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Thought Starter: Ideas that encourage self-discovery/assessment for moms and their partners suffering from postpartum depression

How might we help moms and their partners recognize the symptoms of postpartum depression and help them find support appropriate for them?

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

This idea is designed for new moms suffering from postpartum depression and their partners. It reimagines the new life experience by engaging new moms in a process of self-discovery to help them recognise where they may need support and what sort of services are available to them.

'Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder affecting approximately 600,000 new moms in the United States every year. It's a condition that can appear days or months after a baby's birth and it can last for months if left untreated. Despite so many women experiencing PPD, few seek help because they do not recognize the symptoms, of feel ashamed. Postpartum Progress reports that only 15 percent of women with PPD actually get professional treatment, so it's critical more people have access to information about PPD.'

Source: A Plus

Furthermore, 'every day in the United States, more than 1,000 men become depressed after the arrival of a new baby'.

Source: Newsweek

What ideas are out there that could be a source of inspiration for helping new moms and their partners be better informed in recognizing their symptoms of postpartum depression and in identifying appropriate support?

  • Mindnosis: 'a self-assessment kit for mental health to allow users to work out the type of help they need and where they might get it from. The creator of Mindnosis envisions the kits being offered through a social enterprise driven by people with experience of mental health, who can hold workshops to develop the tools offered in the kits and deliver peer support.'

Source: Metro

How might we help expectant and new moms and their partners identify their needs so that they can create their own unique support package?

  • Fall prevention guide: a self-help, step-by-step guide that helps the elderly to identify risks within their own living environment. Then, the guide gives advice on how to adapt or change their environment to prevent falls.

How might we display information and guidance to make life easier for under-resourced and vulnerable new and expectant moms?

Check out this idea from our fall prevention challenge

  • Postcard Prevention Pack: A pass-it-on mail out scheme that encourages sharing of a fall self-assessment tool and prevention information amongst older people

'The Postcard Prevention Pack is a postcard sized foldout booklet containing a simple fall self assessment tool and pragmatic guidance on fall prevention. At the back of each pack is a tear off postcard on which an older person writes the address of a friend and a short message. The postcard is sent to Postcard Prevention HQ and triggers the sending of a new postcard pack to the friend's address. The original postcard and message is copied on to the front of the new postcard pack to give a personal touch.'

This may be a bit intrusive for postpartum depression, but the principle of sharing information in a personalized-way may be worth investigating. 

How might friends and family support new and expectant moms and their partners suffering from postpartum depression through the sharing of information and guidance?

Check out this idea from our fall prevention challenge

  • Health check stations in pharmacies: Promoting awareness and screening for falls risk in older adults at community pharmacies, leveraging health check stations where available.

This may be a bit intrusive for postpartum depression, but how might we help expectant and new moms and their partners identify their needs and the support available in a way that fits into their everyday life in a place where information about support may be available? Could this be applied to new and expectant mothers affected by a chronic disease  (e.g. lupus, diabetes or Crohn's disease)?

Check out this idea from our fall prevention challenge

I am unable to develop an idea for this challenge. I welcome anyone in the OpenIDEO community to use this as a source of inspiration to develop ideas of their own.

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?

Early stage prototypes could be developed based on this thought starter and tested in small group sessions. Also, a prototype could be created and shared with the OpenIDEO community for them to test locally as well. I would reach out to my network to identify five moms who suffered from postpartum depression who are comfortable meeting for an anonymous, one-on-one informal chat. Based on feedback from these sessions, I would refine the prototype for future testing.

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

I welcome anyone in the OpenIDEO community to develop an idea using this as a source of inspiration.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a Community Manager for this challenge.

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 Malik

this is an interesting idea.
What would be the indicator of success with this idea? When dealing with emotions, it can be difficult to say wether or not results are reliable and repeatable.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Malik,

Good questions. I wrote this post to hope it would inspire some ideas. Do you have any ideas on how you could measure success? Would it have to be largely qualitative?

I hope I get to see some of your ideas in this challenge because it would be very interesting to see ideas that incorporate indicators of success.

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