LCGB joins pilot of support app for isolated new parents during COVID-19

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Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (LCGB), along with partners Peppy and NCT, is delighted to announce our involvement in an innovative new digital platform to support new parents through an app. This project has been successful in winning funding from the government sponsored TechForce19, with their partners PUBLIC and the AHSN Network, an NHSX initiative to trial digital solutions to support vulnerable and isolated people during the coronavirus crisis.

The two week pilot will provide a range of free perinatal support services to 1200 parents through an app developed by Peppy, supporting them with peer to peer groups and specialists, in areas ranging from life with a new baby, feeding, sleep, and mental health issues. The app will also provide suitable healthy exercise suggestions.

Parents will join a small online chat group of other parents with one-to-one chat available, led by an experienced perinatal specialist, such as an IBCLC member of LCGB, or by NCT antenatal teachers, breastfeeding counsellors, or postnatal group leaders. Those who need additional specialist support with breastfeeding or sleep can be referred on for a one-to-one video call.

Zoe Faulkner, Chair of Lactation Consultants of Great Britain, commented: “Access to skilled breastfeeding support is crucial for many new families. During this COVID-19 pandemic, the public health impact of breastfeeding and the parent-child relationship are really important. Breastfeeding provides infants with immune protection and food security. The evidence shows that many mothers stopped breastfeeding before they wanted to, often because they couldn’t access the support they needed. When breastfeeding is going well, it enhances a mother’s resilience and mental health. We are excited to work with Peppy and NCT to bring more support right into families’ homes during this very challenging time.”

Parents who wish to enroll in the pilot can register at this link: https://bit.ly/2Kugw94

About Techforce19

In March, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that funding would be available to innovators who can find digital ways to support people who need help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This ‘Techforce19’ challenge aims to support those who are particularly vulnerable or isolated as a result of the outbreak and need help, including people who need mental health support or who have social care needs.

NHSX has been working with partners PUBLIC and the AHSN Network to run the fast-track competition for innovators, creating a pool of ready to go technologies that have the potential to be rapidly scaled regionally and nationally.

Following an assessment process, led by PUBLIC and working with the AHSN Network, NHSX and representatives from local authority, care and mental health sectors, 18 companies have been selected and awarded up to £25,000 to take part in a rapid testing phase.

This trial and deployment is a sign of rapid innovation and is set to benefit many thousands of people.

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Notes to Editors:

For further information
Zoe Faulkner
Chair, Lactation Consultants of Great Britain
secretary@lcgb.org

Queries about the competition process, funding process or any of the organisations running the competition (DHSC, MHCLG, NHSX, PUBLIC, AHSN Network) should be directed to georgia.unsworth@nhsx.nhs.uk or jenny.songi@nhs.net.

About Peppy

Peppy provides personalized health support to families going through life’s big transitions, such as becoming a parent, fertility treatment or going through the menopause. The company was founded in 2018 and works with a wide range of employers to provide support to their employees.

About LCGB

LCGB is a registered charity that works to protect and support breastfeeding, in order to improve the health and wellbeing of families across the country through advocacy and by providing expert breastfeeding care. Founded in 1994 to serve as a professional voice for breastfeeding, LCGB also provides advanced education and training for infant feeding specialists.

Our members are part of a community of 32,500 International Board Certified Lactation Consultants worldwide, recognised internationally as the gold standard credential in breastfeeding and lactation.

About NCT

NCT is the UK’s largest charity for parents. Each year it supports millions of parents through their First 1,000 Days, offering evidence-based information and trusted practical and emotional support through its website, helpline, a nationwide network of over 300 local branches, antenatal and postnatal classes, breastfeeding counselling and peer support schemes