Field lab mama’s garden and daddy’s place Improving the social network of (future) parents and the learning environment for students in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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Research Centre Innovations in Care, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Department of Healthcare Studies, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Centre of Expertise Social Innovation, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Hanneke W Harmsen van der Vliet - Torij   

Research Centre Innovations in Care, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A26
The health, behavior, social context, and living environment of future parents play an important role in the development of their unborn child and have great impact on the health and development of their children after birth. Women who live in more vulnerable circumstances have a higher risk of perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality and their children more often face learning and behavioral disorders, diabetes, and cardiac diseases later in life. Specifically for these families, it is essential to improve their social environment and to facilitate interventions that contribute to prevention.

Aim of Field Lab:
We developed a prototype, a field lab, that aims 1) to equip future professionals in communities for this job and 2) to support (future) parents in improving their social network and to support them during (the transition to) parenthood.

Methods and interventions:
Field Lab Mama’s Garden and Daddy’s Place is a community in Rotterdam, in which (future) parents and families, together with local government, educational institutions, research institutions, and social and health care professionals contribute to prevention, to improving the social network and the living environment of (future) parents, and to equipping (future) professionals. The Field Lab does this by organizing (live and online) meetings with parents in which they focus on needs and talents of (future) parents and families. Above that, the Field Lab is an interactive learning environment for students from different levels of education (including midwifery and maternity care) with room for innovation and experiments. The main focus lays on empowerment and self-management of (future) parents and future professionals. Students, as future professionals, work as trainee, are involved via a project, or perform research as part of a minor program. Students can also become a buddy for mothers who could use some extra support in familiarizing themselves within the neighborhood and the city. Students from various study programs work together and learn to collaborate and to be part of the community. Experiences of students, professionals, and parents are evaluated via interviews.

During the presentation we present methods, interventions, and their impact on 1) the social network of (future) parents, 2) equipping future professionals, and 3) transformation of healthcare. We will outline working elements: what does work and what does not work. Also, challenges regarding sustaining and upscaling will be discussed.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
There is no funding for this research.
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