Meeting the Needs of Mothers During the Postpartum Period: Using Co-Creation Workshops to Find Technological Solutions

JMIR Res Protoc. 2017 May 3;6(5):e76. doi: 10.2196/resprot.6831.


Background: The postnatal period is associated with many new needs for mothers.

Objective: The aim of this study was to find technological solutions that meet the needs of mothers during the year following childbirth.

Methods: Two co-creation workshops were undertaken with parents and professionals. The aim of the first workshop was to create a list of all the criteria the proposed solution would have to address to meet the needs of mothers after childbirth. The aim of the second workshop was to create solutions in response to the criteria selected during the first workshop.

Results: Parents and health professionals want solutions that include empathy (ie, to help fight against the feelings of abnormality and loneliness), that help mothers in daily life, that are personalized and adapted to different situations, that are educational, and that assures some continuity in their contact with health professionals. In practice, we found that parents and professionals think the solution should be accessible to everyone and available at all times. To address these criteria, technology experts proposed different solutions, such as a forum dedicated to the postpartum period that is supervised by professionals, a centralized website, a system of videoconferencing, an online exchange group, a "gift voucher" system, a virtual reality app, or a companion robot.

Conclusions: The human component seems to be very important during the postnatal period. Nevertheless, technology could be a great ally in helping mothers during the postpartum period. Technology can help reliably inform parents and may also give them the right tools to find supportive people. However, these technologies should be tested in clinical trials.

Keywords: co-creating workshop; co-creation; mothers’ needs; postpartum needs; technological solutions.