and NHS England and are now being written up for publication in an academic journal. We shall share the full report with you as soon as we are able. 

In addition to the COVID-19 Baby Buddy survey, in collaboration with two other charities (Home-Start UK and the Parent-Infant Foundation), Best Beginnings ran a UK-wide COVID-19 survey with expectant and new parents. The findings of this bigger survey are launching on 5th August in a report called "Babies in Lockdown". From Wednesday, you'll be able to read the report here.