England has among the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world. Only 44% of mums are still breastfeeding after eight weeks and just 1% at six months. Research showed that mothers give up when they can’t get the support they need at the precise moments when breastfeeding is difficult. This insight sparked the campaign idea.
Analysis of search trends on breastfeeding advice showed a key peak in the small hours of the night. Qualitative research unpacked this further – helpline-like support services are not available then, neither do women feel that they can phone friends, sisters or their own mums for advice.. Not only are these times of high stress, they are physically also times where mums literally have both hands full – so even reaching for a mobile device to google for advice is problematic.
Wavemaker and Public Health England created the ‘Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend’ - the UK’s first bespoke breastfeeding voice assistant to run on connected home and mobile devices. A beta-testing partnership was created with Mumsnet, the UK’s largest mum website. Feedback from mothers was very positive and there were 136 pieces of coverage across TV, radio, print and online.