Born And Bred In BaBi logo

The Latest News from the BaBi Network 

Current Participants to the BaBi Network: 

37,181 (as of 03.05.2024)


Born and Bred in Wakefield: New exhibition celebrating families living in Wakefield District launched


Wakefield Museums & Castles’ new online exhibition explores the experience of families living in the Wakefield district who have recently had a baby.

The exhibition, entitled Born and Bred in Wakefield, introduces four young families who live in the Wakefield district. It features photographs, objects, and oral histories from the families as well as a film that documents their experiences of raising a family in the district in 2024.

The interactive exhibition also features the stories of midwives working for Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust as well as historic images of local families and hospital staff dating back to the late 1800s.

Councillor Michelle Collins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said “It’s wonderful to see the experiences of local families shared and celebrated in this new online exhibition. Born and Bred in Wakefield explores the highs and lows of being a new parent in Wakefield and it’s fantastic to have these stories captured for the future in our local museums.”

The exhibition complements  Born and Bred in Wakefield (BaBi Wakefield), which is part of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Yorkshire & Humber BaBi Network study. A research project which uses routine health, social and education data to create a picture of local people’s health and lifestyles over time. 

Judith Holliday, Head of Research at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust said: “BaBi Wakefield is a really important study helping us to better understand the health and wellbeing of local families.

“The study will give valuable insights into what works well and what can be made better. Over time this will help to shape local services, creating a healthier environment for families to enjoy.”

The Born and Bred in Wakefield exhibition features the first-hand experiences of four different families who are all taking part in the research study. Malvika speaks about the realities of parenting her two-year-old daughter Mishka whilst being pregnant with twins. Bex shares the challenges of conceiving her daughter Lucy through IVF. Isabelle speaks about some of the anxiety she experienced whilst pregnant with her son Marco, and how she is keen to try gentle parenting.

Charlie shares her experiences of being a single mum to son Levi and her hopes to home school him so that he can have the freedom to be himself.

Charlie said: “I’ve loved being part of the BaBi Wakefield exhibition with my son Levi. It’s nice to be able to capture this special moment in our lives and share it with others. I hope Levi will enjoy looking back at this snapshot of our life when he’s older.”

The museum service plans to follow the four families over the coming years, visiting them each year to document how their children are growing up. This will help them to collect and share the experiences of having a baby in Wakefield District in the 2020s.

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Communities, Poverty & Health, said: “This is a wonderful exhibition that shines a light on four families in our district and their experience of having a baby in 2024. It is also helping to support health research to benefit other families, as well as adding to historical records.”

The museum service is eager to hear from other families who are interested in sharing their own stories. If you’d like to be involved, please contact Leah Mellors, Museums Development Manager at lmellors@wakefield.gov.uk.

View the Born and Bred in Wakefield exhibition.


BaBi Interactive Infographic Launched 

 May 2024 


The BaBi Network has created an interactive infographic to give a brief snapshot of the study and the impact is it having. Working with Nifty Fox Creative, we hope that this resource will be a valuable asset to our sites and partners to showcase this unique study. 


BaBi Network Research Fellow awarded PHD

February 2024

We are delighted to share that our BaBi Network Research Fellow, Hollie Henderson, has been awarded her PHD. Using BaBi Network and BiB4All data, Hollie’s PHD looked at ‘How can practitioners, service providers and commissioners be best supported to make use of research cohort data as a local health intelligence tool for child and early life health?’.


Increasingly, data that is routinely collected by health and other public services is being linked together for research, particularly around children and families. However, there is limited evidence of research using this data being used to inform policymaking around child and early life health. Hollie’s PHD explored how local early-years decision-makers could be engaged and supported to make use of linked routinely collected data in their decision-making. 

Hollie found that although local early-years decision-makers perceive value in research using linked routine data, there is scope to significantly improve these data sources. Key information that is important to local decision-makers was found to be missing from routine data sources. 

Future research priorities are to understand why this information is missing and to work with local public services and research teams who link data to address these issues. This would allow for better informed decision-making around child and early life health. The BaBi Network is ideal for exploring this area further. 

To view Dr Henderson’s PHD summary please click here: 


Three new BaBi sites given greenlight

February 2024

The BaBi Network is delighted to announce that three additional NHS Trusts across Yorkshire & Humber and the East Midlands have become the newest research sites in our initiative to understand and improve family health and wellbeing.


We extend a warm welcome to Hull, Nottingham, and Harrogate, which have joined our existing BaBi sites, taking our total to 12 sites across England. 


