Healthy Moms for Healthy Babies: Implementation of an advanced care program in an electronic format to support the future mother's mental health.


Mental health disorders, most commonly depression or anxiety affect up to 20% of women during the perinatal period. Despite their negative impact on birth outcomes and infant development, maternal perinatal distress is inadequately assessed and treated in the course of routine antenatal care. To fill this gap we have developed HealthyMoms, a bilingual internet delivered program with accurate and easily accessible information and strategies to optimize mental health during the perinatal period. The overall objectives of this study are to conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the acceptability and feasibility of delivering this e-health program in the context of antenatal care. We are evaluating whether women exposed to the e-health program demonstrate better outcomes on measures of maternal mental health, health behaviours and infant development compared to women receiving usual care. The use of e-health technologies to promote mental health during the perinatal period is in its infancy and existing efforts have been developed outside of Canada.
HealthyMoms fills an important and distinct gap in current healthcare resources targeting the prevention of maternal psychological difficulties during the antenatal period. At the end of this phase we will have a bilingual, evidence-based e-health program aimed at reducing the risk of maternal depression and promoting healthy behaviours in women during the antenatal period which can be easily delivered alongside routine antenatal care.