CfC FP ObjectiveHealthy young families
Supporting families and parents
Delivered toFirst time parents/caregivers and their infants aged up to 6 months 
Delivered byQualified health professionals
Delivery settingCommunity-based
Program developerMonash University

About the program

The What Were We Thinking! (WWWT) program is a primary universal postpartum mental health prevention and early intervention pyscho-educational program for first time parents/caregivers. WWWT aims to resource and support first-time parents by extending their knowledge and skills in managing their infant's needs. WWWT delivers baby and caregiver content, is father inclusive and helps manage adjustments that occur in the intimate-partner relationship. 

Program structure

WWWT is delivered via 3 components:

  1. face-to-face seminars
  2. weekly primary care from a trained worker
  3. print materials. 

WWWT is intended to be conducted with small groups of parents four to six weeks postpartum. The program includes group discussion, active participation in problem solving and negotiation, skills development and supported practice, short talks and practical demonstrations. 

Topics covered include: infant sleep needs; sustainable routines of daily care; soothing/settling; adjusting to new parenting roles; gendered differences in the losses and gains of parenthood; helping couples develop strategies for non-confrontational conflict resolution and sharing the unpaid workload fairly

Facilitator training

Online and face-to-face components required. 


For information about training costs contact the organisation directly. 

Evaluation and effectiveness

Results from a cluster randomised controlled trial conducted in 2015 (Fisher et al., 2016) showed that there was a significantly lower prevalence of mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety in women who participated in the WWWT program compared to the control group. 

A controlled study in 2010 found that the program had a significant positive impact on participants’ ability to cope with the stressors involved in caring for a newborn baby and reduced the incidence of post-partum mental disorders in women (Fisher et al., 2010).


Fisher, J., Rowe, H., Wynter, K., Tran, T., Lorgelly, P., Amir, L. H., Proimos, J., Ranasinha, S., Hiscock, H., Bayer, J., & Cann, W. (2016). Gender-informed, psychoeducational programme for couples to prevent postnatal common mental disorders among primiparous women: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 6(3), 1–18. 

Fisher, J.R.W., Wynter, K.H., & Rowe, H. (2010). Innovative psycho-educational program to prevent common postpartum mental disorders in primiparous women: a before and after controlled study. BMC Public Health, 432(10). 

Rowe, H., & Fisher, J. (2010). Development of a universal psycho-educational intervention to prevent common postpartum mental disorders in primiparous women: a multiple method approach. BMC Public Health, 10(499).

Rowe, H., Wynter, K., Burns, J., & Fisher, J. (2016). A complex postnatal mental health intervention: Australian translational formative evaluation. Health Promotion International, pii: dav110. [Epub ahead of print]. 

Fisher, J., Rowe, H., Hiscock, H., Jordan, B., Bayer, J., Colahan, A., & Amery, V. (2011). Understanding and responding to unsettled infant behaviour: A discussion paper for the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. Melbourne: Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.