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Mother and Father Support Groups

After interviewing parents in France and Iceland, I realized new mothers and fathers need a support system.

Photo of Drake Van Egdom
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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.

My idea is designed for all new parents. Currently, most parents do not have a support system after having a child. I envision a support group that connects new parents to each other.

For my research, I have interviewed parents from France and Iceland.  Mothers had FaceBook groups and ways to connect with other mothers.  However, fathers had no way to navigate this big life change.  Their FaceBook group either did not exist or was not utilized. 

I think two separate support groups would be important.  The father group could be similar to the Boot Camp for New Dads program.  The initiative allows new fathers to learn from other fathers.  I think they could expand their reach, and continue to meet throughout their child's life.  Fathers need support beyond their child's first year of life.  

Also, both mothers and fathers could use a support group with a licensed doctor or nurse.  Many new parents have endless questions, but they do not have a reputable source of information.  A support group with a licensed doctor or nurse would provide them with a place to ask any and all questions. 

I have not finished analyzing my France and Iceland interviews, and I still need to interview my U.S. parents.  I will update my contributions as I learn more.   

At what stage is your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

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

I plan on interviewing five mothers and five fathers in my community with the same questions as my French and Icelandic participants. They should be able to provide some insight into the resources already available to new parents in my area. Furthermore, I will research and contact established programs, support groups, etc. to discover their insight. Hospitals and other community centers could provide further understanding to my specific community's context.

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

So far, the OpenIDEO has shared similar programs they have found. They have been very helpful. I want to know what a new parent wants in a support group. I want the OpenIDEO community to help me figure out the specifics of a support group for new parents.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a senior undergraduate student at Lehigh University. During the summer, I traveled to France and Iceland to interview parents on their support systems after having a child, and I am going to interview U.S. parents. The results of my research will inform a final product and my senior thesis.

This idea emerged from...

  • An Individual

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • no

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • no

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

  • no


Join the conversation:

Photo of Arjan Tupan

Great idea. What I have found, is that the needs for a support group is very dependent on a personal situation. I did not really feel the need for one, but that has to do with the fact that I (think I) know where to get the info I need, and do have family and friends I could turn when needed. Other than that, I feel relatively comfortable in the role of parent. Still, I can imagine many scenarios in which there is a need, known or not. Would love to see how I can help you further develop this idea, Drake, and will also add one of my own separately, which includes something similar.

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