Doctor Nienke Stoop: ' By choosing the team version of the Coobly Platform, we can offer our professionals an online classroom as well'
Not every entrepreneur serves one target group. Foundation De Geboortenis (birth foundation) works together with a large number of (birth) care professionals and offers support to people with a desire to have children, pregnant women and (expectant) parents. This requires a professional platform with extensive options. We spoke to board member and physician Nienke Stoop about the ambitions of the foundation and the choice for the Coobly Platform.
Who are you and what is your background?
The board of the Geboortenis foundation currently consists of myself (Nienke Stoop), Minna Sangi and Christine Derksen. I’m a doctor, Minna is a counselor for people with the desire to have children and a pregnancy yoga teacher, and Christine is a Doula. All three of us are mothers, specialized in providing support for pregnancy and childbirth and people with the desire to have children or parents with newborns. Together with Integral psychologist Hester Appelman, who is no longer a member of the board, we founded Foundation De Geboortenis in 2012.
What exactly does Foundation De Geboortenis do?
We offer information, training courses and guidance for couples with a desire to have children, pregnant women and parents. We are working towards the realization of a physical location where everything comes together under one roof. In addition to care for (expectant) parents, we also offer support and further training for care professionals who, like us, have a holistic approach to birth care.
Who is your target group and what do they encounter?
De Geboortenis serves several target groups. For example, we support people who can’t have children, or have been trying for a very long time, and who are struggling with the reason why. We also support pregnant women who want to be positively inspired by future parenthood. They are curious about how they can prepare for their birth in their own way during their pregnancy. The latter is very important to us: everyone is welcome, just as they are. There is no ideal delivery or perfect way. We want to help people discover what their way is. So that we help them to find and use their strength and self-confidence, so that they experience more control during their pregnancy and delivery. And at the same time, we teach them how to take their fears seriously as a counsellor. When the birth takes place undisturbed in a safe environment that feels good to everyone, we see the best outcome. This way, you also have more self-confidence as a parent afterwards.
And of course, we are there just as much for (expectant) fathers as for mothers. In the Netherlands, fathers are usually very involved in pregnancy and childbirth, this has an enormous amount of added value as well. The role of the father means a lot. But sometimes it can be difficult for fathers to know how they can contribute, and we offer guidance in that.
In part, our support is based on the importance of adhesion. Close families offer children a safe place to grow up in. This bonding process occurs during pregnancy, delivery and in the period thereafter. When expectant parents have more trust, bonding will become easier and the child will feel safer. And children who feel safe have a better start.
You have a scoop: you chose the team/business package of the Coobly platform. What does this mean exactly?
We have a network of 70 obstetric healthcare professionals who have joined the platform of De Geboortenis, our membership. By choosing the business version of the Coobly Platform, we can offer our professionals an online classroom as well. That's also what we told them: we’re developing an academy about holistic birth care, where you can design your own classroom and give training. It’s unburdening on both technical and practical level, as it enables them to focus on the content and on what they’re good at. Thus, sharing special knowledge, with colleagues or (expectant) parents.
Besides, we can separately use our own online environment with online programs. For us a very great solution!
Which (digital) products are you planning to sell via the Coobly Platform?
Partly, we will offer our accessible information program 'Vitaal Zwanger'. We've developed this program together with a midwife practice in Doesburg. It's intended for all pregnant women in the Netherlands, with inspiring videos, useful tips, practical lists and much more. Again from that holistic vision, that body and mind approach. So not the standard information for pregnant women, but really from a broader perspective.
We've also organized several symposia and we plan to place video material in the online academy, so that interested parties can also watch lectures. We also want to offer e-books, for example about birth positions and the birth plan.
What was the main decisive factor in choosing the Coobly platform?
We’ve had a website for some time, but the problems in that system increased. It caused a lot of hassle and also costs a lot of time. We thought, can't we work with an organization that completely relieves us in that department? In a way that you know for sure that you have the right plug-ins, the right updates and the right support if something gets stuck.
The academy part is also very important to us. We investigated in advance whether we could build our academy ourselves, and requested our own network to check the possibilities. We concluded that there’s not a lot of experience in this area in the Netherlands. Certainly not for multiple users at the same time. The Coobly Platform had a very unique offer in this regard.
So it was a matter of unburdening, but we also liked the vision of the Coobly Platform and the way it’s conveyed. It’s similar to how we work with healthcare professionals and pregnant women. We are individuals, with autonomy and direction, and why should we invest time and energy in something that we are not good at and not interested in? This way, we can help others with the same issue.
What are your dreams / ambitions for the upcoming year?
Next year our hopes are that the ‘Vitaal Zwanger’ portal will be accessible. That not only private individuals are interested in this, but several municipalities as well. We hope that we can provide an offer that sells with the first platform members, and that our visibility will increase considerably. Our findability must be higher for (wish) parents and pregnant women. And of course, another important goal is the realization of the first holistic, ecological Birthplace in Zutphen. A project that’s very high on our priority list.
Visit the platform of De Geboortenis at: Geboortenis.nl