Currently first time mothers during the first 100 days post child birth receive little to no support for maternal mental health and usually the focus remains on the child’s development. However more often than not, these women feel disconnected from their previous life, their partner, their own body and even their child. Through people centered research approach I wanted to design a service to help add additional support to this feeling of disconnection and isolation and challenge the stigma surrounding it.

The first 100 days are universally emotionally unstable and there is tendency to feel like they [the parents] are ‘uniquely failing’ as there are no initiatives in place to intelligently handle this challenge.


pillar is your life coach community, during the first 100 days of childbearing and beyond.

A layer of additional support outside of the current healthcare system offerings; currently these women are assigned a mother group from birth that is around 3 data points; location, time of birth, and if you are a first-time mother. So what is the next phase of mother groups, and how would that look in a digital context where we could expand the data points and match women to women experiencing much more similar situations and ultimately getting more concise and better support. It is also a way to keep the women within the healthcare system, allowing more up-to-date data to be used in a more meaningful way.

pillar connects first-time mothers to women 1 step ahead of them to gain advice and 1 step behind them to give advice going through similar experiences in a meaningful way. Playing on this idea of mentor and mentee pillar empowers women to be ok with feeling insecure about motherhood but confident about where they were yesterday.


Through a simple onboarding chatbot that is affiliated with SMS and fb messenger, the women can easily access the service providing more personalized answers to questions in order to better match them to other women. From my research I found they didn’t want to download another pregnancy app so this was a low-entry barrier that was inclusively designed. The chatbot’s main function is to onboard and match-up women.

In order to focus on using the data to improve positive impact, I co-created the language and tone of the service with the women so that the chatbot would feel as trustworthy as possible, questions like; do you breastfeed/were you induced/if you could ask your future self one question what would it be/if you could offer a piece of advice to your past self what would it be.

“I liked I was able to help someone” that was value enough in the service. ‘Sophia’ often felt that she was answering questions to her past self, because the service felt ‘faceless’ but in a good, anonymity way.

The data then lives on the pillar server and once matched will be re-directed to their own personal secure chatroom, where the women also have the choice to enter this service anonymous, or foster long-term relations with each other, all depending on the needs of the women. Testing the final prototype with 15 women over a 2 week period gave validation, specifically testing the chatbot onboarding, and the facilitation of dialogue between these women.

The next phase of this would be using the data supplied by these women to analyze when and why certain questions are being asked along the pregnancy journey, and filtering the responses back into the database so that the chatbot could essentially crowd-source the most accurate response and provide answers to some of the questions asked, although still remaining as its primary focus of matching up women-to-women.

Try out the pillar service.


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