"Connecting this type of data is hugely valuable for helping us understand what influences keep families healthy and happy," said Sally Bridges, BaBi Network Director. "We're thrilled to have Hull, Nottingham, and Harrogate onboard so more communities can enjoy the benefits this research brings."

The BaBi Network has been joined today by its first coastal site as BaBi York and BaBi Scarborough were given greenlight to begin recruiting. 

Research in coastal regions was outlined as a priority by the Chief Medical Officer earlier in the year, so we are delighted that BaBi Scarborough has joined the BaBi family. 

Both BaBi York and BaBi Scarborough are led by Principal Investigator and Consultant Pediatrician at York and Scarborough NHS Trust, Dr Dominic Smith. For more information please visit: https://www.babinetwork.co.uk/babi-sites/babi-scarborough and https://www.babinetwork.co.uk/babi-sites/babi-york 

Yorkshire BaBi Sites Present at Regional Conference 

6th November 2023 

BaBi sites across Yorkshire & Humber were invited to present at the NIHR CRN Yorkshire & Humber SERVE Vision 2027 Conference. The conference aimed to inform the CRN Strategy to Enhance Research Value for Everyone (SERVE).

BaBi Leeds, Doncaster and Wakefield were joined by BiB4All (the local name for BaBi Bradford) in presenting future plans for their local BaBi cohorts.


Tameside Joins the BaBi Family 

30th October 2023 

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care Foundation Trust has the greenlight to begin recruiting to BaBi Tameside today!

Our first site in Greater Manchester, led by Principal Investigator and the Director for Research and Development at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust; Margaret Cooper. Margaret is hoping  BaBi Tameside will enable the recognising and tackling of health inequalities, equality and diversity in their population.

For more information on BaBi Tameside, please visit https://www.babinetwork.co.uk/babi-sites/babi-tameside

New BaBi Site Greenlight

18th September 2023 

South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust has joined the BaBi Network today. Led by its Principal Investigator and Senior Research Midwife; Seren Wilson, BaBi Warwick will begin offering all pregnant women in South Warwickshire a chance to join the BaBi study.

Seren explains ‘We are so excited to begin recruiting to BaBi Warwick. It’s the first step in understanding the health needs of our local communities to improve care for all in Warwick. We are also thrilled to be a part of the BaBi Network, and eventually contribute to the meta -cohort, working together to answer big questions of national significance as well as locally’.

For more information on BaBi Warwick, please visit:  https://www.babinetwork.co.uk/babi-sites/babi-warwick


BaBi Doncaster's Midwife Highly Commended at this years Research Awards 

24th July 2023 

BaBi Doncaster's Midwife Highly Commended at this years National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) in Yorkshire and Humber Research Awards, under the category of Research Nurse/Midwife of the Year

Kerry Dooley, a Research Midwife at the Trust and lead clinician for the Born and Bred in Doncaster (BaBi-D) study, supported by the Principal Investigator and Director of Midwifery, Lois Mellor, was given high commendation after being shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Research midwife Kerry Dooley receiving award

This recognition applauds Kerry's outstanding contributions and unwavering commitment to the field of midwifery, with a particular emphasis on improving the care of women and their families through research.

Speaking about her nomination, Kerry said: “It was a tremendous honour to be nominated for this award and to be shortlisted in this category. 

"I think it’s so important to have specialty nurses and midwives who raise the profile of research and increase research activity and engagement and I hope I can help to inspire others to do so. I want to thank the Trust for its continued support and encouragement.”

Dr Sam Debbage, Director of Education and Research at DBTH, said: "Kerry's tireless efforts and dedicated approach have significantly contributed to our Research department's success. Through her exceptional work, we have gained invaluable insights into the unique needs of expectant mothers and families in Doncaster, all of which will ultimately drive positive changes in maternity care."

Kerry's commendation highlights the critical role played by research midwives in advancing knowledge and improving healthcare outcomes for local communities and we are incredibly proud to have her representing the Trust in the work she has achieved.

BaBi Network Celebrates it's 1st Birthday

7th July 2023 

On the 7th July 2023 we celebrated the 1st birthday of the BaBi Network 

We invited our open sites up to Bradford for a Learning and Celebration Event. Each site's BaBi Midwife attended, and they brought with them a clinical colleague who not only is a top recruiter and supporter of BaBi, but who offers the study to the most under served groups of women. 

We had a fantastic day meeting face to face for the first time! We celebrated our successes, shared ideas and tips, troubleshooted common issues and created so many opportunities for collaboration and shared learning. We hope to share with you some outputs from the day soon!

Babi 1st Birthday

BaBi Network Celebrates Red for Research 2023

16th June 2023 

Across the country, all the BaBi sites celebrated Red for Research day! 

