Positively Pregnant app

In July 2020, the Prime Minister signalled more support for maternity mental health https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12351533. Jacinda Ardern pointed to the recent additional funding, announced by the Associate Minister of Health, which “includes $16 million in community maternity work, which will allow us to do things like a maternal mental health pilot and support programmes.”

One of the most challenging transitions in a person’s life is becoming a parent – this involves physical, psychological, social, economic and practical changes, which may become stressors. Researchers at the University of Waikato have created a framework of techniques based on positive psychology to manage these stressors. Lead researcher, Dr Carrie Barber, is a consultant psychologist, a Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Developmental Psychology and has 15 years’ experience in supporting new families during pregnancy and the transition to parenting. With her students, Dr Barber developed an app, available in the iOS and Android app stores, to translate this framework and trial it with New Zealand women.

This app provides a flexible range of tools and strategies to help parents think, plan and find the resources and strategies that work for them and their families. This is based on the CCCC model:

  • Challenges: helping parents identify their challenges
  • Choices: make choices that promote healthy development for themselves and their children
  • Control: focus on aspects of their lives they can control, accept and manage those aspects they cannot
  • Coping: developing personalised menu of adaptive coping strategies

WaikatoLink is currently developing an updated version of the app with improved visuals and are helping to deliver and promote it to the wider community. We’re looking for support from corporates, health groups, mental health organisations, primary care groups, midwives associations, district health boards, NGOs and any other interested groups, please contact Anna Henning ahenning@waikatolink.co.nz or Shlok Kant shlok@waikatolink.co.nz for more details.

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