Born and Bred in (BaBi) Network – New Website Launch


by Kayley Ciesla

We are really excited to announce the launch of the new Born and Bred in (BaBi) Network website:

The BaBi Network is an evolving multisite cohort study including interested groups of clinicians and researchers from maternity units across England, and the Born in Bradford (BiB) research programme. 

Building on the success of Born in Bradford’s BiB4All, a longitudinal e-cohort cohort study, we have established a network of local cohorts of pregnant women and their babies that are focused on linking together routine data to investigate health and development in each local population. In just three years, between 2019 and 2022, NHS midwives in Bradford consented 12,038 Mum’s and their babies to the study.

We have been working for the last year to bring this network together. Our current BaBi sites include; BiB4All (BaBi Bradford)BaBi LeedsBaBi WakefieldBaBi Doncaster and BaBi East London. The diagram below details some of our sites and the structure of the network.

The BaBi network Coordinating Centre, help each local BaBi site to set up in their area and become a part of the BaBi family. The plan for each local site is to use their locally collected data to build a clearer picture of children’s and families lives over time and to help inform local policy and shape services.

As well as each site using their data to help build a picture of child health and development locally, we also plan as the network of cohorts to work together to answer questions of common interest creating a meta-cohort of data. This project offers the opportunity to learn more about the power of routine data and its limitations in its current form. 

“We’re delighted to have developed the network through the NIHR ARC in Yorkshire and Humber. Each BaBi site will embed the study into routine maternity practice, training hundreds of midwives in research in the process. Building this level of research capacity within the system is a fantastic achievement and means thousands of women will have the opportunity to be part of research that influences local services. We’re excited to see what each site focuses on with their data; we are supporting sites to do research prioritisation exercises with their professional and parent communities to make sure that the data is used to answer the questions of most need locally.” – Sally Bridges – BaBi Network Programme Director 

I feel honoured to be part of the BaBi network and truly believe that it has the potential to transform treatment and care pathways to support women, families and children. This work provides an exciting opportunity to build a rich understanding of the many factors that influence child growth and development and has the potential to continue to create a picture of individuals across the whole life course.  By combining data that is routinely collected across multiple sectors, we will be able to conduct research that can identify areas of greatest need in order to prioritise local and national policies and services. In turn, the network data can then be used to explore whether these new policies and services result in a demonstrable impact.  Importantly, this whole process is collaborative and values the opinions and priorities of everyone involved, including women and families, health care professionals, academics and decision makers.” – Maria Bryant- BaBi Network Academic Director

Please take time to browse our new website and find out more about the network and our future plans. If you are interested in becoming a part of the BaBi family please get in touch with us here to find out more.  

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.

The BaBi network is part of the Born in Bradford family and is supported by the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration Yorkshire and Humber (NIHR ARC YH).

Related Blogs

Securing the future of child health and development: evaluating what works in the early years using a novel interventional family cohort study.

Early childhood provides the building blocks for a child's future, but there isn't enough research evidence about how to best support their parents during this time. In this blog, Kate Mooney describes how the BSB Innovation hub are planning to evaluate a series of early years interventions, providing evidence on how to give every child the best possible start in life."

The perinatal mental health ‘blind spot’: recommendations to improve routine data 

Data from health records could help us understand the scale of the mental health needs of women during the perinatal period at the local level and identify groups who might be being missed. Publicly available health data is a free and accessible tool for exploring the prevalence of perinatal mental health difficulties. However, we found substantive limitations with all sources of this data, making it impossible to produce accurate estimates of perinatal mental health need and explore inequalities in assessment and access to support.

My day at BiBFest; a day of great food, great music, and great science!

Evan Seaman, Sports Journalism Student at Leeds Trinity University and Social Media Manager at Ilkley Town AFC, details his experiences covering Day 1 of BiBFest 2023, Born In Bradford's science festival. Day 1 (for Bradford's young people) brought something entirely new to the fold, as all activities, talks, stalls, and entertainment were led by young people themselves, giving young people a platform to express what’s most important to them, and share their thoughts on how we can all work together to support health and wellbeing across the district.