Pregnancy app to be piloted in Waikato

The University of Waikato School of Psychology research team behind the ‘Positively Pregnant’ app, from left: Sukrita Bhalay, Courtney White, Carrie Cornsweet Barber and Juliana Brown. Supplied Photo.

A team from the University of Waikato's School of Psychology have develop an app designed to provide information and support for pregnant women

The ‘Positively Pregnant' app includes tools for self-assessment, taking inventory of the mother's strengths, stressors, support, strategies for coping, health behaviours, and much more.

For each of these, the mum-to-be receives feedback with links to New Zealand resources and information, while other modules are guides for talking or thinking about plans for things like parenting, the birth, finances, and family traditions.

The app also features activities for relaxation, affirmation, journaling, and just taking a break, as well as information on topics related to the social and emotional side of pregnancy.

Headed by Dr Carrie Cornsweet Barber, the team have been working on the app for the past three years and starting this month Positively Pregnant will be piloted in the Waikato.

Carrie says the goal of the study is to see how women use the app plus get feedback and suggestions from them, as well as see if there are changes in their stress, distress, and health behaviours while using the app.

“One of the advantages of an app over something like a book is that the app can be tailored to the particular needs of the mother – there can easily be different versions, individualised for the user.

“In this pilot, we are especially interested in including women under 20 and Māori and migrant women, in order to get their input and ideas about tailoring the app to their interests,” she says.

Any woman who is at least 16 years old, in the first half of pregnancy and who uses a smart phone, either Android or iPhone, is eligible to participate.

The team is looking to recruit up to 60 women in February and March, and will follow them through to a month after the baby is born.

For more information or to volunteer for the pilot contact research coordinator Juliana Brown by calling, 027 870 1039, emailing positivelypregnant@waikato.ac.nz or visit: psychology.waikato.ac.nz/positivelypregnant



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