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An Audio Guide through Maternity

Imagine the audio guide that you get when you enter a museum. You punch a number and you get to know all about the statue of Venus de Milo or Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in front of you. If we consider pregnancy a journey that a woman embarks on, then we can equip her with a simple to use rented mobile phone where she can listen to audio narratives and watch short videos related to different stages of pregnancy in her own language.

Photo of Krassimira Iordanova
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- How could this work?
HCW/volunteers distribute the mobile phones for rent to expecting mothers in the community and provide instructions how to use the mobiles. A HCW enters in the mobile application the week of pregnancy.
Based on the week of pregnancy, the application will send info-minders (reminders with educational purpose) at certain milestones of pregnancy to inform the expecting mom what happens in her body (i.e. your baby now is…..; you might experience pain in the back and swollen feet; practice the following simple breathing techniques to,…. etc.)
At every milestone of the pregnancy the expecting mother could indicate if she is feeling well or not by sending i.e. sms with a visual ( a smiling face; a frowning face).

The info-minders shall be audio messages as they would be easy to consume. Additionally, the application can play videos that illustrate what happens at a certain stage of pregnancy and give some useful tips.

The rented mobile phone will have a free emergency number the woman could call at any time (if she experiences pain, bleeding, etc.)

As many women have daily chores/work in the fields, the info-minders could be sent after sunrise when the expecting mother has a bit of time for herself. She can share the narratives and the videos with her family.

- The fun part
Every narrative/video could be accompanies with a popular song (or lullabies towards the end of the pregnancy) as it will be a mnemotechnic- if you remember the song, you remember the context of the narrative associated with it. This association will make the content fun and encourage the expecting mom to re-play it, share with her family and friends.

- Option to purchase the rented mobile phone
Once the pregnancy is over, the expecting mother will be given a chance to purchase the mobile phone and use its full fledged functionality.
As the family has spent enough time with the rented phone, they will have developed a “relationship with it” and might not want to give it away. Additionally, the expecting mom would have enough time during pregnancy to convince her husband/parents-in-law about the benefits of having such a phone.
Picture courtesy:

What is the minimum level of mobile technology needed for this concept?

Nokia phones that have an application that can play an audio/video based on week of pregnancy. The logic of the remider application could be used- Medica Application:

How could this work in a low-literacy context?

Low literacy level as the mobile phone will have audio narratives and videos that could be played, replayed with a click of a button.

Which partners could help realise and deliver this solution?

  • Oxfam
  • Nokia
  • Mobile operators
  • NGOs


Join the conversation:

Photo of Avi Solomon

Disney had an interactive wireless plush toy called "Pal Mickey" that would activate when you neared an attraction to give yo info and tips - Maybe there could be "Pal Minnie" to accompany the journey of pregnancy?:

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