Window to the Womb partners with BlueSkeye AI to launch Avocado App to support Perinatal Mental Wellbeing in the UK.

(image: avocadoapp.co.uk)

Window to the Womb, the UK leading provider of private Baby Scan Services for pregnant women, has partnered with BlueSkeye AI to launch Avocado.

Avocado is a brand new pregnancy App which uses cutting-edge AI technology to support effective mood management. Window to the Womb is rolling out the use of the Avocado App across all 44 clinics nationwide enabling women who attend for early and later pregnancy ultrasound services to access their scan images and scan reports digitally. In their drive to support women in early stages and throughout pregnancy, Window to the Womb has worked with BlueSkeye AI to provide a range of additional services within the App including the ability to log a pregnancy diary, access mindfulness or exercise material and order personalised baby scan photos.

(image: avocadoapp.co.uk)

Managing Emotional Wellbeing and Moods

Avocado provides women with the ability to understand and manage their mood and emotional wellbeing throughout pregnancy. Recognising that pregnancy and preparing to have a baby is such a big life event it is well understood that pregnancy can be an emotive time and a trigger for mental ill health. Pregnancy hormones can be a likely contributor to changes in mood, as well as other triggers including fatigue and sleep deprivation. 

The Maternity Mental Health Alliance, a UK charity that is focussed on addressing the needs of women during pregnancy reported that 1 in 10 women experience perinatal mental problems and more needs to be done to support women during pregnancy. The lived experiences of women, as documented and made available to listen to by MIND, who have experienced perinatal mental illness indicate there is more to be done to help raise awareness in society about the prevalence of anxiety and depression (and other mental illness) during pregnancy. 

Avocado enables women to track their mood alongside other key pregnancy metrics whilst managing their private scan appointments and much more. The app directs women to useful resources including the NHS’ Every Mind Matters mental health and wellbeing resource.

At Window to the Womb, we are privileged to meet and provide services to thousands of women at different stages of their pregnancies. We are committed to ensuring that women are well supported as they access our services and we are keen to ensure that women are empowered to self-manage their mental and emotional wellbeing during this time” said Managing Director of Window to the Womb, Tony Harrison.

BlueSkeye AI is a fast growth tech company based in Nottingham creating AI you can trust, and is on a mission to improve wellbeing and patient health outcomes by delivering accessible and objective services and products that help patients understand and manage their mental health and wellbeing. The ethical AI company’s technology is underpinned by Behaviomedics, pioneered by BlueSkeye AI’s CEO, Professor Michel Valstar.

“Our core technology automatically analyses and synthesises the face and voice to monitor mood and other medically relevant expressed behaviour. We are delighted to work in partnership with Window to the Womb to apply our technology to help perinatal women understand and manage their mental wellbeing” said Professor Valstar, CEO of BlueSkeye.

The App is available to download on Apple and Android devices. A premium version is now available for subscription and includes additional features that promote wellbeing during pregnancy.

Please visit www.avocadoapp.co.uk for more information.

This article is unsponsored- I am sharing it because i believe greatly in the mission of the founders to support perinatal mental health.

What you need to know about Post Partum Depression (PPD) by Kara Reynolds

(image: Lisa at Pexels)

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a severe medical condition that many mothers experience. It’s a condition that occurs to a mother after she gives birth to a newborn. You might be feeling hopeless as you try to be a mother — maybe your birthing process didn’t go as planned, or perhaps you’re having trouble breastfeeding. 

The symptoms of PPD can last a long time. They’re severe as well, and if left untreated, you could develop something more serious that may pose a danger to you or your child. It’s essential to learn about postpartum depression to know if this is happening to you or even your loved one. 

Know that if you have PPD, it is not your fault. It’s a medical condition that requires treatment if you want to get better. Here’s what you need to know about PPD so you can keep yourself, your loved one and the baby healthy and safe. 

Defining Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a medical condition associated with extreme feelings of worry, sadness, tiredness and hopelessness that women experience after giving birth. These feelings can last a long time, making it hard for new moms to take care of themselves and the baby. 

This condition can occur any time after childbirth. Even though it usually starts within a few weeks after having a baby, it can begin later, too, even up to a year after birth. It often doesn’t go away on its own and needs professional treatment to get better. 

Although it is common for people to feel sad or empty, it’s not common for it to last as long as it does with PPD. It’s also not an expected part of becoming a mother. PPD affects your behaviour and physical health and gets in the way of day-to-day life.

It’s Not the Same as Baby Blues

More women experience baby blues after childbirth, but this is not the same as postpartum depression. Baby blues have similar symptoms of PPD, but those feelings don’t last nearly as long and usually go away naturally after a few days or a week. PPD symptoms last much longer and the emotions are more intense.

Baby blues are more like mood swings. New mothers have to grapple with being a mum for the first time and everything that goes with it. Of course, they’re going to feel anxious, stressed and upset at times. The sudden hormonal changes can do a lot to a woman’s mind and body, but the hormones eventually level out and women can handle the feelings independently. 

It’s Fairly Common

You are not alone if you suffer from postpartum depression. In fact, about one in eight women will experience PPD in their lifetime. Postpartum depression estimates can vary by state, age and race, and can be as high as one in five women in some parts of the world. 

Additionally, PPD is often higher for first-time mothers. However, it can happen to mothers who have had many kids, and it can reoccur in each pregnancy. Rates may be even higher than estimates because not all women will report or seek help if they think they have postpartum depression. PPD is more common in women who have had a history of depression, too.

It Can Affect Your Child

Postpartum depression can make it more difficult for you to care for yourself and also your baby. If your PPD goes on without treatment: 

  • You might end up skipping your postpartum checkups for you and your baby, which can lead to other health and developmental problems.
  • It may be more challenging to bond with your child, which can affect breastfeeding.
  • Your newborn may not get the medical attention they need.

Getting the proper treatment and recognising that you or a loved one may be suffering from PPD can better the chances of the new baby thriving. 

It Comes with Many Signs and Symptoms

Mothers will often feel overwhelmed when they bring their new babies home. There are regular hormonal changes that occur, and being a mother poses a new lifestyle all in itself. However, there are signs and symptoms that may be leading to PPD. If these occur for more than two weeks, then you need to seek medical attention: 

  • Feeling hopeless, sad and overwhelmed
  • Crying more than normal
  • Having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Feeling like a bad mother or worthless
  • Changing sleep patterns
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and life in general
  • Not having any interest in your newborn
  • Eating too little or too much
  • Having physical pains, like headaches and stomach aches, that won’t go away

New mothers or even mums who have had other children may feel ashamed or embarrassed if they feel depressed (although its OK to feel this way) and may not seek the help they need. You don’t have to suffer, though — reach out to a doctor if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms.

It Can Be Prevented

While PPD is treatable, it can also be somewhat prevented. If you have had depression in the past, you can get counselling before giving birth to discuss your feelings about having a child. 

Two kinds of counselling can work best to prevent PPD for women at an increased risk. The first is cognitive-behavioural therapy, which helps you manage negative thoughts by changing your thoughts and actions. The second is interpersonal therapy, which helps you identify and deal with problems in your life. 

It’s Treatable

There is hope for those who have PPD. The earlier you seek medical help, though, the better off you and your baby will be. Common types of treatment for postpartum depression include therapy, medicines prescribed by your doctor and, in severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy. 

At home, you should rest as much as possible. Additionally, talk to your partner, join a support group and make time to visit with other people.

Take It One Day at a Time

With time and support, you can make it through this season of Post partum depression. You are not alone.

This article was written by writer Kara Reynolds, editor in chief at Momish.