CHAPEL HILL, NC — March 5, 2020 — Postpartum depression (PPD) is the No. 1 cause of maternal mortality from suicide. PPD can have a range of dangerous consequences and is widespread, affecting one in seven mothers. Yet, symptoms don’t need to be life-threatening to be serious. Feeling down, sad or broken, emotionally detached, highly anxious, or doubting one’s ability to mother one’s child are all signs of PPD that require help.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) wants to combat this silent threat. In a new video, they are asking 100,000 moms who currently have or have had PPD symptoms in the past to participate in the Mom Genes Fight PPD research study. The campaign works to identify a genetic marker that may explain why some women get PPD and others don’t.
“Postpartum depression is a very common medical complication of childbirth that can be devastating; but far too often goes undiagnosed or inadequately treated,” said Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, one of the study’s co-principal investigators, chair of the UNC Department of Psychiatry and director of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders.
Dr. Meltzer-Brody continued, “The Mom Genes Fight PPD research study examines why some women are at greater risk for PPD than others by examining their genetic signature or ‘mom-genes.’ We want to change how we detect mothers who are suffering in silence. Eventually, our goal is to help find a cure and identify ways to prevent PPD, and improve treatment outcomes.”
Calling All Moms
The Mom Genes Fight PPD study isn’t just for new moms, but for all mothers whether their child is a newborn or 50 years old. It asks these women who’ve had PPD symptoms in the past or present to see if they qualify for the research.
How to Participate
Women can visit www.MomGenesFightPPD.org to download an app to see if they are eligible by taking a brief and validated clinical assessment on it. Women who meet the study inclusion criteria and consent to participate are mailed a spit kit to provide a saliva sample. Paid postage is included, making it even easier to help.
Celebrities & Women Inspiring Women
From PPD support groups to mom-influencers to celebs like Alanis Morissette and Catherine Reitman of the Netflix show Workin’ Moms, women across the country are sharing their important reasons for joining the research study by using #MomGenes. The personal stories also help destigmatize the disease, showing those who are suffering that they are not alone.
Creation and promotion of the campaign, Mom Genes Fight PPD, is a pro bono effort by WONGDOODY, an award-winning creative agency and human experience company.
“Developing the Mom Genes Fight PPD campaign was a no-brainer. It’s all about moms’ genes. Not denim. DNA! UNC had the science and technology, but getting participants was a struggle. We knew they needed something catchy, since social media sharing is the biggest driver for participation. So we played off the well-known trend of mom jeans, and used a denim pop-up and a powerful PSA to spread the news that mom genes can help fight postpartum depression,” said WONGDOODY founder and Chief Creative Officer Tracy Wong.
About Mom Genes Fight PPD
Mom Genes Fight PPD is a global collaboration between UNC researchers and an international group of academic clinicians and scientists committed to understanding the interaction of genes and the environment — aimed at predicting which women are at risk for PPD. By August 2020, UNC has a goal of getting 100,000 mothers to participate in the study.
WONGDOODY is a creative firm and human experience company internationally recognized for branding, retail, and consumer insights. By observing human behavior, analyzing data, and leveraging its agile-insights platform, WONGDOODY builds and evolves experiences as markets and consumers change.
The company has offices in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles. Clients include Amazon, Cisco, adidas, Honda, and a wide range of Fortune 500 companies. WONGDOODY is frequently voted as a “Best Place to Work”, and has more than 50 percent of its leadership positions held by women.
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Chief Creative Officer: Tracy Wong
Group Creative Director: Matt Burgess
Creative Director: Vanessa Witter
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Music House – Massive Music
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Original Track: “I Love My Girl” by the Hilltoppers
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