15 Aug Support on Speed Dial: Meet Call a Midwife
It’s always inspiring when we discover a cool new business like Call a Midwife, which parents can use on-demand for any pregnancy, postpartum, or new parent concerns. Here in the United States, we send moms home with new babies and they are just on their own, even if they profess to having no idea what they are doing! But in parts of Europe and in the U.K. (where our founder Lauren is from), new parents receive far better postpartum care. They might have weekly or even daily checks from midwives to see how things are going with the baby and emotionally for the mom and also the partner. Imagine how amazing it would be to have that help during this magical but also fragile and challenging time!
That’s the idea behind Call a Midwife. Founded in Berlin by Sabine Kroh, a midwife of 28 years, the service puts professional support within reach of all moms with an internet connection. Parents can schedule video calls or chats with an experienced midwife, who are able to help with the broad range of concerns and questions that a new or expecting mom might have. We asked Sabine more on how her business came to be and what a mom might expect from a Call a Midwife session.
We love this! When did you launch?
I started my company in March 2016, the website was launched in June 2016.
Tell us a little about how midwives work in Germany.
The German midwifery system is exceptional in the world. We can either work in hospitals as employees or self-employed with complete independence which I opted for. Our work is being covered by the German health insurance. After delivery midwives in Germany do regular home visits for 12 weeks or for a longer period – until the woman stops breastfeeding. We do take care of pregnant women in the time of pregnancy and afterwards up to the first year of the baby.
With German women well supported, why is there a need for Call a Midwife?
I looked into birth statistics. For example each year roughly about five million babies are born in the European Union, but only a very small amount of the parents are supported by something similar to German midwives. Call a Midwife was invented to share the wisdom of the famous German midwifery. We offer expert advice during pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond – anytime and anywhere via video chat, telephone, or text message. Our service is multilingual, most of our partner midwives speak several languages.
Where did the idea come from?
I am working as a midwife in Berlin, a city which attracts people from all over the world. As the city became more and more international the women I was looking after started having international backgrounds as well. Often they recommended me to friends who just moved to Berlin and needed a midwife. I learned a lot about the different health systems and at one point I had the idea to offer my expertise not only in Germany but also abroad. Luckily a lot of my colleagues liked the idea and supported me. It is through their support that I was able to push the idea further and aim for a world-wide reach.
So you’re looking to reach parents globally?
As our service is offered online, we have the ability to serve any customer, no matter where she or he lives in the world. Currently our midwives provide help in German, English, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, French, Turkish, Spanish, and Polish. Our first target group however are expats from Germany, who are familiar with our midwifery system and miss it in their new home countries. Our aim is to reach all countries that do not have a profound midwifery system. In order to do this we are building up a world-wide network of midwives and doctors. Right now we are relaunching our website, adding more services to it.
What can a parent ask about, can you walk us through a call?
We provide advice on all topics which have to do with pregnancy, preparing for birth, after care, breastfeeding, and anything else that matters during the first year of a baby’s life. Expectant mothers and couples can contact us through our website and then set up a time for a video chat. In these calls we provide a safe and personal environment in which the parents can voice any concerns or queries they have.
What’s been the response from moms?
We are receiving a lot of recognition from parents, moms and also media. People are getting more and more aware of what we offer and how we can help them. It seems that a lot of people out there are happy with what we do.