Mead Johnson Nutrition brings postpartum depression to light through powerful content

Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) won the gold award in the category of Best Use of Content at Marketing magazine's PR Awards 2020 in recognition of its impressive social impact programme to combat postpartum depression.

Launched in 2019, this territory-wide movement, which aims to stop the silent struggle of postpartum depression and support the emotional wellbeing of mothers with newborn babies, also took home a bronze award in the Best PR Campaign – Corporate Social Responsibility category.

Turning postpartum depression from taboo to open discussion

According to the Department of Health, postpartum depression affects around 10% of postpartum women in Hong Kong, and deep-seated misconceptions about mental illnesses can prevent them from seeking help. With a clear mission to turn the topic from a taboo into an open discussion, as well as a deep understanding of a mothers’ mindset, MJN developed a comprehensive programme with powerful online and offline content that help facilitate early identification and prevention of postpartum depression.

Supported by its extensive professional healthcare network, the company launched an online education portal with useful advice and self-help tools to help mothers and their families better prevent and identify mood disorders during the perinatal period. It also invited Hong Kong artist Jade Kwan and her husband to share their experiences in combating postpartum mood swings to connect with postpartum families. The well-crafted content, striking a good balance between rational and professional healthcare knowledge and emotional sharing that resonates with its target audiences, successfully reached more than two million people.

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In addition to the resourceful online portal, the programme also featured a range of initiatives that made a real difference through the facilitation of early intervention - a critical step to identifying and treating postpartum depression.

MJN decided to help enhance the support network of postpartum mothers by offering training workshops for over 400 postnatal caregivers, to equip them with skills to identify mothers with potential mental risk. It also encouraged behavioural change by introducing a pilot programme that supports postpartum mothers with regular calls and healthcare advice from a registered nurse in the first 100 days after childbirth.

The pilot programme shattered the culture of silence and successfully encouraged 52% of the participating mothers to bring up conversations about their mood swings with their registered nurse, versus only 8.4% of mothers who said that they would share their negative feelings with healthcare professionals in an online survey conducted in 2019. Through this ongoing effort, two participating mothers with probable postpartum depression were identified and referred to appropriate follow-up services.

Postpartum depression can be a silent struggle for many mothers. This programme sheds light on the topic and offers practical solutions to address it. The carefully designed content and initiatives bring positive impact to demystify postpartum depression, empowering mothers and raising awareness of people around them.

This article is sponsored by Mead Johnson Nutrition.