Parenting Science Gang Researchers Need You!

Hi there,

I’m posting this on behalf of a different Parenting Science Gang group who are doing research into infant feeding.

They’re keen to hear from anyone who wanted to breastfeed, whether or not they did ultimately breastfeed, no matter how long or short. You need to have given birth in the last 5 years.

They’re particularly keen to hear from mothers from black and minority ethnic groups, also those who haven’t been to university, as well as mothers under 30. These groups aren’t well represented so far and they’d love for more voices from these groups to be included.

Deadline – Sunday December 2nd!

The link is here: http://parentingsciencegang.org.uk/groups/breastfeeding-and-healthcare-experiences/study/

Thank you

Help us with our research!!

Exciting news! For a few months now, I’ve been working with an organisation called Parenting Science Gang – we are a group of mums (there may be a few dads, but it’s mostly mums) doing research into what interests us – and we’ve got a special Big Birthas Parenting Science Gang Group.

We’ve discussed what research we’d like to see, researched what science and data is already out there, and we’ve interviewed other scientists to get their views on what we should research and how to go about it, and now we’re finally ready, have received ethics approval, have volunteers ready to send out, receive, and analyse questionnaires – all we need are a few individuals who fit the criteria we’ve set to answer our email questions!

Could you help us?

We need people who:

  • are over 18
  • have had 2 or more pregnancies where their BMI was over 29
  • whose youngest child is under 3
  • whose births took place in the UK
  • are happy to be interviewed by email about their experiences

If you can say yes to all three, please follow this link for more information and sign up here to be interviewed –

http://parentingsciencegang.org.uk/experiments/big-birthas-research/

your thoughts could really make a difference!

Now For The Science Bit…

There’s a real lack of good quality research into high BMI pregnancies. There are few studies done specifically on the topic. Those that do exist are often with very small sample sizes, conflate being overweight with medical conditions, or have flawed methodology.

Yet we’re supposed to accept recommendations based on their results?

Pregnant Woman in front of windowEven given the state of some of it, I definitely prefer recommendations based on evidence! All too often we’re told we should do something while pregnant because it’s ‘policy’, yet when you start unpicking the advice, it turns out to be based on nothing more than a hunch – e.g.taking an an increased dose of Folic Acid.

And then there’s the problem with finding the evidence that applies to our circumstances when it does exist. Many Big Birthas out there, myself included, have found that it’s best not to assume that your healthcare professionals are experts in whatever course of action they’re proposing, and often have no idea of the evidence base (or lack of it) to support their advice, and so we have to do the research ourselves to ensure we’re making fully informed decisions!

Well, I can announce some exciting news.

Parenting Science Gang is a user-led citizen science project funded by Wellcome, and one of the new groups for 2018 is a Big Birthas Parenting Science Gang! This is an amazing opportunity to get involved in looking at issues faced by mothers and mothers-to-be with a high BMI.

You don’t need to be a scientist – I’m not! You just need to want more information and help us find it! We will look for evidence-based answers to the questions that us bigger mums want to know, and where we find gaps, we’ll design and run our own research studies to discover and publish our own scientific results and add to the body of knowledge available.

We’ll get advice from professional scientists along the way – but the group will be in charge of the experiments.

We’ll also have regular online Q&A sessions with experts. They will help us in designing our experiments, and maybe even point us in the direction of equipment and resources.

So far we’ve already talked about weight management in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, use of blood thinners in pregnancy, fat vaginas and more! And we’ve had Q&A sessions with yours truly and Clare Murphy of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).

Come along and find out more, ask your questions, and maybe even help us to find the answers! You can give as little or as much time as you choose. It’s a closed Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1955647771354577/)  and there are also some meet-ups being organised across the country for people in the different Parenting Science Gangs to get together and discuss the issues in March and April.

We’d love to have you on board!

 

Online Q&A with Big Birtha Thurs 9th Nov 9pm!

Good Morning Britain Big Birthas Tweet

Would you like the opportunity to take part in an online Q&A with the founder of Big Birthas, Amber Marshall?

Do mums with a higher BMI get a raw deal from health professionals? Parenting Science Gang members will be asking me about the experiences that we sometimes experience, and what the research really says. Do mums with higher BMI have more problems during pregnancy and birth, or is this just a perception of some health care providers?
Parenting Science Gang is a Wellcome-funded citizen science programme where parents are looking for evidence-based answers to the parenting questions that affect their lives. You can find out more on their website: http://parentingsciencegang.org.uk
If you are a larger mum or mum-to-be, or you are just interested in the topic, you’re welcome to come along and share your experiences and hear about what research has been done.
On Thursday 9th November at 9pm, Parenting Science Gang will be chatting to me using a closed Facebook group set up expressly for the purpose, which they’ll delete afterwards. If you do not use Facebook, rest assured that setting up an account just for this session is not time consuming, and it is easy to delete your account afterwards.
This is a text-based session, so you just need to be able to read and type to get involved. Just join the event FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/190504264828426, and turn up on Thursday 9th November at 9pm to chat! I’ll do my best to answer as many questions as possible!