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Health & Wellbeing


At Bump Buddies, we want to give women more choice, more voice and more control in making decisions about their ante-natal care, labour, post-natal care and early motherhood, and in shaping the services that are available.

“The work undertaken by Bump Buddies is considered by the RCM to be important, of great value to women and the buddies themselves and a cost effective way of adding value to universal maternity services. It is extremely difficult for maternity services to provide such a service through midwives and indeed this is not always appropriate.” Cathy Warwick – Chief Executive, Royal College of Midwifery

We enable women to use their lived experience to provide feedback which influences policy and commissioning. We achieve this through various platforms, such as:

Steering groups
Mums at Work - The Mums at Work Steering Group was established by Bump Buddies in 2015 to provide a steer on supporting mothers and mothers-to-be into financially viable and sustainable employment. This work contributes to Bump Buddies’ strategic aims to provide a mentoring service that builds individual resilience and wellbeing, and community capacity and cohesion.

Focus groups
Perinatal Mental Health: exploring women’s community and voluntary organisations
Child Action Poverty Group - What would you want the Mayor to do to make London work for families?

Sitting on boards and committees
Children’s Centre Parent Forums
Hackney Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC)

If you would like to run a focus group at Bump Buddies please contact Jane: ¦ 020 7033 8524.

Community REACH
Bump Buddies has been selected to deliver the Community REACH Programme in Dalston ward. We are working with Barts Health NHS Trust and the University of East London in their five-year project to research antenatal care. Together, we hope to enhance the value and experience of that care for pregnant women living in areas with high levels of poverty and ethnic diversity. You can read more here.

The project will run in Dalston until November 2017. We will work with a committed team of volunteers from Dalston, training and supporting them to head out into the ward to speak to their communities and others about the value and benefits of antenatal care. The project will be a direct source of advice and information to Dalston residents, as well as feeding into longer-term, strategic research.

If you would like to volunteer with us to do this or have any further questions, there’s more information and contact details here; we would love to hear from you.

Hearing Hearts Study

Hearing Hearts is an exciting new study that is being done with a research team at Goldsmiths, University of London. This study is looking at how using different relaxation methods might help mums during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time of a lot of big changes and transitions and can be thrilling but also sometimes stressful. It is important for mums to be able to take time for themselves to relax. This is not only important for mums but also for their developing babies.

One sign of stress is having high blood pressure and a high heart rate; there is also a hormone called cortisol that can be picked up in your saliva and is another indication that you are experiencing high stress. Our study, Hearing Hearts, looks at whether different types of relaxation methods, such as resting in silence or listening to music, can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and levels of cortisol in pregnancy.

To be a part of our study you need to be over 18 years, in the third trimester of your pregnancy (from 28 weeks), and have normal hearing. We cannot include you if you are expecting more than one baby or if you are taking medication for high blood pressure. Being a participant in our study is easy and we can reassure you that no harm will come to you or your baby; in fact, we hope you will find it enjoyable and we can offer you a ten-pound voucher as a thank you, plus your travel costs (public transport only).

If you take part you will meet with one of the researchers, Katie Rose or Marie, for one hour on two separate occasions within the same week (at a time and location that suits you). At both of the meetings we will ask you to use one or other of two relaxation methods for 20 minutes. We will explain both methods on the day – they are very straightforward. Before and after the relaxation sessions, the researchers will take your blood pressure and heart rate as well as a saliva sample. The heart rate and blood pressure readings will be done using a machine very similar to the one you see at the doctors. For the saliva sample we will ask you to split into a small tube. The researchers will also ask you to fill out some questions about how you have been feeling and a bit of general information about yourself and your pregnancy.

You don’t have to take part in the study and you can also withdraw from the study at any stage. All of your information will be confidential and only be seen by the research team. Bump Buddies will not see any of your personal information that is gathered. Whether or not you participate will not affect how you are perceived or treated at Bump Buddies. If you would like to take part, the researchers will contact you to answer any questions you may have and set up a time to meet that is convenient for you.