PDF printable version of Baby Coming Project to Give Children Best Start in Life (PDF 38 KB)
17 October 2018
A new touchscreen application tailored to support First Nations mothers and fathers to give their babies the best start in life will be trialled across Australia.
Our Government is proud to provide $250,000 to Murdoch University’s Baby Coming – You Ready? project, aiming to close the gap in mothers’ social and emotional care and improve birth and development opportunities for their children.
Baby Coming—You Ready? breaks new ground by providing mental health screening in a format that’s relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and fathers.
Through open engagement and self-assessment, it aims to give control of her pregnancy care back to the mother. It also will increase trust and understanding between clinicians and their patients and guide future policies for the health of mothers and babies.
The two-year, national study is a collaboration between the university and Aboriginal communities, with expressions of interest from Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Baby Coming—You Ready? was developed as a collaboration between members of the Aboriginal community, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal researchers and clinicians.
Doctors and other health workers will ask pregnant women and where possible, their partners, to use culturally appropriate iPad touchscreen images that have been developed specifically to portray emotions, cultural and personal security, and personal and life challenges.
Depression and anxiety can damage health outcomes for mothers and their babies. This is especially likely when there are other psychosocial factors impacting on the mother or the father.
Studies show that up to one in 10 women experience depression during pregnancy and one in seven in the year after giving birth. Anxiety is even more common.
Clinical guidelines are in place for screening and caring for women with perinatal depression.
However, research by Murdoch University in 2015-16 showed that indicators used to identify peri- and post-natal depression were not culturally appropriate for Aboriginal women and failed to identify those at risk.
The total value of the Baby Coming—You Ready? project is over $1.2 million including support from the Western Australian Government, the Ian Potter Foundation, the Health Department of WA, the West Australian Primary Health Alliance, Lotterywest and Murdoch University.
For more information see the Murdoch University website.
Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449
Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.