World Maternal Mental Health Day 2021

Since 2016, World Maternal Mental Health Day (WMMH) is yearly commemorated on the first Wednesday of May. Today we recognize the importance of maternal health and how this influences women’s (and family’s) mental health worldwide. An example of Health[e]Foundation’s commitment to improve mother’s physical and mental health, is LUCY, our mobile maternal health service launched as an app in Suriname.

Today, 5 May, is WMMH day and Health[e]Foundation likes to recognize this important day together with many women around the globe. Pregnancy and maternity can drastically change women’s lives, it makes them more vulnerable and, consequently, can make them prone for mental illnesses, especially when poverty, misinformation and possible complications are present. These risk factors can have detrimental effects on the physical and psychological health of mothers, which can even extend to the health of the fetus. According to the WMMHD website, approximately 1 in 5 women experience perinatal and mood anxiety disorder (PMAD), and over 70% try to hide their symptoms for many reasons such as shame or taboo. Therefore, targeting mental health can support and empower women and their children, enhancing a mother’s personal capabilities, motivation and resilience during challenging obstacles that they are facing, and optimizing the child’s health as a result.

LUCY is our mobile maternal health application designed to provide women with useful information about their pregnancy and the first year of their baby’s life. LUCY targets mental health and aims to prevent (postnatal) depression among mothers by offering messages of support and activities to approach and minimize these feelings. The soon-to-be-released version of LUCY includes a mood tracker, which allows women to fill in their mood on a daily basis and discuss results with their health provider. This will help women to be more confident and informed about their mental status as well as prevent the development of mental illness.

A community health worker who introduces LUCY to mothers in Suriname says:

I think the LUCY App is amazing because at the time I was working at the maternity ward and the pregnant women went crazy about it, they never knew that such an App that helps you keep track of everything existed… I was really happy I could teach them this.


On World Maternal Mental Health Day, Health[e]Foundation likes to emphasize the importance of maternal mental health and is proud that LUCY contributes to better mental health for women.