A new app developed by the University of South Australia (UniSA) and parent support group Village Foundation, is set to help women recognise the symptoms of maternal anxiety and depression.
The new YourTime app is designed to respond to priorities in perinatal mental health by providing a digitalised tool that enables women to self-monitor and track their mood during pregnancy and early mothering, helping them to recognise early signs of deteriorating mental wellbeing, or conversely acknowledge they’re doing well.
“It’s natural for women to worry about the impending arrival of a new baby – they’re bringing new like into the world, and they’re unsure about the changes that this little baby will bring,” says lead researcher and midwife, UniSA’s Associate Professor Lois McKellar, adding that this new app will provide immediate support for women who may be struggling with low mood, or beginning to experience anxiety or depression.
“It’s also very common for new mothers to experience what is often called the ‘baby blues’ – being a little teary or anxious in the immediate days and weeks after the baby’s birth.
“But if these feelings start to cause concern or stop a new or expectant mum from functioning normally, she may be experiencing perinatal anxiety of depression.
“The YourTime app will help a woman keep track of how she’s feeling during pregnancy and motherhood, enabling her quickly to recognise any changes in mood, behaviours or feelings.”
The YourTime app is based on scientific evidence and has been designed with input from mothers to ensure it is appealing and appropriate.
Using a contemporary, easy-to-use design, it offers a de-medicalised approach to wellbeing and encourages women to think more about their mental health.
Associate Professor McKellar says the YourTime app hopes to prevent women and mothers from slipping between the gaps, especially when their focus is on supporting their new baby.
“This app will ensure women feel connected, supported and informed at any time of the day or night – even at a midnight feeding – which makes it an extremely appealing tool to support mental health and wellbeing.”
A prototype version of the YourTime will soon be available for trial.
For more information about the app, visit: yourtimeinc.com/