#Red4Research brings together all those participating, supporting, and undertaking research. On the front line and behind the scenes incredible research teams collectively work on health and social care research. 

The BaBi Network is a fantastic example of collaboration to make research happen that makes a difference. On Red for Research Day we thank everyone who contributes to this amazing study, but would like to say a special thank you to all the non clinical staff who support us. We couldn't do it with out you, colleagues such as Vanessa from BaBi Wakefield, who tells us a bit about herself for Red for Research Day...

Hello my name is Vanessa Kemp and I am part of the BaBi Wakefield Team

I joined Mid Yorkshire Teaching Trust in November 2021 as Clinical Trials Assistant after 30 years as a civil servant with no experience of research

I was appointed to work with the BaBi Wakefield, so it is safe to say that my experience, knowledge and role have grown alongside BaBi.

I feel privileged to have been involved with the set-up process and the initial discussions and decision making of how best to make BaBi a success in Wakefield. I arrange, organise and minute the Steering Group meetings and I have found attending these meetings has given me a real insight into the bigger picture and purpose/overall goals of the project. I am involved with several other communication and delivery team meetings and always try to represent and make valuable contributions where possible.  

The study has been open since 28th April 2022 and continues to recruit successfully. A large part of my job role is to capture all the recruits and help monitor and maintain our targets. I really enjoy every time we hit another milestone: our first recruit, our first baby, 100th recruit and so on. On the 21st of December we hit 500 recruits into the study which is a monumental achievement as this is double the first-year target and more recently we have hit our 1000th participant target which is a fantastic result for a study still in its infancy.

Midwives are integral to BaBi recruitment and the success of BaBi Wakefield and as a team we want to recognise and celebrate their hard work. One of the most rewarding parts of my role is tracking the Midwives training and individual recruitment figures. I maintain records for newly trained midwives, Midwives 10th recruit and I also collate the figures for the Monthly highest Midwife recruiter target. To celebrate their achievements all these targets subsequently come with a certificate and gift reward, and it is my pleasure to make sure the individuals are duly rewarded.

Overall, I love working on such a positive project and feel proud of being part of making this important research a real success.


BaBi East London at the Festival of Communities 

10th June 2023

BaBi East London attends the Festival of Communities.... 

The Women’s Health Research Unit at Queen Mary University took part in the Festival of Communities which aims to bring together various communities in the Tower Hamlets area of East London.


They had a stand on the 10th June 23 and showcased the BaBi East London Study . It was an invaluable opportunity to interact, engage and talk to the local families about the study as well as receive valuable insight from the community around us.


They held interactive activities which included personalised Henna as well an Origami pop up which the children enjoyed making ,with the Love heart design being a huge hit!


BaBi Network Reaches 20,000 Participants 

8th June 2023

The ‘Born and Bred In’ study, known as BaBi, has reached 20,000 participants across its five recruiting sites in England.

BiB4All, the original name for the study in Bradford, is part of the world-leading Born in Bradford research programme, started recruiting in 2019 and was joined by Leeds, Wakefield, Doncaster and East London in 2022, to create the BaBi Network.

The BaBi Network is an important research initiative which aims to find out what influences the health and wellbeing of families. It is a network of local birth cohort studies that work together to link existing data across health, education, and social care to create a picture of families’ lives over time. Over time, this will help to shape local services, creating a healthier environment for families to enjoy.

This means that with consent from pregnant women, routine data recorded by the services they access themselves or for their babies such as healthcare and education are joined together anonymously.  This helps to create a bigger picture of local people’s health, for research purposes. By looking for patterns in the data, the research can give valuable insights into what works well and what can be made better, helping us to improve our services for the future.

Whilst each BaBi site focuses primarily on local outcomes for local people, establishing a wider BaBi network provides opportunities for important national research and learning. The BaBi Network has five recruiting sites at present, with more sites in set up, and is welcoming expressions of interest from across England.

Listening to parents, families and practitioners to drive the way in which local services are improved is really important, and BaBi provides the opportunity to do just that. This starts with setting the local priorities for each research site, and continues as the research progresses.

Parents, families and practitioners in each area are invited to join with researchers and medical staff in a workshop to discuss local health priorities and understand what matters most in their area. This then informs the local research priorities the study is used for.

Sally Bridges, BaBi Network Director, at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation NHS Trust said: 

‘We are delighted to have hit this major milestone in recruitment within just 11 months of the creation of the BaBi Network. We would firstly like to thank all the women who have agreed to be part of our study. The BaBi Network is only possible thanks to the generosity of women and babies who joined the BaBi family and the enthusiasm and dedication of the midwives who invited them.  We are grateful to all the women, babies, health professionals and researchers who make BaBi happen.

