Investigation Phase

The Problem

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The M.U.M.I team considered the problems created by the situation and mapped them out in a concept map. In response, a number of different ideas for a product were discussed and drawings of each were submitted for review and consideration by both project team members. Each concept drawing was reviewed and discounted as it did not meet the majority of the mothers' needs.After receiving the feedback from a number of mothers in the survey it was decided that the only viable option was the apron style product as this was the only idea that could keep the 'baby essentials' constantly within arms reach or directly on the mother.

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What are the Essentials- survey and personal conversations

Specific investigations took place with mothers of babies and young children. The M.U.M.I. team needed to know the answers to the above problem issues. They formulated a simple questionaire to investigate this.

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We surveyed 11 mothers and our findings were
  • The 'essentials' included dummies, nursing pads, wet wipes, a cloth to wipe baby possit, and a sweet treat for the mother ie a barley sugar etc
  • All but one concluded that having these things "handy" meant either; on them or within an arms length
  • All of the mothers said it had to be washable and if on them or the baby it had to be made from natural materials.
  • One mother suggested an apron.
  • Some of the mothers suggested that they did not want another 'thing' to lug around like a nappy bag or caddy " because it will always be in the other room when you want it"

What do mothers already do?

  • Mothers currently walk around with a cloth nappy over their shoulder to protect themselves from regurgitations
  • Mothers currently pin dummies to their clothes
  • Mothers currently shove bulky nappies and nursing pads in their pockets
  • Or alternatively they struggle on regardless

What keeps mother & Baby safe?

Natural products are best for babies skin http://www.thefabricofourlives.com/for-the-children/Protect-babys-sensitive-skin/

The mothers of newborns are still recovering from the physical effects of childbirth and the release of hormones such as relaxin http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2011710. This means they are more prone to injury especially caused by bending and lifting and so the aim of this project was not to place any extra burden on the mother.

What would promote ideal hygiene?

Machine washable cloth
Plastic devices that can be washed with soap and water

What gets lost?

The dummy was mentioned by 8 out of the 11 mothers as something they frequently lost. Of those who pinned the dummy to their shirt most complained that they always forgot to take the pin out of their clothing which became a risk with machine washing

Investigating other available products

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22/7/08. Visited a baby shop in Gympie called: 'Baby Days', Cnr Nash & Monkland Sts, Gympie
23/7/08 visited another baby shop called: 'Noosa Bubs' Venture Drive, Noosaville.

Visited multiple mother and baby websites including: Nursing Mothers Association

We reviewed a number of baby publications.

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Enquiries were made in regards to any product on the market that may be similar in function to what we had in mind. The result was that there were products including many shapes and forms of the apron ( shawls etc) none of which provided custom made storage for the identified 'essential items'. This indicated there was a gap in the market for the product that the M.U.M.I team were considering.

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