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Mush- the app to connect mothers

Mush has connected 100,000s of mums in the UK since launch in April 2016. We created a way for mums to find other mums in the same boat.

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In no more than 3 sentences, please tell us who your idea is designed for and how it reimagines the new life experience.

Mush is for all mums who experience the common loneliness of being a new parent. Never before had there been an app to find a local social network of mums or service your mum needs of local information or advice. We know that loneliness in mothers is a global issue, brought on by many contributing factors, and Mush's mission is that No Mum does it Alone.

Mush is an app that serves the needs of new mums by finding friends, showing recommended places nearby and giving access to a local group of mums for advice and meet-ups.

At what stage is your idea?

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Already done but we often use our super users to trial new ideas!

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We would love design resource to help us make mums feel more reassured and to make the app experience as friendly and easy to use as possible. We would also love expertise in sharing mechanisms.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am happy to offer up my advice of building Mush, from fundraising, prototyping and marketing!

This idea emerged from...

  • An Individual

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • yes

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • no

Are you a current employee of UCB Pharmaceuticals or Sutter Health?

  • no

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17 comments

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Photo of Max Mattson
Team

I was extremely impressed with your post. This is a great thing you are doing and I see how many people this can help. What I have done with this paper is go through all the OpenIDEO post in the Inspiration and Idea sections and have found all the programs that are located around Europe. When we look at the issues in Europe over the whole set of Inspiration and Ideas post, we see that there are about ten different problems that are mainly focused across six different regions. What I see is the programs in Europe are specifically for both prenatal and postpartum care. In the pages to follow I have broken down the post into: areas covered, the sector of the problem dealt with, and what part of the country’s infrastructure it affects. My intentions with my paper is to give you a view of what else is out there in your area. In hopes to help you expand your app or help another company better their program.
Areas Covered by OpenIDEO in Europe The programs are widely spread across the continent.-The United Kingdom ( Home start, Boot Camp, Handdit, Mush)
-Germany (Little Yellow Book)
-Sweden (Giving birth)
-France (Cross-cultural)
-Iceland (Cross-cultural)
-All Europe, i.e. Apps, websites, and events. ( The Synergist, Creating a -Support, Safe Motherhood)
Sectors of the Problem
The programs cover a large variety of problems. I have organized the problems covered chronologically, according to the order in which a mother would experience them from prenatal care to postpartum. Included are descriptions of each problem (as not to cause confusion). Under the name and description you will see that I have given a general analysis of how the European programs currently handle the issues. They are listed as follows: (the name of the program is in parenthesis)
-Home Care (Home Start) Some mothers have a difficult time leaving their homes while pregnant.
Mothers are provided medical care for themselves and their children at home.
-Mentoring/Training (Boot Camp)
Some Parents don’t know how or aren’t ready to become parents.
Dad’s are taught the skills necessary to be a successful parent.
By Providing positive role models, dads learn from the mistakes made by other fathers.
Experienced mentors are able to give new dads a “heads up” on what birth is like.
-Increasing Awareness (The Synergist)
People do not understand the struggle mothers go through with health care. This is all about getting the word out.
Organizations set up events for problems that most people don’t know about; mostly regarding maternal health care.
-Education, specifically on the health of Mothers (Safe Motherhood)
Educating people on the facts of maternal health care.
Events are organized annually for awareness of maternal health care and how it needs to be improved.
-Prenatal Care (Giving birth)
The care of babies while they are still in the womb.
The quality prenatal care is difficult to find except in large hospitals.
Communication between doctors and parents is critical to assist the parents understanding of what is happening with their child when they have a prenatal condition.
-Healthy Habits (Little Yellow Book)
Helping new parents get into the habit of making doctor and dentist appointments for their child.
Government sent reminders for checkups helps new parents get used to making appointments.
Physicians provide gifts to the children following check-ups which teaches kids that going to the doctor is good.
-Maternity Leave (Cross-cultural)
The time off parents take from work to get used to raising a child without the stress of work.
Research proves that a long paid parental leave benefits: lower maternal depression, lower infant mortality rates, and more.
Providing paid maternity leaves for both parents makes it so that they can get use to having a child together.
-Increasing Resources (Creating a support, Handdit, Mush)
Making it easier for mothers to get resources they might need.
Allows moms to ask fellow moms for things they might need from outgrown clothes to advice.
-Socialization (Creating a support, Handdit, Mush)
Giving mothers a chance to get advice or help from other mothers or the community.
New moms don’t often have another adult to talk to. Increasing socialization among mothers allows them to interact with other moms that are dealing with the same issues, creating friendships.
-Mental Health (Creating a support, Handdit, Mush)
The prevention of mother’s mental health due to isolation. Mothers tend to get “stir crazy” as a result of lack of communication.
Adult interaction in the socialization of new mothers is a key component of mental health.
-Conclusion
In my opinion all these programs are needed and have their own place in their communities. The Apps...

Photo of Max Mattson
Team

...and websites (Creating a support, Handdit, Mush), however, have more potential then I think anyone is giving them credit for. I would recommend combining all of the individual ideas into one easy to use app and website. This would allow mothers to both connect with other moms and purchase used clothes and toys for cheap. The Mentoring/training (Boot Camp) issue should also be expanded upon. There are too many fathers that have no clue what to do once the baby is born. I’m not talking about “deadbeat” dads who want nothing to do with the child; I mean men who want to be fathers, but are just unprepared.
The programs create an experience for the mothers the whole way through, from prenatal to postpartum. They definitely are on the right track in the way of covering all their bases. One area that the European programs lack is birth; they have a lot that deal with prenatal and postpartum programs, but not many that deal specifically with birth. There are a few that prepare parents for birth, like informing them what happens during the process, but nothing that helps with complications. A new program that aids in getting the equipment and technology needed to help with complicated births in poor areas would be a nice addition.
The other programs are doing a great job solving the general problems. The people of Europe take the health of mothers very seriously and do a fabulous job letting people know all about the issue. Communication regarding the problem is the first step in solving the problem. Once people are aware of the issue at hand they will be more willing to do something about it.
Work Cited
Boot Camp for New Dads®, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/research/boot-camp-for-new-dads
Creating a Support Network, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/research/creating-a-support-network
Cross-Cultural Parental Support, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/research/cross-cultural-parental-support
Giving birth in Sweden!, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/research/giving-birth-in-sweden
HANDDIT – the local marketplace for parents, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/ideas/handdit-the-local-marketplace-for-parents
Home Start Pregnancy and Post-Natal Pal, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/research/home-start-pregnancy-and-post-natal-pal
Mush- the app to connect mothers, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/ideas/mush-the-app-to-connect-mothers
The Little Yellow Book / How lovely to have you here, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/research/the-little-yellow-book-how-lovely-to-have-you-here
Safe Motherhood Week, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/research/safe-motherhood-week
The Synergist: A Partner for Greater Societal Impact, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/research/the-synergist-a-partner-for-greater-societal-impact

Photo of Max Mattson
Team

I'm sorry if this is difficult to comprehend, due to the character limit I had to break it down in this awkward way. If you have a hard time reading it please feel free to pm me your email address and I will gladly send you the full pdf of this document.

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