July 7, 2023

If you go down to the woods today: BaBi Wakefield research study celebrates with Teddy Bears’ picnic

A world-leading research study which aims to find out what influences the health and wellbeing of families across Wakefield District and North Kirklees has celebrated its first year.

Families, babies and midwives came together yesterday to mark the Born and Bred in Wakefield (BaBi Wakefield) milestone with a teddy bears’ picnic in Thornes Park, Wakefield.

The event included stalls with information and advice for families, including those signed up to the study. Attendees were also offered a free family portrait, taken by a local photographer, and the little ones who came to the event were entertained by a bubble extravaganza.

The BaBi Wakefield study links together routine data from its participants, such as blood pressure measurements during ante-natal appointments, or the details of baby’s height and weight recorded by health visitors, to create a wider picture of the factors affecting local health and wellbeing. Over time, this will help to shape local services and create a healthier environment for families to enjoy.

The study opened in 2022 and, so far, more than 1,000 people have signed up to take part.

Amongst the study participants is Charlie who attended the first birthday party and said: “I’d heard about Born in Bradford and when I saw BaBi Wakefield on the news I decided to sign up. The main reason I joined BaBi Wakefield is the environmental aspect. I believe studies like this can make a real difference.”

Judith Holliday, Head of Research at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, said: “A year ago, we could only imagine how many families would join us and we now have over 1,200 members of the BaBi family. Every member is helping to make a real difference to the future health and wellbeing of our local families.

“We want to say a special thanks to our BaBi mums. Because of them we have over 400 BaBi Wakefield babies. They might be small, but they are playing a huge role in creating a better future for our children.”

The BaBi concept began in Bradford, where it is part of the world-leading Born in Bradford research programme. The findings of the research have led to a number of local and international changes and improvements.

Anyone living in the Wakefield district or north Kirklees and receiving maternity care at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust can sign up to the study.

More information about Babi Wakefield is available on the Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust’s website.

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