The Mummy Buddy Program: A trial study to improve maternal mental health

Project Plan


I’m Brian Law, a PhD student at UWA, studying Human Sciences. I got into this area of research because I want to give back to society and help those in need.

In my previous research, I interviewed first time mums about the things that stressed them during the postpartum period and what could be done to help reduce those issues that stressed them.

I quickly realised that having social support in the postpartum period was essential, as many of the mums told me that having good support made a lot of difference to their mental health.

However, they also cautioned that family/friends could be overbearing, so it was not only important that they had support, but that they had access to exactly the right kind of support.

The Mummy Buddy Program

The name “Mummy Buddy” was actually coined by one of the mums we interviewed—she suggested that new mums might benefit from being paired up with a designated “Mummy Buddy”, an experienced mum who has already faced, and come through, the challenges that the new mum is likely to face.

The Mummy Buddy Program consists of three main components:

  1. An antenatal information session
  2. Peer support from a Mummy Buddy (from 3rd trimester to 6-months postpartum)
  3. A follow up call from Ngala Parenting Line


The antenatal session covers topics such as embracing the ups and downs of parenting, self-care, partner’s role, etc. During the session, first time expectant mums also meet with their mummy buddies and complete some activities together.

After the session, mummy buddies will provide peer support to first time expectant mothers. Between 4-6 weeks after the baby is born, Ngala ParentingLine will provide a follow up call.

The focus of this project is to test the program and gather feedback on how it can be improved.

The Mummy Buddy program has been designed by, and for, new mums,  and I truly believe that the Mummy Buddy Program is a program that can help women who are/will be facing challenges in the postpartum period and reduce rates of postnatal depression and anxiety.

Your Support

We need first time expectant mums to help us test the program and provide us with feedback on the various components of the program.


Participants are required to:

  • Attend a 3-hour antenatal information session (All subsequent contact between participants and their mummy buddy will be decided between both parties)
  • Complete five surveys
  • Take part in optional interviews throughout the study

Participants will receive:

  • Access to a free antenatal session
  • Support from a trained mummy buddy
  • A follow up call from Ngala ParentingLine, helping them with medical and health issues they might encounter in the postpartum period.

Thank you for your interest in this project.

Would you like to get involved? Together, we have the potential to help many first time expectant mums manage their stress better in the postpartum period, and in doing so, reduce the rates of postnatal depression and anxiety in the WA community.

Project Members

Brian Law
Program Coordinator

PhD Candidate

Ben Jackson
Chief Investigator

Senior Lecturer

James Dimmock
Chief Investigator

Senior Lecturer

Kym Guelfi
Chief Investigator

Senior Lecturer

Thinh Nguyen
Chief Investigator

Senior Lecturer

Lisa Gibson
Chief Investigator

Research Fellow