Together from the Beginning is a 13-minute video card intended to promote ‘equipped waiting’ for pregnant women in clinics. The dual aim of the card is to make the waiting experience more pleasant, but most importantly to impart knowledge on the first 1000 days of life.

The video card emphasises:

  1.  The awareness of infants of what is going on
  2. The need for the togetherness of parents
  3. The need for love, play and stimulation

As a project of the Innovation Edge, Mothers Matter piloted the intervention in a clinic in the Western Cape. The results were generally positive, especially in terms of efficacy. The visual aspect of the video, the child narrators and perspective as well as the accessibility of the video content (e.g. doesn’t require someone to be literate), were all aspects that research participants identified as positive. The content increased women’s knowledge and also encouraged them to reflect on their own parenting experiences.

The pilot study teaches us a lot about what information is known to pregnant women, what isn’t and where they access information. What also stands out is the self-reflexivity that the video promoted and what we learn about the emotional journey of pregnancy and parenthood. The biggest success obviously lies in the examples of women who felt challenged by the video content to change their behaviour.

What now?

In light of these findings, some of the key opportunities for innovating further include considering:

-   - Other ways in which to deliver content

-   - The creation of content that is sensitive to culture and circumstance

-   - Enabling a more interactive experience

-   - Other uses for waiting areas and waiting time

-   - Methods to monitor behaviour change

Important for us too is the fact that Mothers Matter was a study conducted by Kylie Marais as her Masters’ research project. We encourage students with bold ideas in this space to apply to the Innovation Edge for funding. We are always looking for unexpected connections and unusual collaborations.