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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.

Photo of Katie Massie-Taylor

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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

Attachments (1)

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.

Photo of Olivia Hinebaugh
Team

Katie Massie-Taylor I hope we can collaborate and chat in the near future. As the Postpartum Pay-It-Forward Project has developed, it's looking like adopting a social matchmaking type appfor new moms will be helpful!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Katie Massie-Taylor !

The refinement phase closes on Nov 5 at 3:00pm PST. I look forward to seeing your updates. Please reach out to me if you have any questions at all.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Katie,

There are 4 days left in the ideas phase. I look forward to seeing the progress on your submission.

I found some recent articles on Mush that highlight your growth and impact, and media interest in your company. You might want to consider including them in your idea submission

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4710557/mush-phone-app-abby-allen-teenage-mum-homeless/
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/oct/14/app-idea-downloads-financial-success
http://www.chichester.co.uk/news/make-mum-friends-with-mush-1-8189528

Photo of Lesley Neadel
Team

Hi Katie Massie-Taylor I love this!! There’s such a need for creating a village around new moms, especially since fewer and fewer live near family anymore. I have a PR and marketing background and would love to chat to help Mush grow. Ever since I suffered from PPD after having my daughter in 2011 I’ve had a similar idea for connecting women starting in pregnancy - I’d love to chat if you’re willing. Lesley.Neadel@gmail.com

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Katie

I hope you had a nice weekend.

When you log into your account and click on your idea, press the ‘Edit Contribution’ button and you will be able to see the questions for the refinement phase when you scroll down.

What are the competitors to Mush? How does Mush compare to BabyCenter (US) and other solutions in the space? Are you able to share a competitor analysis?

Is this Mush - https://www.letsmush.com/?

There are a few ideas from previous challenge that might be a source of inspiration in the refinement phase:


Cobuy - Group buying software that helps people buy good food at good prices, together. - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/top-ideas/cobuy-group-buying-software-that-helps-people-buy-good-food-at-good-prices-together - really highlights their Unique Selling Point


Vykarious - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/end-of-life/top-ideas/vykarious - Connect with people around the globe who will cross off the bucket list items you cannot, and will share their experience with you.-- has a clear user journey

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Katie,

Congratulations on making it to the refinement phase!

Please tag me here with questions using '@' followed by my name (Kate Rushton).

Photo of Alexandra Sacks
Team

Hi Katie!
Mush looks amazing! Would love to discuss a potential collaboration around our NYC based Motherhood Moth event and social media platform - let me know the best way to connect!
Warmly,
Alexandra

Photo of Amy Shick
Team

I love this app idea! Congratulations on the success! As a military spouse, we move frequently and having to make friends in a new town is so hard. This would also be incredibly helpful for military spouses to find and connect with other spouses with babies and children. Personal interaction, connectedness and companionship is essential to a wholehearted and healthy life. Can users choose interests and children ages to connect with other moms in the same life stages? Sounds like it could also be a great way to find babysitters. Does the app also offer content on various motherhood topics or is it all user generated? Would it be possible to find moms for advice based on different life experiences or professions? For example, it would be great for a mom who has a preemie in the NICU to connect with another mom who has experienced that herself. Just a thought. Best of luck for continued success!!!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Love Mush. I use it in London and can see how it would work in so many different locations

Photo of Justin West
Team

Congrats on the success of Mush so far!

Question: How does Mush keep a consistent user base? I imagine that after meeting a few new mothers on the app, many mothers would move beyond the Mush platform to regular texting or emailing. Have you observed this being the case?

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Katie. Congratulations on creating a service that is positively impacting new mothers!
Is it possible to search for other mothers based on a common interest, in addition to location?
Is the app available outside of the UK? How were moms finding each other locally prior to using Mush?

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations Katie Massie-Taylor on being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Arjan Tupan
Team

Very cool. Would love to turn that into a version that does the same for dads :)

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Katie Massie-Taylor and welcome to our community! We are so excited that you're joining our network of 133,000 innovators across the globe.

The video you included about Mush is so powerful--thank you for sharing! Do you have a website you could attach to your post as well?

Looking ahead, you might consider helping the OpenIDEO community better grasp how this idea could play out by describing the next steps! What are some the next and timeline to bring your idea to market?

Can't wait to learn more!