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Making mothers: feasibility study

The Making Mothers project concerns the analysis and development of novel antenatal care strategies to improve the health and cohesion of mother and child. 

Making mothers project large

Researchers

Research background

Pregnancy gives a window of opportunity to influence all aspects of health both physical and psychosocial. The Cochrane Review on Continuity of Carer (2016) concludes the two elements are connected and are significant for women’s well-being. Health in pregnancy can positively impact fetal development and, if optimised, gives the opportunity to tackle the origins of adult disease. Effective antenatal care supports health optimisation and may influence family health. Health is improved when people are supported to make meaningful choices, In working through a group dynamic people may be empowered to make choice, feel in control and therefore confident; which can positively affect health. 

This could be facilitated by the way a midwife provides care and the development of groups where people come together and when they are involved in a group activity such as therapeutic making (crafts). Engaging in collective making can contribute to wellbeing and the conditions for future behavioural change. Higher levels of wellbeing in women that engage in craftwork and reduction in stress. It is suggested that “making” is not only stress managing but also health-promoting and in some populations may build friendships and resilience. The team that will provide the making activity have been using craft as a form of therapy for several years, with prisoners, homeless people and other groups although they feel their work is effective in improving wellbeing this has not been quantitatively measured or reported.

Research aims 

Is it feasible to implement and evaluate a novel antenatal intervention?

  1. To design, deliver and evaluate a novel antenatal intervention
  2. To assess the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a future RCT for the clinical effectiveness of the intervention
  3. Contribute to long term understanding of health-promoting dynamics (influences that aid personal health and wellbeing improvements and behaviour changes), if this approach is shown to be feasible.

Research methods 

A single centre, mixed-methods study using convenience sampling to recruit ten women via various antenatal clinics that take place in the community. We expect there will be an attrition rate but we anticipate that this will give us a group of 6-8 women. The intervention will build on existing offerings from midwives and makers and will take into consideration; acceptability, practicability, safety/side effects for women.

Results

This study is ongoing. The primary outcome for this study is testing the feasibility of scaling this research up into a full study.