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Mindful Moms

An app and online platform to raise awareness of mental health issues that can develop or worsen during pregnancy, with resources to help.

Photo of Stephen Holtz

Written by

In no more than 3 sentences, please tell us who your idea is designed for and how it reimagines the new life experience.

While discussion about mental illness has largely grown in recent years, discussion of mental health during pregnancy has been left in prenatal care clinics. In order to support both parents during the pregnancy experience, Mindful Moms will provide information, resources, and access to other parents who have experienced or are currently experiencing pregnancy-related mental health issues. This will raise awareness of mental health issues while providing parents with a support system they need.

As previously stated, awareness and treatment of mental illnesses during pregnancy has not advanced with the rest of mental health treatments over the past few years, and this platform aims to solve this. By giving people around the world the ability to access information to educate them on these issues, the stigma that surrounds mental health during pregnancy can fade away while couples and individuals get access to the help they need.

Before the specifics of the platform are discussed, here is a little bit of background knowledge that inspired the creation of specific features:

  1. Studies have found that around 20% of women in the US and UK develop mental health issues during pregnancy, which usually range from postnatal depression to psychosis.
  2. Studies have also found that one in eight first-time fathers suffers depression while their partner is pregnant, showing that the mental illness during the pregnancy experience can take its toll on entire families.
  3. Seven out of ten women who have to or choose to stop antidepressants during the beginning of pregnancy will become unwell again.
  4. Women with prenatal (or antenatal) depression are very likely to develop postpartum depression if their mental health issues are left untreated.

With this information, Mindful Moms will be able to raise awareness and help treat mental illnesses during pregnancy by:

  1. Displaying articles currently featured online that focus on the effect of pregnancy on mental health, as well as different statistics on the topic.
  2. An FAQ section for both parents on the mental health issues and illnesses that can pop up during pregnancy.
  3. A list of national support services new parents can use, as well as location-based functionality that recommends prenatal care practices in your immediate area.
  4. A dedicated space for parents to share their past or current experiences, as well as any specific questions they have. This will take the form of a forum with modern UI, allowing parents to feel supported and hear different experiences from others.
  5. Users have the option to ask real prenatal care physicians about any technical questions they may have during pregnancy, as well as the opportunity to ask mental health experts and counselors any technical questions concerning their mental health. We will incentivize participation from these health care professionals by recommending their services if users feel like their question was appropriately answered. 

At what stage is your idea?

  • Back of the Napkin Sketch: I came up with this concept and would love support in making it come to life!

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I could ask mothers and fathers, both current and expecting, about their knowledge of mental illnesses during pregnancy and record their statements. I would ask about their experiences with any types of mental illness during pregnancy, as well as whether they knew about the mental health issues pregnancy can cause to emerge. Finally, I can ask these parents if they think an online platform to raise awareness of mental health issues during pregnancy would have been or would be helpful to them.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Help to grow the idea, suggest additional platform function.

Tell us about your work experience:

No work experience in the listed fields, but currently studying product innovation, entrepreneurship, and mechanical engineering in college.

This idea emerged from...

  • An Individual

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • no

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • no

Are you a current employee of UCB Pharmaceuticals or Sutter Health?

  • no


Join the conversation:

Photo of Nguyễn Nam

Hi Stephen,
What a great idea. My only concern is that when the parents passed the pregnancy period, do they still have the motivation to contribute to Mindful Moms? If not, what are the benefits that could bound them to stay? I just worry that there will be a lot of people come and try to sell the related products/services!

Photo of Stephen Holtz

Thanks for your comment!

I have thought about the selling of products/services issue, and I have already planned for a strick anti-spam system to be put up. This should flag sales pitches in private messages and on the forum page.

In regard to parents past the pregnancy period, I actually had not thought that far ahead. It's definitely something to keep in mind, and I will continue to think of ways to prevent it from happening.

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