Women go through a lot of changes, whether physically, mentally or emotionally when they are pregnant. Some have it easy while others experience a difficult pregnancy.
An app that promises to make a real difference for pregnant women, their partners and their families was created, according to a recent report.
Researchers at the University of Waikato, New Zealand developed the app called, Positively Pregnant. The app is considered to be a first for the country.
It brings together useful local information, activities, ideas to start conversations with whanau, and ways for pregnant women to assess how they are coping.
Moreover, it also aids in finding strategies to deal with any stress or anxiety they may be facing. It is interactive, individualised and aims to help prevent antenatal and postnatal distress.
Studies show increasing evidence that stress, anxiety, and depression during pregnancy affect the physical and mental health of both mother and baby for many months and years to come.
Postnatal depression has been called the most common complication of pregnancy.
The estimated rate of depression overall are about 13%, while higher rates come from the economically and socially disadvantaged women.
A pilot study on the application was already completed by the researchers.
88 women were asked to use the Positively Pregnant app for the pilot. Their feedback was then taken and used by the researchers to modify the app in preparation for its launch to the public.
A small number of women who used the app were struggling with depression or anxiety. Using the Positively Pregnant had shown a noticeable decrease in their levels of distress.
Other participants found the app useful for information. It helped them create a solid foundation for transitioning into parenthood.
While having a baby is awe-inspiring, the process can also be a roller-coaster of emotions, decisions and big life challenges.
Hopefully, this app will be able to help the women enjoy the ride when they can, and hang on with confidence during the scary bits.
The women who have participated in the pilot of the app found that it really made a difference.
One woman shared how her pregnancy has been very difficult as she had to juggle full time study, two young children, managing a household and the normal everyday hormones that come with the pregnancy.
She shared that she found that reading some of the articles about mental health in the app to be helpful and reassuring.
Another participant found the app to be a great resource, especially for first time mothers.
Another woman observed that the app is a great idea and is perfect for people who are anxious about their pregnancy.