Mums needing help through tough times in pregnancy are getting unique help through an audio app developed by a Thorp Arch mother.
Claire Morritt, 34, has founded Mumsanywhere which has been downloaded more than a thousand times since launch just over a week ago.
“Sometimes all you want is to talk to someone – for someone to reassure you that everything is OK, and you can get through a tough time,” said Claire who was inspired to develop the app after struggling in pregnancy with children Joseph, aged four and Gabriella, five months.
Mrs Morritt said: “My pregnancy with Joseph was textbook, everything was going exactly as it was supposed to be, until at 37 weeks, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
“I was well within a healthy BMI, had a healthy lifestyle, and it was a real shock to me.
“I immediately began Googling it and found posts on mums’ forums, but they were all a few years old – what I wanted to do was talk to someone who was going through it then, like I was.
“It got my brain ticking – when you hear someone’s voice, there is empathy there, a connection.”
The idea stayed with her into her second pregnancy, when she commandeered web developers at her husband’s eLearning company, Leeds-based Webanywhere to design the app.
Users can post a topic, query or comment through a 20 second voice clip, which other mums can respond to in real time with their own voice notes.
Claire also believes the app has the potential to help new mums who might be lonely or isolated. Reasearch by the charity Action for Children shows that more than a quarter of Yorkshire mothers say loneliness is a problem for them.
Claire added: “I wanted to create a community where you can bounce off one another, moan when we have a bad day, and share out frustrations with parenting. There are a lot of mums out there that don’t have a great support system, and need a bit of reassurance.
“There are apps out there for meeting up with local mums but not everyone has the confidence to meet up for a coffee with someone they don’t know. They are the most vulnerable, the ones who don’t want to leave the house. But they still want to talk to someone, to reaffirm that what they are going through is totally normal.”
In the first week of launching members have sought advice on a range of issues from breastfeeding to teething and sleeping through the night to weaning.
Mrs Morritt plans to ask “experts” such as midwives to ‘Mumsanywhere’ to give support post-birth, and with capacity for a million members, she hopes to see it grow.
“We already have mums registered from as far as Australia, and my vision is to get women across the world offering support and advice,” she said.