We are looking forward to welcoming thousands more families to the network this year. The more women who join, the better our understanding will be of what influences the health of families in their own local area. This can then drive the way in which local services are improved and make a big difference to people’s lives for the better’.


Baby Louis and mum Mary, the first BaBi Wakefield baby 

The BaBi Network Celebrates International Day of the Midwife 5th May 2023 


This year's theme for International Day of the Midwife is 'Together again: from evidence to reality'. To mark this day we would like to introduce you to some of our BaBi Research Midwives, who are the driving force behind BaBi, running the study day to day, and gathering the evidence to make real changes in their local areas. 

Thank you for all your hard work! We couldn't do it without you!   

Dawn is the Senior Research Midwife and the first Research Midwife at Mid Yorks. Dawn is the BaBi Wakefield Lead Midwife. ‘I am proud to be part of the BaBi Network and love sharing this journey with so many incredible people, we all have the aim of improving lives locally for everyone including those underserved populations who often have the worst outcomes’.

Karen is the BaBi Leeds Research Midwife who first got involved in the study when recruiting women to BaBi in her antenatal clinic before joining the Leeds team as a Research Midwife. ‘It is wonderful to be part of the ever growing BaBi Network. We all help each other out with ideas and tips, and it is wonderful to learn how things work in different areas of the country’.

Kerry is the BaBi Doncaster Research Midwife and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospital's (DBTH) first ever Research Midwife. Kerry is passionate about increasing the research portfolio within the hospital and leads BaBi Doncaster to help improve the care women and their families receive locally and nationally through research.

Osi is the BaBi East London Midwife; having worked as a research midwife for 5 years she was looking for something innovative and exciting to work on and that was BaBi. ‘I am convinced that the results will have a positive effect on public health. I also really enjoy this role as it encourages me to seek new paths to imbed research into standard care’.

Kate is the Central Coordinating Lead Midwife for BaBi, supporting sites to set up and with the day to day running of the study. ‘It’s a joy every day to work with such an amazing network of Research Midwives, all so passionate about improving health outcomes for their local areas. The idea sharing and support in the BaBi Network is second to none and Im proud to be part of it’.

The BaBi Network Celebrates Mother's Day 2023


Baby Arthur and Mum Rachel from Bradford 

Across the BaBi Network we celebrated all our BaBi mums and mums to be on Mother's Day! 

In Bradford, we asked a BiB4All mum why she agreed to participate in BiB4All (BaBi Bradford):


My name is Rachel and I signed up for BiB4All when I was pregnant with Arthur in June 2022. I wanted to sign up as I think research is so important to make sure we understand how to make sure our children are as healthy and happy as possible. Contributing to the BiB4All study means our data might help to make discoveries that help children and families all over the world!

 

Arthur was born in November 2022 and I love being a mum, even though it isn’t always easy! I love watching him grow and develop and introducing him to all the new things in the world. Our favourite thing to do is to go to classes and meet other parents and babies- Arthur really enjoys meeting other babies, and it is lovely to see him starting to interact with them.

In Leeds the BaBi Leeds Team invited some participants into the Maternity Unit to find out more about what motivated them to take part in BaBi Leeds , and thank them for their participation:


We met with two of our fabulous BaBi Leeds mums today who are both excited about being involved in shaping the future for families in Leeds. Our first mum has been enjoying the last few weeks with her new baby, whilst our second mum is expecting the arrival of her baby in the next few weeks. Both were happy to receive some Mothers’ Day chocolates from the BaBi Leeds research team. We wish them both, and all of our BaBi Leeds mums, a very happy Mothers’ Day.

In Wakefield, the Principal Investigator of BaBi Wakefield  Judith Holliday wished all the BaBi Wakefield mums and mums to be a 'Happy Mother's Day' 


Thank you to everyone who is contributing to Born and Bred in Wakefield. This work will help us to build a picture of families and services and to understand how we can make things better for people. Mother's Day gives us the opportunity to thank those mothers who have signed up and those who work to deliver this important study. Happy Mother's Day! (Judith Holliday, Head of Research, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and BaBi Wakefield PI)

Born and Bred in Doncaster (BaBi-D) research programme signs up 500 participants in just six months

16th December 2022

Born and Bred in Doncaster (BaBi-D) has just recruited its 500th participant!


The Research Team at DBTH expected to recruit approximately 10 per cent of the expectant mothers to the study within the first year. This target was set against 2021 birth rate figures and was equivalent to 308 participants. However, the number of participants consenting to take part in the study have exceeded this target, reaching 500 recruits in the first six months of the project. 

