Ngangk Yira Institute for Change

Baby Coming You Ready?


Perinatal mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can result in detrimental impacts on pregnancy and postnatal periods. After recognising that current techniques for monitoring Aboriginal women’s social and emotional wellbeing in pregnancy were not culturally sensitive, ‘Baby Coming You Ready?’ was developed. This innovative technology based screening tool has been designed by and with Aboriginal community members to assist young parents during pregnancy and their child's first year.

Areas of research

Aboriginal perinatal mental health, Aboriginal maternal care

Technology utilised

iPads in consultation settings, a dedicated website and e-learning modules

Lead researchers

Jayne Kotz (Project Lead)

What was the need for this project?

Monitoring mental health is an important part of maternal health care and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is usually used by health professionals to screen for symptoms of depression and anxiety in new mothers. Jayne Kotz, a nurse practitioner, midwife, child health nurse and researcher at Ngangk Yira identified the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale as not culturally suitable for Aboriginal women.

She has worked closely with Aboriginal communities across Western Australia to develop a technology based tool which uses Aboriginal images and voice overs to guide an Aboriginal woman and health practitioner through a culturally safe process during a maternal health care visit. The process creates an individual story of social and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy and the early postnatal period using a strengths based and empowering approach which supports the woman’s decision making based on what she identifies as her key priorities and needs.


How the project was completed

Jayne undertook a comprehensive consultation with Kimberley communities and the health care community and identified many gaps throughout the maternal health care journey for women living in the region. She then worked with members of Kimberley communities to co-design an alternative mental health assessment tool better suited to the needs of Aboriginal mothers.

This research informed the development of ‘‘Baby Coming You Ready?’, a new generation mental health and well-being screening process that gives control back to Aboriginal parents during their birthing journey.


Results and achievements for this project

The ‘Baby Coming You Ready?’ rubric has been developed, digitised and designed by Aboriginal women, men, and researchers. It draws on usual practice in Aboriginal communities, including storytelling and relationship building.

The Baby Coming You Ready? digital platform - where mothers record their answers to screening questions - enables women to own their story, tell it their way and retain the record so they don’t have to tell it again and again to various practitioners throughout their pregnancy journey. Importantly, it allows parents to identify what their strengths are and what they need support with in a culturally relevant and sensitive way.

Learn more about Baby Coming You Ready?


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