Current Treatment Trials

Welcome to Beating the Blues before Birth (BBB) – A study for depression during pregnancy.

Are you pregnant and feeling low? You have taken a positive step towards improving your mood and managing the demands of pregnancy.

The Beating the Blues before Birth (BBB) program is an adaptation of the Getting Ahead of Postnatal Depression Group Program for pregnant women who are depressed. We are currently seeking expectant mums to take part in a government-supported research study for the treatment of depression during pregnancy. All participants receive a full assessment with a psychologist and are either managed by their GP or receive the BBB treatment free of charge. In addition to treatment, participants are reimbursed for their time filling out questionnaires.

Beating the Blues before Birth (BBB) is an 8-session cognitive behavioural therapy program. It is designed for women experiencing depression during pregnancy and includes one couple session to provide partners with information, support and an opportunity to be involved in the therapeutic process.

The aim of the Beating the Blues Before Birth (BBB) study is to evaluate the benefits of evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for depression in pregnancy, for both mother and baby.

Taking part in this study will provide you with a free comprehensive telephone assessment with a psychologist to understand how you are feeling. If the BBB study is right for you, you will be offered 8 free sessions of CBT delivered by a psychologist via telehealth or will be connected with your GP for effective management. As BBB is a research study, this selection of treatment path will be made randomly.

The BBB study is available to women across Australia.

Are you a clinician wanting to refer your patient to the BBB study? Please complete the clinician referral form.

Current Treatment Trials


Learn more about Beating the Blues before Birth.

By taking part in the Beating the Blues Before Birth study you will receive a clinical assessment and 8 free sessions of CBT delivered by a psychologist via telehealth.


You will receive a clinical assessment with a psychologist and will be encouraged to see your GP and/or other health professionals for best-care management.

As BBB is a research trial, you will be randomly allocated to one of the two study groups mentioned above (i.e., CBT or referral to your GP/another health professional). As this is a research project you will not be able to choose which group you will allocated to. Participation in both groups is highly valuable for successfully conducting the study.

As this study is designed to specifically address depression, we have some guidelines about who can take part. After the study we would hope to offer this program more widely to those who need it. The study is suitable for women who are:

  • experiencing depression (based on our clinical assessment)
  • less than 30 weeks pregnant
  • over 18 years of age
  • fluent in English
  • giving permission to disclose the results of the clinical assessment with their health professional (i.e., GP, midwife or obstetrician)

Who is the study not suitable for?

As this is a structured psychological treatment program for depression it has some limitations in the type of care it is able to provide. Unfortunately, this study is not for you if you are currently:

  • receiving medication for your depression and anxiety
  • receiving psychological treatment
  • feeling suicidal
  • experiencing family or domestic violence and are not feeling safe at home
  • relying heavily drugs or alcohol to cope
  • diagnosed with bipolar or other serious psychiatric disorders

Other options may be more suitable for women who are not able to be included in this research study at present. We have listed some alternative supports and encourage you to seek help, click here.

You will be contacted by the project manager to book in a telephone assessment with the study psychologist to determine whether the study is suitable for you. During the telephone assessment you will be asked some questions about your mood and mental health.

You will be asked to complete questionnaires at 4 time points with the last follow-up carried out at 2 years after your child is born as we will also be following on your child’s development. You will receive $20 for every time you complete these questionnaires.

The experience of perinatal anxiety and depression can significantly affect our emotional wellbeing and prevent us from doing the things we want to do. It can affect any new or expecting parent and can occur any time during your pregnancy. Reaching out for support at this time can feeling challenging.

The Parent-Infant Research Institute at Austin Health is conducting a government-supported study to evaluate the benefits of psychological treatment for depression in pregnancy, for both mother and baby.

Everyone experiences perinatal anxiety and depression differently. The best way for you to start feeling better will depend on your own experiences, the symptoms you are feeling and how strongly you feel them. The one thing that is common for all parents experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression is that the sooner you seek support, the sooner you can start to feel better.

Share our BBB Poster

To help spread the word about this important study, download and share our PDF poster.

Current Treatment Trials