Background: More than one in seven new mums and up to one in ten new dads experience postnatal depression each year in Australia. Reports have shown higher incidence and prevalence of depression and perinatal depression in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Research shows a key risk factor for depressive disorders following childbirth is the absence of personal support and information.
Aim: The development of an evidence-based resource aimed at supporting new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents. The resource aims to provide practical support to new parents and builds the health literacy capacity of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on the topic of parenting
Methods: Yarning about parenthood and your bub ‘booklet’ was adapted from an evidence-based parenting program known as: What Were We Thinking! (WWWT). The essential concepts of the WWWT program were refined and through community consultation and partnership the ‘Yarning about parenthood and your bub’ booklet was developed. Artwork by an Aboriginal artist was commissioned to include in the design of the booklet.
A draft version was produced and consultation was carried out within the Victoria Aboriginal community. Key stakeholder consultation in partnership with Monash University included Koori Maternity Services teams at VACCHO, Northern Health, Epping, Western Health, Sunshine Hospital, Barwon Health, Geelong as well as Mercy Hospital.
Community consultation included focus groups with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, first time parents, Aboriginal health workers and hospital liaison officers and health professionals.
Results: The 25 page A5 booklet was developed and over 3,000 have been ordered and distributed between January and April 2016. A wide-ranging dissemination program has also been implemented to ensure the resource is accessible to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Conclusion: Jean Hailes for Women’s Health has produced a beautifully designed evidence-based resource for first time Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander parents. It promotes respectful and supportive relationships as well as targeting some of the key factors that can lead to post (peri) natal anxiety. The booklet is available for download as a PDF resource or available for order hard copy.