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New App to Help Expectant Mums Reduce Stress

With three children under 6, a household to run and a website to edit, my mind generally runs at a hundred miles an hour.

And while I’m exhausted by the time I go to bed, I find it incredibly difficult to switch off.

I recently discovered Smiling Mind, a free mindfulness app which basically offers guided mini meditations.

Each one is only several minutes long so for me it’s been a great way to help slow my mind down of a night, without making me anxious about time wasting!

Smiling Mind has now teamed up with beyondblue to create Mind the Bump, a world-first app which supports stress reduction and wellbeing during and after pregnancy.

The free app is clinically-based and the first mental health-related pregnancy App in the world to cover both the ante and postnatal period while featuring Mindfulness Meditation.

Users listen to Mindfulness Meditations that directly address the different stages of the pregnancy and the postnatal period to reflect changing mental and emotional needs, from first stages of pregnancy through to when the child is 24 months old.

The App is designed to support not only new and expectant mothers, but new fathers and partners too.

At least one in seven women will experience postnatal depression and up to one in 10 will experience it during pregnancy.

According to beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman anxiety conditions are thought to be at least as common as depression during this time.

“Even for those who don’t experience mental health problems, pregnancy can often lead to feelings of uncertainty and fear.”

But with Mind the Bump, new and expectant parents need only a few minutes to listen to the guided meditations on their smartphones to start easing stress, clearing the mind and reducing the risk of developing a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety.

The app has been designed by mental health professionals and is based on extensive research showing the benefits of ‘mindfulness’, which is the process of not worrying about the past or future and instead paying attention to the present moment with purpose and without judgement.

The meditations include titles such as Acceptance and Managing Change and run for between three and 10 minutes each.

I only wish this app was available when I was pregnant!

To download the free Mind the Bump App visit the App Store or Google Play, or visit www.mindthebump.org.au

New and expecting parents who need urgent support should contact the Post and Antenatal Depression Association’s helpline on 1300 726 306 between 10 and 5pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively, they can call beyondblue’s Support Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1300 22 4636.

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