New mums, mums-to-be and their families can now tap into a new website, MumSpace, that brings together free resources to support women’s mental health and emotional wellbeing pre and post-baby.
The site – www.MumSpace.com.au – has information about common experiences with parenthood, tools for coping strategies and treatment programs to assist those experiencing anxiety or depression.
One of its big aims is to provide early intervention tools to help ward off or overcome prenatal and/or postnatal depression.
MumSpace has been developed by the Perinatal Depression e-Consortium (PDeC), which is led by the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) in partnership with Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA), Jean Hailes Research Unit at Monash University, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and QUT.
The QUT contribution has involved the university’s ePsychology research group, which is led by Professor David Kavanagh and part of QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation.
Over the past decade, this group has developed more than 10 websites and apps to provide people with easily-accessed practical tools to self-manage some of life’s challenges.
Two of these are featured on MumSpace – the MindMum app and the Baby Steps free online program.
The MindMum app aims to help with life’s “ups and downs”, and provides strategies to help women lift their mood, strengthen their relationships and feel supported and confident in becoming a mum.
Available on Apple and Android, it is full of ideas to help women feel their best when they are pregnant or have just had a baby. These include:
– holding on to the good things
– feeling better when you are sad or worried
– tracking your mood
– calming yourself with meditation and relaxation
– making action plans
– planning enjoyable moments with your baby, your partner, friends, or by yourself
The Baby Steps free online program, also developed by QUT, also features on the new MumSpace site. It aims to help new dads as well as new mums adjust to the big changes a baby brings.
Professor Jeannette Milgrom, who is the director of the Parent Infant Research Institute that leads MumSpace, said the site was suitable for mums-to-be, new mums, their partners and as a resource that healthcare professionals can refer their clients to.
“We urge new parents feeling at all anxious and needing some extra support to visit www.MumSpace.com.au,” she said.
“As a secure online tool, MumSpace is accessible to all Australians and can be accessed 24/7 from home or when out and about.”