Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with a midwife, Christine Woods, to discuss my product direction and the design specifications.Christine's feedback and opinions were fantastic and I left feeling much more positive and reassured about the accuracy of the research I have completed so far and the legitimacy of it all.
Christine was able to pass on her professional knowledge and advice, alongside this, her Husband, Nigel, was available and together they are both parents and grandparents, so they were also able to give me valuable marketing suggestions.
I gave both Nigel and Christine a general over view of the background research that has lead me to this point (which you can read about in earlier posts) and then showed them the images below.
Christine's first suggestion was to consider the increase in baby weight and length. Currently, the product is proposed to have a 40cm width and 70cm length, Christine was concerned this may not accommodate for how much longer the average baby is "the average length of a full term baby is 51cm." (Hicks, 2016) With babies growing 2cm within the first month and on average a further 1-2cm each month. Using these average measurements, it can be assumed that this product could only accommodate a baby until 6-7months of age.
When discussing the babies weight "The average weight of a baby who reaches full term is 3.5kg or 7.7 lbs. (Hicks, 2016) and the foam structure needed to support a baby correctly, Chris mentioned that within the industry, there are concerns surrounding the type of foam used within infant mattresses as some have been found to link to cot death. "Bacteria linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) seem to thrive in vomit-soaked polyurethane foam." (BBC, 2002)
The breathability and airiness of the mattress are also important both for prevention of "the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a bug often found in the throats of SIDS babies." (BBC, 2002) and temperature control "Overheating can increase the risk of SIDS ... Keep the room at about 18C / 65F."(Choices, 2016) So the foam mattress used in the final product must not be an open polyurethane and there must be sufficient ventilation.
When discussing all the knowledge I have gathered we discussed how important it is that my research is coming from a valid and accurate source, with this in mind, Chris suggested having a look at the Royal college of Midwives blogs as they have a great range of discussions around current trends and topics in midwifery. Chris also suggested getting in touch with the Manchester Universities school of Midwifery, as they may be able to help with pulling a focus group together. I have since contacted Alison Busby from Manchester Universty and am awaiting a reply. Finally, Chris also mentioned looking into the local NCT groups in Warrington to see if I can talk to mums who are experiencing baby's sleeping problems. This is something I will look into once I have a sample I could take a long talk, though.
Overall my time with Christine has brought a lot of reassurance and confident to the product, she was very impressed with my level of knoledge and extent of research. She ended the conversation by exclaiming, "I do hope this works out for you, as it will be a game changer for a lot of us"
BBC (2002) Foam mattress link to cot death. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1935034.stm (Accessed: 3 August 2016).
Choices, N. (2016) Reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/reducing-risk-cot-death.aspx (Accessed: 3 August 2016).