Speaking about the success of the project, Lois Mellor, Principal Investigator for the BaBi-D study and Director of Midwifery at DBTH, said: “The success of BaBi-D is only possible thanks to the generosity of women and babies who joined the BaBi family and the enthusiasm and dedication of the midwives who invited them. We are grateful to all the women, babies, health professionals and researchers who make BaBi-D happen”.

 

Sam Debbage, Director of Education and Research at DBTH, said: “We want to ensure this research study reflects the requirements and concerns of the local area. Therefore, we are keen to hear from our community and welcome your thoughts on any research topics you would like the programme to explore. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team to give your suggestions.”


The BaBi-D project is a partnership with health and social care providers and wider partners in the area; Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), Doncaster Council, Primary Care Doncaster, and supported by the research departments at The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.

BaBi Leeds at Baby Week Leeds

15th November 2022

BaBi Leeds attended an amazing event at Baby Week Leeds, celebrating its vast research portfolio. They concentrated mainly on BaBi Leeds as they had access to both potential links for future projects and also pregnant people! Fortunately we had enough staff present to really make the most of the networking opportunity! A photograph opportunity was organised of course!



BaBi Network and BiB4All at Baby Week Bradford

17th November 2022

The BaBi Network Central Team and BiB4All had a stall at the Baby Week Bradford event ‘Bradford Babies TALKING: Speech, Language and Communication in the Early Years’. It was a fantastic opportunity to listen to inspiring speakers and talk to professionals working with pregnant women and their families, babies and children from all over Bradford. Hollie Henderson spoke about her PHD work around how linked data can be used as a local intelligence tool for child and maternal health, and the BaBi and BiB4All team were there to speak about BiB4All and the wider BaBi Network.

You can find out more about Baby Week Bradford here: https://www.betterstartbradford.org.uk/baby-week-bradford-2022/


BaBi Wakefield Nominated for a Clinical Excellence Award 

10th November 2022

The BaBi Wakefield Team was recently shortlisted in the Outstanding Service Improvement category at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust Celebrating Excellence Awards. These awards aim to recognise excellence in a number of areas and there were 107 nominees this year.

The team was nominated to recognise the collaboration and hard work in getting BaBi Wakefield up and running, and to highlight the impact BaBi is already having on increasing research awareness and engagement for staff and women.

Well done BaBi Wakefield!

East London Joins the BaBi Family! 

6th October 2022 

We are delighted to announce that East London has joined the BaBi Network. We are looking forward to working with our first site outside of Yorkshire! 


The Yorkshire Launch 

6th July 2022 

On the 6th July 2022 new siblings joined the world leading research programme in Yorkshire and created the 'BaBi Network'

Doncaster, Leeds and Wakefield came together with Bradford to begin the BaBi (Born and Bred In) research initiative which aims to find out what influences the health and wellbeing of families. Over time, this will help to shape local services, creating a healthier environment for families to enjoy.

 

BaBi is network of local birth cohort studies that work together to link existing data across health, education, and social care to create a picture of families’ lives over time.

 

This means that, with consent from pregnant women, routine data recorded by the services they access themselves or for their babies is joined together anonymously.  This helps to create a bigger picture of local people’s health, for research purposes. By looking for patterns in the data, the research can give valuable insights into what works well and what can be made better, helping us to improve our services for the future.

 

Routine recorded data includes lots of different things, such as, blood pressure measurements from when a woman sees her midwife, or the details of baby’s height and weight recorded by health visitors.

 

The concept began in Bradford, where it is part of the world-leading Born in Bradford research programme. Now, in an exciting venture to help more local people in different locations, three new areas in Yorkshire have joined the study as local research sites. Doncaster, Leeds and Wakefield are all now part of the BaBi family.  

 

Whilst each BaBi site focuses primarily on local outcomes for local people, establishing a wider BaBi network provides opportunities for important national research and learning.

 

Listening to parents, families and practitioners to drive the way in which local services are improved is really important, and BaBi provides the opportunity to do just that. This starts with setting the local priorities for each research site, and continues as the research progresses.

 

Parents, families and practitioners in each area are invited to join with researchers and medical staff in a workshop to discuss local health priorities and understand what matters most in their area. This then informs the local research priorities the study is used for.


The BaBi network is only possible thanks to the generosity of women and babies who joined the BaBi family and the enthusiasm and dedication of the midwives who invited them.  We are grateful to all the women, babies, health professionals and researchers who make BaBi happen.

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Yorkshire and Humber logo
born in bradford logo

Three new BaBi sites given greenlight

February 2024