Pregnancy is a significant life stage linked to events that can affect mental health and well-being. The objective of the project is to carry out a citizen science initiative to investigate the mental health status and well-being of pregnant women (PW) by including them as part of the research to understand in depth what women feel, care about, and need during pregnancy.
Project Type: Kick Starter
Theme: Cities for Life, Health
Mentor: Christiane Grill
MENtal Health and wellbeing Improvement during pregNAncy
Pregnancy is a significant life stage linked to events that can affect mental health and wellbeing.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), worldwide about 10% of pregnant women experience mental health problems, and this is higher in developing countries i.e. 15.6% during pregnancy, with anxiety and depression being the most frequent mental disorders.
In this regard, the health and wellbeing of mothers during pregnancy is a critical public health issue as this period can pave the way for long-term health outcomes for parents and their children.
The objective of the MENINA project is to carry out a citizen science initiative to investigate the mental health status and well-being of pregnant women by including them as part of the research to understand in depth what women feel, care about, and need during pregnancy.
The team is formed by gynaecologists, midwives, psychologists, psychiatrists, research support technicians and citizen scientists (pregnant women).
The project is coordinated by Fisabio Foundation and developed in the Elda Healthcare Department from the 15th of June until the 15th of December 2023.
The citizen science initiative used qualitative and quantitative research techniques to jointly produce new research-based knowledge that generates new solutions for improving the mental health and well-being of pregnant women. This has included: 9 profound interviews with pregnant women, a focus group with healthcare professionals, a PHQ questionnaire to detect depression symptoms circulated to pregnant women during scheduled visits at week 12 of pregnancy and answered by 150 participants and a co-creation session with all stakeholders (pregnant women, healthcare professionals…).
We are currently working on the challenges identified to start the ideation phase with the MENINA team to jointly generate new solutions to overcome the main pain points detected.
The final workshop event of MENINA was organized on the 14th of December from 17.30h. to 20.00h. in Elda city (Alicante, Spain) and was open to the community and citizens. When we presented the project results, as well as our team sharing their experience of participating in a citizen science initiative, we also heard from experts on perinatal mental health and created a space for dialogue to raise awareness in the community on the women’s health, mental well being and pregnancy.
The support provided by IMPETUS has been essential for the project to start working on these citizen needs, and although the accelerator has now ended, the MENINA project will continue.
We envision that the work we have done will help with the development of the After-Project Plan, using a similar co-creation process to generate, develop and scale new solutions. It will include research with different population samples; and research considering other issues such as miscarriage, pregnancy complications, twin pregnancy, fertility processes, etc.